John Brett Cahill

John Brett Cahill
United Flight 175

Good Humor in 3 Languages



They called him Mad Dog.

When John B. Cahill was an undergraduate at Boston College, he was a real good-time guy, and his friends nicknamed him Mad Dog. But he calmed down and matured into a gregarious family man with a quirky sense of humor.

Mr. Cahill, 56, lived with his wife, Sharon, and two sons, Brett, 17, and Sean, 15, in Wellesley, Mass., and worked as a vice president of the systems group at Xerox. But he planned to retire at the end of the year to start his own consulting business. The name of it was MDI. His family knew what the initials stood for: Mad Dog Industries.

On Sept. 11, he was on Flight 175 to Los Angeles, where he was going to visit a friend and do some work on the new business. He had a passion for travel; the family had lived in England and Brazil. He was fond of Latin America, and planned to make it a focus of MDI. "He loved the people," Mrs. Cahill said. "They work to live instead of living to work."

Mr. Cahill spoke Spanish and Portuguese, and his interest in languages was picked up by his children. Brett is taking three languages — French, Spanish and German. "He got that from John," Mrs. Cahill said, "who realized the world was smaller than it seems."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 2, 2001.


John Brett Cahill, Xerox manager; 57

By Globe Staff, 9/15/2001

John Brett Cahill of Wellesley, a former senior executive manager with Xerox, died Tuesday in the crash of United Airlines Flight 175 at the World Trade Center in New York. He was 57.

Born in Brookline, he attended St. Mary's grammar school in Brookline and graduated from Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury in 1962.

During high school, Mr. Cahill's work as a caddie at Marshfield Country Club earned him a Francis Ouimet Scholarship, presented to caddies or helpers of professional golfers.

He graduated from Boston College in 1966, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting. He earned an MBA at Suffolk University.

Mr. Cahill joined Xerox in 1967. He began in the sales training department and became a senior executive manager in Boston.

Later in his career, while he was completing international assignments, his family resided in Rio de Janeiro and Henley, England.

Mr. Cahill had a gift for languages, learning Spanish and Portuguese while working overseas. He returned from England in 1999.

He was a member of the Boston College Alumni Association and was an annual donor to the Flynn Foundation for athletes at Boston College.

He was a member of the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Committee in Wellesley and a member of the Wellesley High School Gridiron Club.

He was a recent member of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Wellesley.

He leaves his wife of 19 years, Sharon (O' Carroll), and two sons, Brett and Sean, all of Wellesley; his mother, Hannah (Sullivan) of Brookline; and three sisters, Alice Beaton of Braintree, Eileen Keenan of Arlington, and Patricia Hoban of Needham.

A memorial service will be held Monday at 10 a.m. in St. Paul's Catholic Church in Wellesley.

Editorial Obituary published in THE BOSTON GLOBE on 9/15/2001.





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