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In Remembrance
Place of Residence:
Basking Ridge, NJ
Location on 9/11:
Cantor Fitzgerald | Partner

When the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993, Steven Genovese made it out of the building safely and headed straight home.

Mr. Genovese's mother, Vera, remembers seeing her son covered in smoke and soot, but he wouldn't let the crisis ruin his day.

Instead of staying home, Mr. Genovese and a friend spent the rest of the day skiing, which along with bungee jumping, skydiving and motorcross, was one of the many sports he enjoyed.

"That was his way of burning it off," said Vera Genovese of Bridgewater. "Afterwards, he went back to work on the same floor and didn't experience any apprehension."

Those who knew Mr. Genovese best agree that is an accurate description of his attitude toward life -- live it to the fullest while keeping family and friends as close as possible.

That motto has also comforted Mr. Genovese's relatives as they mourn his death. A partner and equity trader with Cantor Fitzgerald, Mr. Genovese was in his office on the 104th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11 attacks. He was 37.

Mr. Genovese, who lived in Basking Ridge, left a message for his wife saying he was leaving the building .

More than 1,000 people -- from those he'd known in grade school to friends he made while on vacation -- attended his Sept. 27 memorial service.

"He just had a lot of close friends," said Mr. Genovese's brother John Thomas. "He wasn't only my brother, he was my friend."

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Genovese graduated from the Bridgewater Raritan school district. He earned an associate degree from Somerset County College in 1985 and began working at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he stayed for 16 years.

Mr. Genovese, a bit of a thrill seeker, went bungee jumping in New Zealand and jet skiing in Australia. Mr. Genovese's new pearl-white Harley-Davidson motorcycle was his vehicle of choice for local thrills.

However, the birth of his daughter Jacqueline, now 17 months old, was perhaps Mr. Genovese's greatest thrill, his wife, Shelly, said.

"She was the light of his life. He'd come home from work and would take her out on the lawn and roll in the grass or take her on stroller rides," Shelly Genovese said.

Vera Genovese worried a bit when her son began his family. Would domestic life provide the same thrills as paragliding or skydiving? It did.

"He always used to say: 'I want my baby to walk barefoot on the grass. I want her to touch and feel life,' " Vera Genovese said. "It's a comfort to me that he got to do everything he wanted to do -- even experience having a family of his own."

Mr. Genovese is also survived by his father, John, of Monticello, N.Y.

Profile by Jeffery C. Mays published in THE STAR-LEDGER