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member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity
The last time Robert Higley II and his wife Vycki discussed names for their second child, they were leaning toward Lauren Elizabeth. Instead, Vycki, who is eight months' pregnant, will name their daughter Robyn, in memory of her husband, who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks.
But Robert Higley, an insurance executive, wasn't just about to become a new father. He was moving into a new home in Fairfield, Conn., and had a new job with Aon Risk Management Services. Though he had been there just three months, he had recently received a promotion to run a national campaign and was in the middle of training when the first plane hit the north tower. Higley, who worked on the 92nd floor, called Vycki and said, "I'm in the other building and they're starting to evacuate." It was an agonizingly short conversation.
"He was wonderful, fun-loving, sarcastic and humorous," said Vycki, who went to New York with her 4-year-old daughter, Amanda, to provide DNA samples. He was also a man who loved gadgets and a devoted New York Yankees fan. The night before his death, he waited in the rain with six of his friends for more than two hours before the game was canceled.
Looking back, Vycki is thankful they spent the previous weekend connecting with friends and family. Instead of unpacking moving boxes, they went to a festival. Robert helped a relative set up her college dorm room, and the Higleys ate dinner with Vycki's family both Saturday and Sunday. "Three of his best friends--whom he has known since he was 4-- live in a five-minute radius," said Vycki. "Now I know how much they love (Amanda). It's a relief to know I have that."
Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE