Ultimate Family Man
For 18 years, William Gardner called his wife, Liz, every morning when he got to work. Last Mother's Day, he bought her a fig tree, in celebration of their Italian roots. It produced one little fig last summer. She ate it a week or so after Sept. 11. It was delicious.
She discovered last fall that Mr. Gardner, 45, a systems analyst at eSpeed, part of Cantor Fitzgerald, almost never appeared in a photograph alone. He loved to surround himself, mostly with the family, their two children, Gregory, 16, and Andrew, 12.
"That's the way he liked it: me and the boys and Bill, that was it," she said. "He just made me feel like I was it. He made me feel like Cindy Crawford, and believe me I'm not. I always said this is too good to be true, this can't last. Because he was just that devoted to the three of us. He was extremely devoted to me. I had it good, I really did. I think that's why I go on, because we had it so good. I want my kids to have that, too."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 17, 2002.