Catherine K. Fagan started a journal with her granddaughter, Cori-Anne Fagan, who is 7, using pictures from their visits to the zoo and other adventures. Once Cori-Anne's dog, Puppy, accompanied Ms. Fagan to her cabin in the Poconos, and she wrote a little story, "How Puppy Saved My Life," about the heat going off and the dog jumping under the covers and keeping her warm.
Ms. Fagan let her daughter, Sarah, make her own decisions. "I was 28, living at home, because I'd been in college for 10 years," Sarah Fagan said. "I kept switching my major, but not once did she ever say to me, `You've got to, you know, hurry this up.' " She was very proud of the accomplishments of her four children, and took enough pictures of a wedding cake Sarah made for a pastry competition to embarrass her no end.
Her unconditional love extended to Hercules, her 7-year-old pit bull mix, who flunked obedience school. After Ms. Fagan, 58, an assistant vice president at Marsh & McLennan, died on Sept. 11, he stopped eating and drinking. The veterinarian's diagnosis? He was in mourning. He is better now, after a few weeks with some of Ms. Fagan's five grandchildren.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on June 30, 2002.