New York Times Portraits of Grief

James E. Cove

James E. Cove loved happy hour, but even when he traveled on business to a pub-besotted place like Dublin, happy hour meant going to the local department store and selecting gifts for his three boys, Michael, Ryan and Gregory.

"That was Jim's version of happy hour," said his wife, Theresa. "He deliberated over every aspect of the gift to make sure it was just right for the child and for the family budget." That is not to suggest that he was a teetotaler. "Jim loved his beer," she said. "He would work hard in the backyard and suck down two Coronas with the lime in them."

Mr. Cove, 48, was a senior vice president at Aon Insurance, an avid fan of skiing and hockey. He had such a wicked sense of humor that it was said "he could break up a high Mass with a one-liner."

His successes in the insurance business were many, but he kept those achievements in perspective. "The pride he had in his family outshone the success he had in business," his brother Frank said. "Jimmy was more proud of being a good father than being a senior vice president."