Robert J. Gerlich

Robert J. Gerlich
World Trade Center

Family and Baseball

Last month, Robert J. Gerlich rounded up his sons, Matt and Daniel, for an afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Mets lost again, but he didn't complain. He never complained. "He didn't care," Matt said. "He always had a good time."

A lifelong baseball fan, Mr. Gerlich, 56, worked long hours as an accountant for Guy Carpenter & Company. But his weekends were devoted to his family in Monroe, Conn., and to baseball. Though his wife of 23 years, Rochelle, never shared his passion for the sport, he found willing seatmates in his sons. They would talk and joke in between cheers for the Mets or the Bridgeport Bluefish (he was a season ticket holder). And no matter who won or lost, they would have a good time together.

"He's one of those guys you have to know," Matt said. "It's hard to describe him. If you knew him, you knew he was a cool guy."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 22, 2001.

Robert Gerlich, 56, an accountant and consultant with Reinsurance Solutions Inc., was working for a client on the 94th floor of the World Trade Center's north tower.

Hours after the tragedy, his wife, Rochelle, knew in her heart he hadn't survived. Gerlich was a meticulous, loyal man. His wife of 23 years knew that if he were alive, he would have found a way to reach her.

"I'm pretty sure he was hit immediately," his wife said. "To my knowledge, nobody from that floor was ever heard from."

The Gerlich family--Rochelle and sons Daniel, 22, and Matthew, 19, held a memorial service Saturday near his home in Monroe, Conn.

"He had a wonderful sense of humor and he had a wonderful outlook on life. He really saw humor in everything," his wife said of Gerlich, who worked in Chicago for a consulting firm about six years ago. "We weren't just husband and wife. We were best friends."

Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

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