Robert M. Murach

World Trade Center

Robert Murach, 45, excelled at track

On Sept. 9, Robert Murach barbecued with Michael Pallarino in the parking lot at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford before a Jets game, savoring a cigar.

"He loved to smoke a cigar before the game," said Pallarino, Mr. Murach's friend for more than 30 years. "It was a beautiful day, and I remember he looked at me and said, 'What a great day.' "

Mr. Murach worked hard but played with the same intensity, his friend said.

The 45-year-old senior vice president worked for Cantor Fitzgerald at One World Trade Center. He was in his North Tower office when a hijacked plane hit the building on Sept. 11.

Mr. Murach devoted much of his energy to his daughters, Madison Zoe, 9, and Hayley Noelle, 6.

"He was totally involved," said Laurie Murach, his wife of 11 years. "From the time they were babies. He changed diapers, took them to dance classes, fed them. He'd play his CDs on the weekends and stand in the middle of the room making up dances with them."

Mr. Murach, who grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Montclair, led an active life. He excelled in track in high school and at Columbia University, where he graduated with a degree in economics. He was passionate about golf and scuba diving.

He was close to his tight-knit family and relished his relationship with a group of six high school friends who were on the same track team that won the city championship. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of that victory in 1999, the guys took a rafting trip to the Green River in Utah.

"That win became a focal point for us over the years," said Pallarino. "He was much faster and stronger and agile than the rest of us. He was the star of the team."

Mr. Murach and his family spent time each summer in Sun Valley, Idaho -- where Laurie Murach is originally from -- golfing, mountain biking, hiking and swimming. They were there in late August.

Mr. Murach also is survived by his parents, Edward and Mary Ellen Murach of Bay Ridge, N.Y.; a brother, Richard Murach of Red Bank; a sister, Katharine Tynion of Hazlet, a grandmother, Ruth Servies of Crawfordsville, Ind.

A memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Immaculate Conception Church, 30 North Fullerton Ave., Montclair.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Madison and Hayley Murach Education Fund, 41 Watchung Plaza No. 109, Montclair, N.J. 07042.

Profile by Carmen Juri published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

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