Cira Marie Patti

World Trade Center

Work, Home, the Shore

Her life was a chain of places where they knew her, it seemed, forever.

There was Wall Street, where, after a day at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, where she was a trading assistant on the 89th floor of 2 World Trade Center, Cira Marie Patti knew the best Italian restaurant to go to and talk theater.

There was New Springville, in Staten Island, where she lived, not far from where she had been a choir girl at Holy Child Church and the baton twirler for the Marching 100 (she didn't much like marching, so her father always put her on the float.)

And there was the Shore, always the Shore.

Summer weekends it was off to the big rental house at Bradley Beach, N.J., with Maura, Kathy, Pete and maybe a dozen others (her father, Michael Patti, lost count). Anchoring her evenings was the Columns, a Victorian place on Ocean Avenue in Avon-by-the-Sea, whose white Russians met her standards, and where she could dance or hold her own debating the merits of Giants or Yankees or Eric Clapton, all of whom she made part of her chain.

Holidays, it was in her parents' kitchen, where, for nephew and nieces, sister and brothers, Aunt C.C. soared. Her pasta sauce was not just about garlic and tomatoes. Of course not. "This was Italian sauce," her father recalled. "The spices, the sausage, pork, beef, meatballs. That was our Christmas Day."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 1, 2002.

Cira Patti, 40, of Staten Island, spent the last 20 years working in Manhattan and enjoying the best that New York has to offer in her free time, such as plays, shows and dinners.

"She just enjoyed life," said a brother, Michael Patti. "She lived out a New Yorker life."

For the last three years, Patti worked as a trader's assistant at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods at the World Trade Center. After the first airplane struck one of the buildings of the World Trade Center, Patti followed directions from the Port Authority and stayed in her office, her brother said. That's when the second plane slammed into the second building.

"She was on the phone again with my mom," Michael Patti said. "The walls started collapsing around her, and that's the last we heard about her."

Patti's family members have filled out the necessary paperwork, with dental and medical records and hair samples, to help identify her.

Michael Patti, whose next-door neighbor is a New York firefighter killed in the attacks, said the family is trying to stay composed at this time.

"We're in contact with our priest and our parish, and we're waiting here," he said from his mother's Staten Island home.

Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

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