Kenneth Joseph Tarantino

Kenneth Joseph Tarantino
World Trade Center

The Christmas Connection

Kenneth J. Tarantino was known around Bayonne High School in New Jersey as "the cute sub." He worked there as a substitute teacher while going to college, and among his students in English class was the woman who would later become his wife.

"He was just so charming," said Jennifer Tarantino, 32. "All he had to do was smile."

Mr. Tarantino, 39, eventually got his bachelor's degree in marketing; two years ago, he went to work as a broker for Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 105th floor of 1 World Trade Center. He was very successful, Mrs. Tarantino said, but was always humble and sought only simple pleasures ‹ golf, the Yankees, a beach house every summer on the Jersey shore.

Mr. Tarantino also had a warm, friendly way about him that made him a social magnet. Friends described him as the one everybody wanted to hang out with. At a wedding, he caught the garter and wore it on his head the rest of the evening, and by the end of the night even the band wanted to take him on the road with them.

The Tarantinos had moved to a bigger house in Bayonne, N.J., last February with their 3-year-old son, Kenneth, and were expecting a second child, who is due December 24. Mrs. Tarantino said she hopes the baby comes one day late.

Her husband was a Christmas baby, she said, and "I'd love to have him on Christmas Day."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 11, 2001.

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