Suzanne Youmans

Suzanne Youmans
World Trade Center

Capturing the Scene



From the windows of her office on the 93rd floor of 2 World Trade Center, Suzanne M. Youmans would photograph the city and watch ships making their way up the river.

"She liked to work in tall buildings," said her brother Bill, adding that one of her first jobs was in Brooklyn's tallest building. "It was a big deal to her."

She was 60 years old and a technical assistant in the global-services division at Aon Insurance who helped the brokers write up certificates and take care of other client needs. At the end of the day she would take her camera into the conference room and capture the sunset, said one colleague, Juanita Daley.

She had the gift of humor and often used it to poke fun at herself. When some of her friends held a dinner in her memory not long ago, they were pretty sure what her opinion would have been. "She'd say, `I always wanted fifteen minutes of fame, but this is ridiculous,' " said a colleague, Doris Durando.

At home in Brooklyn, she collected Beanie Babies, antiques and animal figurines, cared for three beloved cats and watched old movies on television. "She loved `Doctor Zhivago,' " said her sister, Mary Kessler.

She also taught herself to paint with oils, and gave some of her paintings to her brother. They show mountains, trees and lakes; there is not one tall building.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on March 10, 2002.




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