The Ski Club Ambassador
Larry Sumaya's friends and family had a lot of names for him. Like Phil, short for Filipino, his ethnicity. Or Horatio, because Hilario was the first name on his birth certificate. Or Gooch and Clem, for reasons no one can quite recall.
Then there was, um, Christie. He got that one after showing up on the slopes wearing a black-and-pink skiing outfit. Unfortunately for Mr. Sumaya, the color scheme was a tad too unisex. "There was a nice-looking girl wearing the same jacket," said Bob Sitar, a friend and fellow member of Mr. Sumaya's ski club. "It was pretty funny, and we teased him about it."
But the good-natured Mr. Sumaya, 42, took the kidding in stride, always ready to tackle the steep fast curves of the mountain, the rolling greens of the golf course, the waves of the Jersey Shore, the social currents of big-city bachelor life. "He was always smiling, very outgoing," said his sister Charito LeBlanc.
Mrs. LeBlanc and her husband, Joseph, miss him the most on Sundays, because that was the day Mr. Sumaya would spend time at their home near his in Staten Island, watching sports, smoking a cigar in the backyard, firing up the barbecue.
Mr. Sumaya, a technology manager at Marsh & McLennan, liked to talk politics and knew how to press home a point. "He was tough to argue with," said another friend, Tom Todaro. But he was also slow to anger, and played the ambassador in his ski club, putting newcomers at ease.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 19, 2001.