Michael Egan

Michael Egan
World Trade Center

Siblings and Close Friends


Peter Pan was Michael. Wendy was Christine.

He always sang "I Won't Grow Up" from the Broadway musical, and he meant it. Despite his image of mature respectability — after all, Michael Egan was a 51- year-old insurance company executive — he sprayed whipped cream on the bed sheets and taped down the telephone of colleagues, then giggled as they struggled to pick up the receiver.

His older sister Christine Egan, 55, was the mature one, a nurse who always looked out for him and everyone else, from the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic to the Indians of Canada's central plains.

They came from Hull, England, and settled in Canada. But they never surrendered their Yorkshire accents nor their Britishness. Michael collected maps of Hull and made a study of British beers. "He always reminded me of being English," said Mr. Egan's younger sister, Denise.

Christine never married but she traveled extensively and was devoted to her patients. She was also determined to continue her education. In 1999, at 53, she earned a Ph.D. in community health service from the University of Manitoba.

Michael and Christine were inseparable, said Mr. Egan's wife, Anna. "At times I was jealous, that's how close they were," she said.

In September. Christine flew to New Jersey from Winnipeg to care for her brother's handicapped son Matthew, 16, while the Egans celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in Bermuda. She arrived a few days early, and on Sept. 11 accompanied him to his office at Aon Insurance on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center for a cup of coffee and a peek out the windows.

Mrs. Egan said her husband always called her, no matter where he was. He called that morning, too.

"You made it," she said.

"No, we're stuck," said Mr. Egan.

Then, still on the phone, she watched his building collapse on television. "He had to call," she said. "But all we could say is, 'I love you, darling.'"

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




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