New York Times Portraits of Grief
David Grimner was always quick to get a laugh, or at least try. "You could be in any mood whatsoever, and he'd just tell a joke and you'd be automatically better," said his son David Patrick Grimner, 17. "Sometimes it wouldn't even be funny, but you'd laugh just because of the way he laughed at it."
Mr. Grimner, 51 and a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, had studied to be a priest and remained religious throughout his life. A member of his parish's council and a eucharistic minister, he never missed a Sunday Mass at Curé of Ars Church in Merrick, N.Y.
He knew it was hard on his wife, Judith Ann, when she returned to graduate school in 1998 to earn a master's degree in education. "You've got to stop putting this much pressure on yourself," he said. She responded, "But you always told me to do my best."
In May 2000, after Mrs. Grimner graduated, her husband took her out for a candlelight dinner and gave her a gift. "He had been saving for these brand-new golf clubs that he really wanted," she said. "Instead of buying them, he bought me a diamond bracelet."