Albert Conde

Albert Conde
World Trade Center

She 'Thought He Was Safe'

At a quarter to 8 on Sept. 11, Albert Conde was on the phone with his wife as he was every morning, reporting the details of his commute from Marlboro, N.J., and promising to check in later, once he settled into his day. When Diane Conde turned on the television at work and learned what had happened to World Trade Center, she gasped in disbelief, not knowing that her husband, who worked at 70 Pine Street, was in 2 World Trade Center that day visiting an insurance broker.

"I thought he was safe," Mrs. Conde said. "I assumed that I was lucky."

At 9 p.m. that day, a friend gave her the news that Mr. Conde, 62, an avid golfer and a Roman Catholic, was among the missing. In the days since he disappeared she has tried to cling to the faith she shared for 32 years with her husband and to his own words. "He used to tell me: 'If I die today, I ready. I'm at peace.' "

But peace for Mrs. Conde has not come easily, interrupted by thoughts of the milestones that were yet to come for the Conde family - son Brian's completion of graduate school, daughter Stephanie's wedding next year. "I just had no idea he was in that building," Mrs. Conde said. "We were just starting to look forward to retirement. And now he's gone."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 6, 2001.

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