New York Times Portraits of Grief

Tu-Anh Pham

Meeting Tu-Anh Pham for the first time, you'd notice that she emoted from head to toe, like "a tiny little live wire who just smiled and glowed," said Frank Durham, an investor in the brewery she wanted to build in the Virgin Islands.

Hurricanes would defeat the concept, but it was just one adventure in her busy life. As a teenager, she was airlifted out of South Vietnam with her father and siblings in 1975, while her mother stayed behind. It was months before they were reunited, and Tu-Anh stepped in. "She took care of us," said her younger sister, Mai-Anh Pham, a physician in Atlanta.

She met her husband, Tom Knobel, when they both worked at Dow Chemical in Texas in the early 1980's. He stayed with the company while she attended business school and held a series of jobs before joining Fred Alger Management as an analyst in 1997. She loved her work. He became a novelist. For years they longed for a baby, and the smiling Vivienne Hoang-Anh Knobel was born last July. After a six-week maternity leave, her mother, who was 42, returned to the office on Sept. 10.

A memorial to the trade center victims in Princeton, N.J., where she lived, consists of stones bearing a single word to remember each one. Tom Knobel chose "determination" for Tu-Anh Pham.