Stephen J. Cangialosi

Stephen J. Cangialosi
World Trade Center

The Great Shirt

Stephen J. Cangialosi will be remembered for "The Shirt." Yes, he was a devoted father and husband, loyal friend, successful bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald and a die-heart Yankees fan. But it was "The Shirt."

For years, he made fun of his Georgetown University classmate, Andy Stearns, for wearing a stained, plaid, late-1970's shirt with wide lapels throughout college. To get him back, Mr. Stearns wrapped it, threw a bow on the box and gave it to him as a gift. Not to be outdone, Mr. Cangialosi wrapped it in a big box with a bow and gave it back. That went on for about 17 years. It would turn up on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries.

"It's so ugly," Mr. Stearns said of the shirt, laughing.

Mr. Cangialosi, 40, of Middletown, N.J., will also be remembered for a horror movie, "Ghost Story," that another Georgetown classmate produced. Mr. Cangialosi, an athletic 6-foot-1, was the star. Simply put, it was 28 minutes of horrible. But, oh, how they loved to watch it and laugh together, Mr. Stearns said.

While memorializing his friend, Mr. Stearns suddenly remembered that Mr. Cangialosi had given him "The Shirt" for his 40th birthday. He decided that it would be fitting to give it as a gift to Mr. Cangialosi's wife, Karen.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 19, 2001.

Stephen Cangialosi, 40, devoted to family

Karen and Stephen Cangialosi were supposed to go to San Diego last Wednesday to celebrate Stephen's 40th birthday. Instead, his wife, relatives and friends found themselves reeling with the rest of the nation from the attack at the World Trade Center.

Mr. Cangialosi left for work on Sept. 11 in his usual style: waking up his wife to kiss her goodbye and tell her he loved her.

Karen Cangialosi believes that her husband, a municipal bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald, tried to call her at 9 a.m.

"The phone rang, but when I got to the phone, no one was there," she said. Someone else called, telling her to turn on the television. Then she tried to call her husband at his office and on his cell phone, but got no answer.

She and their two sons, Jeffrey, 10, and Peter, 7, have been inundated with emotional support and help from hundreds of friends and relatives since then. "It was like a command center at my house every day," Mrs. Cangialosi said, expressing her gratitude.

Mr. Cangialosi grew up in Rumson and attended Holy Cross Elementary School and Christian Brothers Academy. He is a graduate of Georgetown University. Before being hired at Cantor Fitzgerald a year ago, he worked for Municipal Partners in Manhattan for about 10 years. He recently became a certified financial planner.

"He was a Wall Street guy, but he made sure family came first," said his older brother, Thomas. "He participated with them (his sons) on an equal level. He'd jump off a diving board and do flips. He just always spent countless hours with his family."

For the last several years, Mr. Cangialosi coached his sons' baseball teams and attended their swimming, tennis and school events. He was also on the board of directors of Lincroft Little League.

"He was just always smiling, happy, upbeat, so positive about life," his wife said. "I feel lucky to have loved him for the past 20 years. He gave me two wonderful children. He loved being a dad. That was his favorite job in the world."

Mr. Cangialosi also is survived by his parents, Dr. Thomas J. and Helen of Rumson; two sisters, Elizabeth Dickey of Old Greenwich, Conn., and Kathleen Rue of Tinton Falls; and his paternal grandmother, Angela Cangialosi.

Profile by Alicia Grey published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

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