What His Sister Knows
To his family, what defined Marcus R. Neblett wasn't his job at Aon, the insurance company, on the 98th floor of the south tower, or the suit and tie he enjoyed wearing to work — modeling himself after his father, Colin, a field engineer for I.B.M. in the Wall Street area. It wasn't his love of basketball and the Boston Celtics, or his workouts at Gold's Gym, or the condominium he had bought a year earlier in Roslyn Heights, N.Y.
"Marcus's strength lies in the fact that he cares deeply about people," said his older sister, Kay Ann. "He is really a great guy, and if you notice, I'm still using the present tense." Why was that? It had something to do, she said, with the fact that Aug. 29 would have been his 32nd birthday, and she couldn't send him a card.
Her brother had a sixth sense, she said, about when those close to him could use a shoulder to lean on. "You did not have to ask him for help. He was always there," Ms. Neblett said. "You could be having a bad day and sure enough, he'd pick up the phone and call. Now how did he know that?"
Ten years earlier, when she left the family's Queens home for Atlanta, her brother packed her furniture and drove her car down. "How many brothers are going to do something like that for you?" she said.
Mr. Neblett joined Aon about six weeks before the attack. "He is a gentleman," his sister said. "Not because he's my brother, but because it's the truth."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 8, 2002.