A Community Fixture
When A. Todd Rancke knocked you down, you did not want to get back up, because you were too busy laughing. Mr. Rancke, a managing director at Sandler O'Neill, had a teasing sense of humor that played on people's flaws but did not generate any ill will, said his sister, Cindy Bienemann. "He could crack on you in a way without making you feel bad," she said.
In fact, it seemed that he did just the opposite. Mr. Rancke, who would have been 43 today, was such a fixture in the Summit, N.J., community where he lived that people teased him about being mayor someday, said his wife, Deborah. He was so well loved by his clients that they would sometimes join him on family vacations with his wife and children, Christina, 11; Brittany, 9; and Todd Jr., 7.
For all his jocularity, Mr. Rancke was a gentleman at heart, a caring man whose primary concern was his family's happiness. Mrs. Rancke sees that same quality in her children, especially her son. Now little Todd puts his arms around her when she's sad, Mrs. Rancke said, "just like big Todd used to do."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 23, 2001.