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In Remembrance
Place of Residence:
Monroe, NY
Location on 9/11:
Cantor Fitzgerald | Bond Broker
The New York Times Portraits of Grief
Tommy Dowd Memorial Basketball Tournament

Rockland County Remembers


It was easy to tell if Thomas Dowd liked you, because if so, he would insult you.

"He never changed who he was based on the people who he was with," said Scott Harris, whose bonds with Mr. Dowd were forged when their neighboring town houses burned down in 1994.

Mr. Dowd would laugh at his own jokes harder than anyone, and as a bond broker at Cantor Fitzgerald, there were plenty of jokes — a sign on someone's back, Parmesan cheese in the telephone receiver.

But if he sometimes seemed brusque, perhaps someone — often himself, sometimes someone else — was not measuring up to expectations. At 37, he coached basketball like a fury, pouring his time and emotion into three youth neighborhood and regional leagues. The time not spent with his three children — Heather, 17, Tommy, 15, and Brittany, 10 — was devoted to his childhood friends from the neighborhood, Inwood, in Upper Manhattan.

Years earlier, his pursuit of one friend, Kerriann Cregan, had been particularly steadfast. "He would walk up the block with his basketball, and I knew he was coming because I would hear it bouncing," she said. "He had to pass my window, and I hid to watch him go by. My father always asked, 'Did he look?' " Often enough, said the former Miss Cregan, who became Mrs. Dowd in 1984.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 10, 2002.