New York Times Portraits of Grief

Anthony Luparello

For the 14 years that he was a maintenance worker at Aon, Anthony Luparello called his wife, Geraldine, every day at 1:45 p.m., the end of his lunch break. "Just to let me know what's going on," Mrs. Luparello said. " `What are we getting for dinner? What did you do? Who did you hear from?' "

And when the evening buses got him home to Corona, Queens, later than usual, he would be very upset. "He felt it was his time home to be with me, and he shouldn't be sitting on a stupid bus," she said. "I would tell him, `What's the matter that you are home late? You came home safe.' "

Mr. Luparello, 62, was equally serious about his work. Every morning, he got up at 3:30 to start work at 6 a.m. "He'd rather be half an hour early than be stuck in traffic," his wife said. "He would never take a day off. Headache, flu, cold, you name it. He went to work.

"I would ask him, `Tony, is the tower going to fall without you?' It was just a joke. But you know, it came down with him."