New York Times Portraits of Grief

John C. Hartz

As they do in so many households, the letters seeking charitable donations piled up. But John C. Hartz would not throw them away unopened. One by one he would go through them; carefully, thoughtfully, he would choose which charities he would send money.

"He was inclined to go through all the solicitations and would consider giving to them all," said his wife, Ellie Hartz. "Many times, he would send them something." The causes ranged from endangered species to local community services.

She and Mr. Hartz, 64, a senior vice president at Fiduciary Trust, started their romance with a blind date in January 2000. They married last November. The couple, who lived in Basking Ridge, N.J., hiked on nearby trails and biked along the Delaware River. "I was so much looking forward to the rest of our lives together," Mrs. Hartz said. "It was too short a time. We were basically just newlyweds. I couldn't think of growing old with anybody but him." For their honeymoon, the Hartzes took their grown children to Bermuda.