Building a Dream House
Colleen Barkow's job at Cantor Fitzgerald was to help oversee the building of things ‹ including, most recently, the firm's cafeteria. "She was very proud of that," said her father, Thomas Meehan.
But over the past several months, she was using her talents to help oversee the building of something that mattered much more to her: a new home, for her and her husband, Daniel Barkow, in a virtual forest of a plot in the Poconos.
The couple were so proud of their project that they even started a Web site so friends and family could watch it rise. They were going to brave the two-hour-plus trips to work because they loved the place so much. They were supposed to move in on Oct. 1.
"I have an empty house now that she designed and built and she'll never get to live in it," Mr. Barkow said.
Dates have become very important for him. He and his wife, 26, were married on Sept. 17, 2000. Rescue workers recovered Ms. Barkow's body on Sept. 17.
The only recent consolation for him has been that his wife's rings ‹ her engagement ring, wedding ring and the diamond ring he had just given her for their upcoming anniversary ‹ were found and returned to him.
Mr. Meehan said that his son-in-law had the rings repaired and now wears them on a chain around his neck.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 9, 2001.
Colleen Barkow, 26, managed with aplomb
Colleen Ann Meehan Barkow enjoyed her job as a project manager at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center so much that she didn't mind the 90-minute commute from her East Windsor home.
"It was the world to Colleen," said her father, Thomas Meehan. Her most recent project was overseeing construction of the company's new cafeteria.
Mrs. Barkow, 26, who had worked for Cantor Fitzgerald for five years, wasn't phased by the prospect of commuting from her soon-to-be new home in the Poconos. Her husband, Daniel Foster Barkow, 31, and she were planning to move Oct. 1. She was in the process of mapping out a new commute to work from Pennsylvania.
"This house was their pride and joy," her father said. The young couple even had a detailed Web site that tracked their new home's construction phases.
On the weekend before the attack at the World Trade Center, Mrs. Barkow and her mother, Jo Ann Meehan, had gone shopping.
"We were buying all the curtains and things that they needed to move in. She couldn't have been happier," her mother said.
Not only was Mrs. Barkow excited about moving, but she also was nearing her one-year wedding anniversary, on Sept. 17. Her husband recently bought her a diamond ring, which her mother is almost certain she wore and showed off to her friends the day of the attack.
"She was a beautiful young woman. She could have been a runway model," her father said. "She always had a smile for everybody."
Her family said Mrs. Barkow also gracefully took on her role as stepmother to her husband's daughters, Crystal Marie, 12, and Kayla Ann, 9.
"They adored her and she adored them. You couldn't tell that they were her stepdaughters," her mother said.
A Carteret native, Mrs. Barkow graduated from Bishop Ahr High School in Edison and attended St. John's University in Staten Island.
In addition to her husband, stepdaughters and parents, Mrs. Barkow is survived by a brother, Daryl of Carteret, and other relatives. Another brother, Eric, died earlier.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Woodbridge. Donations can be made to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation at 323 E. Matilija St., No. 110, Ojai, Calif. 93023-2740.
Profile by Alicia Grey published in THE STAR-LEDGER.