New York Times Portraits of Grief

Peter Siracuse

Peter Siracuse lived for competition. As a child he jockeyed for attention with his three older brothers. As a young adult, he took his aggression out on the gridiron and in lacrosse. He also played football in college.

So when Mr. Siracuse, 29, became a teacher and a coach at Bethpage High School on Long Island right after college, his family thought he was a natural, since he also loved children.

A little over a year ago, he married his high school sweetheart, Alana, and had a child of his own, Ryan Joseph, now 9 months.

"He was just so excited that he had a son and a child," said Matthew Siracuse, one of Mr. Siracuse's brothers. "That was probably the biggest thing in his life at this time."

Four years ago, Mr. Siracuse left the blackboard for the brokerage house. He quickly developed an affinity for his new job as a bond broker at Cantor Fitzgerald.

"He loved it; it was like game day every day," said George Siracuse, another of his brothers. "He loved the whole camaraderie of his co-workers. He loved the competition. He thrived on it."