James Kenneth Samuel Jr.

James Kenneth  Samuel Jr.
World Trade Center

On September 9th, James K. Samuel, Jr. spent the day with his girlfriend, Jackie, and his beloved niece, Mikayla, visiting the Statue of Liberty and viewing the Twin Towers in the Manhattan skyline, two sights Mikayla loved. Later that night 2 1/2 year old Mikayla told her mother she was packing her suitcases and going to live with Uncle Jimmy in Hoboken, even though he had mistakenly bought her a "dip burger" (cheeseburger with ketchup) instead of her usual plain cheeseburger.

The evening of September 10th Jim and Jackie attended a Michael Jackson concert until the early hours of the morning. Although asked by Jackie to stay home that next morning because of the late night out, Jim was dedicated to his job and didn't like to miss unless necessary. Mikayla's plans were cut short by Jim's decision to work the morning of September 11th. Jim was working for Carr Futures on the 92nd floor of Tower #1 when it came under a terrorist attack. He, along with sixty-eight other coworkers, has not been heard from since that day. Jim's parents, Linda and James Samuel, describe him as a good kid who enjoys life, especially traveling and golf. He loves the finer things in life - fine restaurants, designer clothes, sports cars, and being on the golf course with friends. Friends and coworkers describe him as an initially shy person who opened up once you got to know him. He got along with everyone because of his gentle nature and his kindness and compassion for others. He truly cared about other people, was genuinely concerned about the welfare of his friends and coworkers, and felt strongly about the importance of family life. He often volunteered to work holidays so others could instead stay home with their families. He agonized over the welfare of a coworker with a family that had recently been laid off, wishing that instead it had been him. Jim called him often to ask how things were going and to offer any needed assistance. Jim's supervisor, Mike Frawley, described him as a person who knew what he wanted and worked hard to get it, progressing quickly through the ranks from the floor to the desk. Jim Samuel, along with his friend and coworker George McLauglin, both fun-loving individuals, often kept coworkers entertained with the bets that they make each other on a regular basis. Their most famous bet, "THE PARTY", ended up costing both of them $$$$$ when many more people than expected attended the carefully planned party. George, being the loser of this bet, needed to contribute an additional large sum of money. Although all that attended agreed that it was a great party, Jim and George quickly decided not to make any more "party" bets for a long time to come.

Born in New Brunswick, NJ, Mr. Samuel was raised in South River and Jamesburg, graduating from Monroe High School in 1989. He received a B.S. in Business Administration - Finance from West Virginia University in December 1993. He started his successful financial career at the World Trade Center in 1995, working for 3 other companies before negotiating his position at Carr Futures in August 1997. Currently living in Hoboken, NJ, Jim was due to celebrate his 30th birthday just weeks after the World Trade Center tragedy. In addition to his parents, James Samuel is survived by a sister, Jennifer Agresto, her husband, Michael, and a niece and nephew, Mikayla and Nicholas, all of Sayreville. Jim is also survived by his grandmother, Marian Fritz, of Whiting, his girlfriend and companion, Jackie Curcio, of North Bergen, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Tribute submitted by Barbara Menning.

James Samuel Jr., 29, generous to all

James K. Samuel Jr. wasn't one to skimp on much of anything.

He appreciated the finer things in life, to be sure, things like his silver Porsche or nights out and trips with his girlfriend, Jackie Curcio. He and a buddy at Carr Futures in Manhattan would have their famous bets, too, like the one that ended with a gala party at Willie McBride's tavern in Hoboken last January.

But Mr. Samuel, who was known as Jim, also gave a lot in different ways. A commodities trader, he volunteered to work holidays so co-workers with families wouldn't have to. He kept in close touch with another colleague who had been laid off, telling others he wished he could trade places with his friend, who had children to support.

On Sept. 9, Mr. Samuel took his 3-year-old niece, Mikayla, to one of her all-time favorite places: the Statue of Liberty. She told her mother afterward that she wished she could move in with "Uncle Jimmy."

Two days later, Mr. Samuel was working on the 92nd floor of World Trade Center's North Tower when it was struck by a hijacked airplane. He was 29.

Mr. Samuel's father recalled a son who was generous with both his friends and his talents. As far back as he could remember from the young man's upbringing in South River and Jamesburg, James Samuel Sr. described his namesake as a "real worker."

"Since he was 14," said the elder Samuel, who lives in Jamesburg. "He always had paper routes, then that first job at the cleaners, and then Forsgate Country Club . . . He always had something going."

At Forsgate, Mr. Samuel took up golf, a game he continued to love throughout his life. "And he held his own out there," said his father.

Mr. Samuel was a 1989 graduate of Monroe High School, before attending West Virginia University, where he graduated in 1993 with a degree in finance. He joined Carr Futures in 1997.

In addition to his father, Mr. Samuel is survived by his mother, Linda; sister Jennifer Agresto of Sayreville; grandmother Marian Fritz of Whiting, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe. Those wishing to make donations are requested to give to the James K. Samuel Jr. Scholarship Fund at the West Virginia University Foundation, P.O. Box 1650, Morgantown, W. V. 26507.
Profile by John Mooney published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

Worked and Played Hard

James K. Samuel Jr. worked from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. as a commodities trader at Carr Futures, and his dedication was more than matched by the fun he had with his buddies. He and his friends tortured each other with jokes, outlandish bets and games, like putting their credit cards in a hat after dinner and letting the waitress pick the card that would be charged for the whole check.

"Sure he liked the job, but the guys he worked with, he really loved," said his girlfriend, Jackie Curcio. One bet ended in a blowout party at a tavern in Hoboken, N.J.

But Mr. Samuel, 29, who went by Jim, was at Carr for the work. If the 6 a.m. shift seemed brutal, it was an improvement over his previous 2 a.m. shift. He offered to work holidays, too, so co-workers could spend those days with their families.

He did not spare himself the outside pleasures that the job helped him afford, either, playing golf and buying a silver Porsche, said his mother, Linda. By the time the Porsche got water in its system — it was in the shop on Sept. 11 — sports cars were out of his system, she said. Golfing was a longer-term love affair, and although he never could drag Ms. Curcio out to the fairway, they practiced shots on the putting green in his apartment in Hoboken.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on March 8, 2003.

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