Edward K. Oliver

Edward  K.  Oliver
World Trade Center

Long-Distance Romance

Sheryl Budke of Cincinnati had no intention of trying to meet a guy when she and her sister went to Daytona Beach on vacation, but two grandfatherly men kept nagging them, so Ms. Budke finally took a walk on the beach with Edward Oliver, from Staten Island. They knew by the next day that they would marry, and they kept the romance going long-distance for two years. They were married for seven.

Mr. Oliver, 31, lived in Jackson, N.J., and was a commodities broker for Carr Futures. He had a 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Emily, and a 4-month-old son, Eddie. Mr. Oliver loved golf and "The Honeymooners" and, most of all, sitting on the couch with Emily, eating reduced fat Cheez-Its. (He was careful about his health.)

His offices were at the New York Mercantile Exchange building, but on Sept. 11, he had an early meeting at the main office in the World Trade Center.

Ms. Oliver received an odd phone call that morning, in which her husband's phone number came up on caller ID but she did not hear his voice. She did not begin to worry, however, until her sister-in-law called.

"I said, 'Oh, but he had a meeting,' " Ms. Oliver said. "Then I ran upstairs and looked in his nightstand drawer and found a business card that said, '1 World Trade Center, 96th floor.' I thought I would die.

"The struggle we did to stay together for two years, and this is all we get," Ms. Oliver said. "It's just not fair."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 8, 2001.

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