New York Times Portraits of Grief

James E. Hayden

Looking back on their nearly 25 years of marriage, Elizabeth Gail Hayden credits James E. Hayden with bringing her much joy, to say nothing of chicken and fish.

When they met in 1972 as freshmen in college, the only dinner entree she would eat was beef. Mr. Hayden, though, was adventurous about food.

Determined and focused at work, Mr. Hayden, 47, was chief financial officer of Netegrity , an Internet security company in Waltham, Mass. He was aboard United Airlines Flight 175 when it hit the south tower.

He rarely talked of work at home, but instead was a great listener, helping solve the workaday issues for his children, John, 17, and Elizabeth, 19.

The family ate dinner together every night. He liked to cook on weekends, frequently making salmon on Saturday nights. He sought out new restaurants to try, and when he traveled he chose exotic foods. He even got his wife to try them, too.

"I moved beyond beef," Mrs. Hayden said, with a laugh.

There was one thing she hadn't moved beyond: the feeling that they were young, and in love.

"He made me feel like I was 18," she said. "I loved that."