Fixing Shoes, and Wagon
One of the best Valerie Silver Ellis stories takes place in the early '80's when she was starting out at Cantor Fitzgerald. A senior trader asked her to take his shoes to be repaired, so Ms. Ellis had taps put on the toes and the heels extended to four inches. When the senior trader ordered the upstart young trader to redo the job, Ms. Ellis had the shoes bronzed.
"They ended up being friends," said Brian Hull, a friend and former client of Ms. Ellis. "She refused to be insulted, she refused to be intimidated. She just worked as hard as she could and she won."
Ms. Ellis, a 46-year-old equities trader, worked at Cantor Fitzergerald for 20 years, 18 of those at the World Trade Center.
"Someone said at her memorial that Val collected people," her husband, Sam Ellis, said. "She also loved to collect art. We had a place in the Hamptons and she liked the artists in the area. She loved the beach; she loved her dog Spudley. She also loved the theater and we'd often entertain clients by taking them to theater and dinner."
Mr. Hull said, "You never had to see her to know that she was in a room. You just knew her laugh. She always found a reason to laugh."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 16, 2001.