New York Times Portraits of Grief

Bradley James Fetchet

To his family and friends, Bradley James Fetchet always seemed an odd fit for the dog-eat- dog world of Wall Street that became his life as an equity trader for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. Quiet and reserved, Mr. Fetchet, 24, loathed being the center of attention, even on occasions when he deserved it. On his birthday, he preferred that the day go unnoticed, forbidding his mother from planning even the smallest celebration.

But no one could stop Mr. Fetchet from surprising other people. On a whim, Mr. Fetchet would buy and set up elaborate electronic gifts for his family or disguise simple gifts, like CD's, in multiple boxes just to elicit smiles. In letters and visits, thousands of people have recounted such stories to Mr. Fetchet's mother, Mary Fetchet, and to Brooke Stengel, the woman with whom he had begun shopping for wedding rings.

"Brad was always focused on other people, whether he knew you or not," Mary Fetchet said. "In his journal, he kept this quote: `You can tell the character of man by what he does for the man who can offer him nothing.' That's how he lived."