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Nobody mistook Gary Herold for the life of the party. "Very stone-faced," said his sister, Sheila Boltrek. "He was so reserved people had to ask if he was actually smiling."
His wife, Angela, said, "He didn't open up with many people, but when he did, he was very comfortable."
How their romance began in 1979 — when he was a 23-year-old employee in the frozen food department of a Long Island Waldbaum's and she was a 19-year-old checkout clerk — may be telling. As Mrs. Herold recalled it, word went out among fellow workers that "Gary thought I was cute."
But did he approach with a ready line? Hardly. "Just to get his attention, I had to call back to frozen foods all the time to ask for prices," she said. They were married four years later.
Having left frozen foods behind, Mr. Herold moved up the ranks of the insurance industry. He started his last job, as a risk management supervisor at the Aon Corporation in the World Trade Center, last April, having decided that a hefty pay increase was worth the daily commute to Lower Manhattan from Bethpage, on Long Island. It was not an easy compromise, since it cut into time spent with his daughters, Jennifer, 16, Ashley, 13, and Lyndsey, 9.
"The main thing in his life was his children," Mrs. Herold said. "He enjoyed doing things with them, taking them places. If he could put a smile on their faces, he always would."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 17, 2002