John Michael Grazioso

John Michael Grazioso
World Trade Center

Two Brothers, Always Close

Timothy Grazioso, left, the older brother, was considered the sensitive one; John Grazioso hid his sensitivity under a caustic wit. Born 18 months apart, they remained close, playing football together for the Clifton (New Jersey) Junior Mustangs and the Clifton High School varsity and later, working for Cantor Fitzgerald.

And they were protective of their little sister. "Johnny taught me how to fight to protect myself," says Carolee Azzarello, two years John's junior. She recalls a neighborhood tough bloodied her nose with a snowball. "They both went running," she says. "I don't know if they found the kid, but they wanted to beat him up."

Timothy Grazioso, 42, a math whiz, went to work for Cantor Fitzgerald, rising to chief operating officer for over-the-counter trading; John Grazioso, 41, a supervisor for U.S. Air, was encouraged by Timothy to join the company and eventually became a salesman for eSpeed, a subsidiary.

Timothy Grazioso moved his wife, Deborah, and twin daughters, Lauren and Briana, now 12, to Florida; he thought the climate would help Lauren, who has diabetes. During the week, he lived alone in a Brooklyn apartment where he kept a complete set of his children's schoolbooks to do homework with them over the phone. Each weekend, he flew to Florida. "When he came down here he was a hundred percent with us," Deborah says. "He'd put the kids to bed, he made breakfast for them - French toast and omelets were his thing. We went out as family on Saturdays and Sundays. We loved the beach."

John Grazioso's specialty was silver dollar pancakes in their Middletown, N.J., home for daughters Kathryn, 7, Kristen, 4, and Michael, 11 months, the first boy born in the Grazioso family in 41 years. "He always seemed to squeeze in his golf game no matter where he went, but he always made time for his family," says his wife, Tina. At a christening recently, he told a relative, "I've got it all. I've got a beautiful wife, two beautiful daughters and I've got a son. What else is there?"

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 7, 2001.

John M. and Timothy G. Grazioso, 41 and 42, fun-loving siblings

John M. Grazioso could see the writing on the wall. USAir was struggling. His job in customer service for the airline had not been threatened, but the company was letting employees go by the thousands. He thought he might find a more secure future in another line of work.

It was then that his older brother, Timothy G. Grazioso, gave him a few books about stocks and securities and encouraged him to read the financial newspapers. When John learned enough about the business to earn a stockbroker's license, Tim helped him land an interview with the company where he worked, Cantor Fitzgerald.

"Johnny did it all on his own from there," said their mother, Sandra. "Timmy helped him get a foot in the door, but once he did, Johnny did it all on his own."

Tim, 42, and John, 41, were working one floor apart in their Cantor Fitzgerald offices when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11. Tim was on the 104th floor, John on the 105th. They have been missing since that day.

The brothers were born in Passaic and raised in Clifton. Tim graduated from Clifton High School in 1976, John in 1978. They both played on the football team.

"They were beautiful, caring and personable," their mother said. "Timmy was more serious than John, but they were both a lot of fun. You couldn't spend two minutes with them without laughing."

Tim lived in Englewood before moving to Florida in 1991. During the week, he lived in an apartment in Brooklyn. He would fly home on Friday nights to spend the weekend with his wife and children in Gulfstream, Fla. John lived in Parsippany before moving to Middletown seven years ago.

Tim earned a degree in accounting from Pace University in New York. He went to work at Coopers & Lybrand, the accounting firm, after passing his CPA exam on the first try. He joined Cantor Fitzgerald more than 15 years ago. Most recently, he was chief operating officer for over-the-counter trading and chief Nasdaq trader.

"The two of them always got along very well, even when they were young," Mrs. Grazioso said. "They got along with their sister, too. They were always looking out for each other."

John attended Mercer Community College and the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, where he studied to be a pilot. Though he never flew commercially, he did go to work for an airline.

He worked first as a ramp agent and then in customer service for Piedmont Airlines, which later became USAir and is now known as US Airways. He went to work at Cantor Fitzgerald six years ago. He had worked most recently as a salesman at eSpeed, a division of the company.

The brothers are former members of St. John Kanty Roman Catholic Church in Clifton. Tim was a member of Ascension Roman Catholic Church in Boca Raton, Fla. John was a member of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in New Monmouth.

Tim was on the board of directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He was scheduled to be installed in November as president of the Security Traders Association of New York.

John was an avid golfer and a member of the U.S. Golf Association.

Tim is survived by his wife of 15 years, Deborah Pankanin Grazioso, and their 12-year-old twin daughters, Lauren and Briana.

John is survived by his wife of nearly 10 years, Tina, two daughters, Kathryn, 7, and Kristen, 4, and a son, Michael, 10 months.

The brothers are also survived by their mother, Sandra Fornelius Grazioso of Clifton; their father, Henry Grazioso of Washington Township; a sister, Carolee Azzarello of Green Brook; and two half-sisters, Karen Ventre of Oak Ridge and Kristy Grazioso of Riverdale.

The brothers will be remembered at a memorial Mass at noon Thursday in St. John Kanty Roman Catholic Church, 49 Speer Ave., Clifton. The Mass will be celebrated on the day Tim would have turned 43.

Profile by Tom Feeney published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

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