A Remarkable Smile
Mark Francis Broderick had a remarkable smile. It made everyone feel at ease with him, said Chris Dowd, his friend since they were fraternity brothers at St. John's University on Staten Island, N.Y.
He had a good memory, too. He never forgot to call Mr. Dowd on his birthday. And Mr. Broderick vividly recalled the first time he saw the woman he would marry, in 1991. "He remembered exactly what I was wearing that day," said Carolina Broderick. (It was a black skirt and pink blouse.)
Organized and thorough ‹ traits one wants in an accountant ‹ Mr. Broderick was also known for taking his time ‹ so much so that he earned an ironic nickname, "Sparky," many years ago. The easy-going Mr. Broderick liked it and it stuck.
He joined Cantor Fitzgerald in April and when his 40th birthday came around on Sept. 2, he told his wife he wanted a family vacation, not a party. They took their sons, Matthew 7, Andrew 3, and James, 16 months, to Hershey, Pa.
Eulogizing his friend at a service recently, Mr. Dowd asked, "How many of us can remember him standing, smiling, with one or more of his kids hanging from his neck?"
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 24, 2001.
Mark Broderick, 40, doted on his sons
Mark Broderick made a habit of spending his weekends with his family because work left him little time during the week to be with his three sons.
"His favorite routine at night was getting home to put the kids to bed," his wife Carolina Broderick said of their three boys, Matthew, 7, Andrew, 2, and 14-month-old James.
Mr. Broderick, who turned 40 on Sept. 2, decided the best way to celebrate was with a family trip to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, his wife said.
He also found other ways to make time for his family. He coached Matthew's basketball team at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Old Bridge, as well Matthew's Little League baseball team.
Mr. Broderick, who followed in his father's footsteps and became a certified public accountant, was also the Little League treasurer, said his brother Kevin Broderick.
"He'd spend lots of hours doing the books. He was very unselfish," Kevin Broderick said.
Growing up in Bayonne, the brothers swam on the YMCA team coached by their father, Frank. Summers for the brothers and their sister, Lois, were spent at the family vacation home in the Highland Lakes section of Vernon Township.
While attending Marist High School in Bayonne, Mr. Broderick considered a career with the State Police and spent a week as a cadet with the troopers. "That was something he was proud of," said Kevin Broderick.
Mark Broderick, who graduated from St. John's University, gained a reputation among family and friends for setting his own pace.
His friends nicknamed him "Sparky" because "he took his time getting places . . . whenever he got there he would say that he was right on time," said his wife, who only recently learned the origin of the name.
Family members also called Mr. Broderick "Disco Danny" for his long affinity to that music, said Kevin Broderick of South Plainfield.
Carolina Broderick met her husband while they were both employed at financial firms in Lower Manhattan. They both were working in the financial district in 1993 when terrorists bombed the World Trade Center.
In April, Mr. Broderick took a job in the financing report department at Cantor Fitzgerald and began working in the Twin Towers. Moments after the first plane hit the North Tower, Carolina Broderick called her husband. "I have to get out," she recalled him saying.
In addition to his wife, children and siblings, Mr. Broderick is survived by his father Frank of East Brunswick; and sister Lois Margeson of Boston.
A memorial service for Mr. Broderick will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 30 at St. Ambrose Church on Throckmorton Lane.
Profile by Tom Haydon published in THE STAR-LEDGER.