The Entertainer Edward
Calderon was always proud to wear the uniform that marked him as a security guard for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but his feet felt best in dancing shoes. "When I think of him I remember that he loved salsa," said his niece, Desiree Henley. "He was extremely outgoing, loved to dance."
He was the life of any gathering, said his sister-in-law, Sandra Calderon. And for years, he organized a regular Wednesday night salsa party in different locations at the World Trade Center for anybody who wanted to come, said his brother, Anthony. "He liked to act and he wanted to direct — he was an entertainer," Anthony said. "That was his knowledge. That was his calling."
Eddie Calderon, 43, lived in Jersey City and worked at the trade center for 22 years. He was last seen running toward the north tower after helping guide dozens of workers to safety. He was hoping to reach a few more just before the building collapsed, Mr. Calderon's boss told his brother.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 28, 2001.
On his time off, Edward Calderon would often return to his workplace to show it off to friends and family members. For more than two decades, Mr. Calderon, 44, worked in security at the World Trade Center.
When he died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mr. Calderon, who lived in Union Township, was on duty as a supervisor in the operation control center and was busy helping others to safety, family members said.
"He literally loved what he did and he would often talk about his training, that he was trained to save lives," said his aunt, Grissel Hodge of New London, Conn. "He knew those two buildings from top to bottom. He felt so confident of the job he had to do and was so committed."
Hodge remembered visiting the observation deck with Mr. Calderon, who beamed with pride when talking about the towers.
"It was like he was showing his own home," she said.
During his career with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mr. Calderon was sent at one point to work security at Newark International Airport, but asked to be transferred back to the Twin Towers, said his wife, Deborah.
"He missed those buildings," Deborah Calderon said. "He would talk in depth with my son about the way they would sway and that there was no way they could ever come down."
On Monday, Mrs. Calderon was notified that her husband's remains had been found.
A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Entombment will follow at Hollywood Memorial Park in Union.
In addition to his work, Mr. Calderon was proud of his Puerto Rican heritage and promoted Latino awareness, Hodge said. He was one of the founding members of the Port Authority Hispanic Society.
"That was always important to him," said Henry Badillo, an aviation manager with the Port Authority who had known Mr. Calderon since 1981. "He was very proud of his culture and his parents."
Mr. Calderon loved the theater, Salsa music and art, and spent some of his high school years at the School of Performing Arts in New York City.
On Labor Day, he told his aunt that he was working to produce the play "To Sir, With Love" with an Hispanic cast.
Mr. Calderon grew up in the Bronx and after high school graduation enlisted in the Marine Corps. He served from 1974 to 1976.
In 1977, he married his high school sweetheart, Deborah, and the couple moved to Irvington, where they lived for 14 years before moving to Union Township.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Calderon is survived by his children, Jeremy and Ilene; his mother, Ida Bruno of Queens, N.Y.; his father, Vincent of Miami; two brothers, Vincent Jr. and Anthony, both of California; and three sisters, Caroline of Queens, Mariza of Miami and Cathy of Union City.
Profile published in THE STAR-LEDGER.