Crossley Williams Jr.

Crossley  Williams Jr.
World Trade Center

Converted Parents to Karate

When the first plane hit the World Trade Center, Crossley Williams Jr. immediately called his father at his office in Queens. His father called his wife, who was working at her office in Manhattan, and arranged a three-way conversation.

"He told us he saw two bodies falling out of the window of the first building," the father said. His son, a financial analyst for Fiduciary Trust, worked in the south tower. "His mother urged him to get out immediately. I told him: 'You heard what your mother said. Call me when you get out.' That was our last conversation."

An only child, the younger Mr. Williams, 28, was always close to his parents. When he was 10 and "chubby," as his father described him, they enrolled him in martial arts classes. He eventually became a black belt. Because he seemed to enjoy it, his father and his mother, Valrie, started studying karate, too, and earned their black belts.

Mr. Williams lived with his parents in Uniondale, on Long Island, and most Fridays and Saturdays, he went out to dinner with them. "He enjoyed our company and we did his," his father said.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 10, 2001.

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