Salad for Every Party
Andrew LaCorte, 61, was never married. But there was a woman and there were children whom he loved. "He loved Barbra Streisand," said Joanne Fletcher, his younger sister. "Barbra Streisand was his girl. And my children were very close to him. They were just like Andrew's children."
Mr. LaCorte had about 20 CD's of Ms. Streisand, which he played over and over. And for as long as his nieces and nephews can remember, Mr. LaCorte, a trader at Carr Futures, was a fixture at family parties ‹ on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, Labor Day and birthdays.
"He always made one thing," said Randi Fletcher, an 18-year-old niece. "He made a salad. Olives, artichokes, peppers and anchovies. The Italian kind that grandma used to make. He never cooked anything else."
And he did not shop much, either, so he gave the kids money as gifts for special occasions ‹ "$100 for graduations and $50 for birthdays," Randi Fletcher said. "He was really really funny. He was witty." she added. "For instance, when someone died and we were really sad, he would pop up with something and make us all laugh."
She said the Fletchers could use Andrew right about now.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 23, 2001.
Andrew La Corte, 61, generous of himself
Andrew La Corte was the kind of guy who kept nightly bedside vigils for ailing relatives.
"When uncles were ill, he'd visit them every single evening at the hospital. He would not give up," recalled his sister, Joanne Fletcher of Jersey City. "As tired as he was coming home from work, he'd still go to see them."
Mr. La Corte, 61, was a trader with Carr Futures. He worked on the 92nd floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center.
When a hijacked jetliner struck the tower, he had just returned from visiting a friend at a nearby building to wish him a happy birthday, said Fletcher.
"We knew that he went to Five World Trade Center and left that man's office at 8:30 to go back to his office," said Fletcher. "We don't know what happened from 8:30 a.m. to quarter of nine."
It's difficult to piece together his last moments, said Fletcher, because many of his co-workers are dead, too.
La Corte, a lifelong Jersey City resident, had been working at the World Trade Center for 14 years and survived the bombings of 1993. He never thought of leaving, said Fletcher, because he loved the building and he loved New York.
An active man who looked young for his age, La Corte rode a bicycle every day and loved the beach and sun, said Fletcher. But most of all, he loved his nieces and nephews.
"My children were like his children, he just loved my kids," said Fletcher. "That's what's so hard. My kids just don't want to talk about it. They can't."
The last time Fletcher spoke to her older brother was the night before the attack. He called to ask when he could visit her 20-year-old son, who was on leave from his Air Force post in Germany.
Fletcher last saw her brother on Labor Day weekend, at a niece's birthday party.
"We were out in the pool, laughing, our old selves. It was a perfect day," said Fletcher. "I'm glad we had it."
Mr. La Corte is survived by his twin brother, Peter of Ocean Township, and another sister, Marie Hunchak of Bethpage, N.Y. A sister, Michelle Magnifico, and his parents, Josephine and Sylvio La Corte, preceeded Mr. La Corte's death.
Mr. La Corte will have a memorial niche in Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum in North Arlington.
Profile by Carrie Stetler published in THE STAR-LEDGER.