Leah E. Oliver

World Trade Center

Leah Oliver, 24, new job, new boyfriend

She had spent just two months in her new job at Marsh & McLennan in the World Trade Center, but it was clear Leah E. Oliver already was loving it. The technical sales consultant position in the firm's risk management software division was just the right mix of working with technology and working with people.

"She was really excited about it, going to work early every day," said her father, Walter Oliver of Glen Ridge.

Ms. Oliver was at her desk on the 96th floor of the North Tower early, as usual, on Sept. 11. She died when a hijacked airliner struck the World Trade Center.

It was the day before her 25th birthday.

Ms. Oliver grew up in Massachusetts, serving in the student government and playing field hockey, softball and basketball at Dartmouth High School. She earned good enough grades to get accepted at Columbia University in New York City, where she graduated in 1998 with an engineering degree.

When she was not working, she loved to jog, especially across the Brooklyn Bridge near her home in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Ms. Oliver also loved to spend time with her family. She would often accompany her father on Sunday morning rides on the back of his motorcycle. The pair would be linked through an intercom system and talk as they rode through the hills and highways of northern New Jersey.

"She was a terrific passenger," her father said.

The last time Amy Roberts of Neptune Beach, Fla., saw her niece was at Christmas. Ms. Oliver -- dressed in her New York wardrobe, with a new boyfriend and her new career -- seemed to be glowing, Roberts said.

"She seemed absolutely happy," Roberts said.

In addition to her father and aunt, Ms. Oliver is survived by her mother, Elizabeth Rego of North Dartmouth, Mass.; stepmother, Lynne Oliver of Glen Ridge; brothers Teddy and Danny, also of Glen Ridge, and Dale of North Dartmouth; sister, Janna Skinner of North Dartmouth, and grandparents Walter and Gilda Oliver, also of North Dartmouth.

A service commemorating Ms. Oliver's life will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 20 at the Glen Ridge Congregational Church, 195 Ridgewood Ave., Glen Ridge.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leah E. Oliver Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Dartmouth High School, 366 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth, Mass. 02747.

Profile by Kelly Heyboer published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

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