Daniel F. McGinley

Daniel F. McGinley
World Trade Center

Singing for Parties

Every March 17, Daniel F. McGinley took the day off from work, got his children out of school and took them and his wife to New York City for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. A devoted Roman Catholic and proud Irishman, Mr. McGinley was known for singing at every party he attended or gave, with "Danny Boy" his most requested number.

"He was always working his beads," said his wife, Peggy. She told the authorities that they would probably find a rosary on him at the World Trade Center, where he worked as a senior vice president at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

Mr. McGinley met his wife at Seton Hall University, where he graduated with a degree in theology. They married 12 years ago, had five children, and lived in Ridgewood, N.J. Mr. McGinley, 40, coached his children's soccer, baseball and ice hockey teams, and he himself was a passionate hockey player, said his sister-in-law, Mary Lou Margel.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 4, 2001.

Daniel McGinley, 40, proud of heritage

His five children kept 40-year-old Daniel McGinley very busy and happy.

"The sun rose and set on his kids," said Bob Basso, his next door neighbor in Ridgewood for the past six years. "With five kids -- whether it be soccer, hockey, baseball -- he was there, coaching or playing or cheering."

A devout Catholic, Mr. McGinley almost went into the priesthood before he met his wife, Peggy, while studying as an undergraduate at Seton Hall University in South Orange. Wed for a dozen years, they are the parents of Terence, 11, Maddie, 9, Peter, 8, Anne, 4, and Patrick, 18 months.

The eldest of five siblings himself, Mr. McGinley remained fascinated with three subjects his whole life: Catholicism, Irish history and hockey.

"He was very proud of his Irish heritage, very interested in religion," said his wife's sister, Mary Lou Margel. "He was one of a kind with that. If you had a question about something religious or Irish, he knew the history, he knew all the details. From all his research, he knew more about our grandfather, who died before we were born, than (we) did."

Mr. McKinley loved to sing Irish music at parties -- "Danny Boy" was his favorite -- and his wife once bought him a karaoke machine for Christmas.

A great skater with a tremendous wrist shot, he still played hockey at least twice a week, often with his next-door neighbor. On the afternoon of Sept. 10, Mr. Basso was stewing over a particularly bad day when his friend and teammate called him up to remind him about practice.

"Dan could tell that I was upset, and he said, 'Well, how about after hockey, I meet you at a diner, and why don't we just talk?'" recalled Mr. Basso. "He wasn't just like that with me. He was always there for everybody. He was one of the most all- around guys I ever met in my life."

Mr. Basso declined the invitation, not wanting to keep Mr. McKinley away from his wife and children for too long. It was the last time the two would talk.

The next morning, McKinley went to his office on the 89th floor of Two World Trade Center, where he worked as a senior vice president for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, his place of employment for nearly a decade.

After the first plane hit the North Tower, he phoned his wife to tell her that he was okay and that he had heard an announcement telling him to remain at his desk, his sister-in-law said. No one has heard from him since.

A graduate of Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest, he is also survived by his parents, Dan and Connie McGinley of Haworth; his brothers Marty and Dennis of Haworth, Tom of Toms River and Mike of Wall, plus 15 nieces and nephews and an extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles and in-laws.

A memorial service is planned for Monday, Oct. 8, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Ridgewood. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be forwarded to the Daniel F. McGinley Family Trust, c/o Margel & Associates, 28 Farview Terrace, Paramus, N.J. 07652.

Profile by Alan Sepinwall published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

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