Nicholas Charles Alexander "Nick" Rowe

Nicholas Charles Alexander Nick Rowe
World Trade Center

Charlie and an Angel

Friends said it seemed as if Nicholas Charles Alexander Rowe came out of every cafe, every bar, every experience with new friends — and he kept in touch with all of them.

"He used to go out on a Friday or Saturday night and when he got home he would phone South Africa, and his friends here would be asleep after an equally riotous night," recalled his mother, Judy Rowe, who lives in Johannesburg. In South Africa, it would already be early morning, she said.

It was at a Halloween party three years ago that Mr. Rowe met Michelle P. Baker, his girlfriend. She was dressed as one of Charlie's Angels; he arrived from work, wearing a suit. "We tagged him as Charlie at that point," she said, adding, "I was in love instantly."

Mr. Rowe's parents, who met Ms. Baker last Christmas, observed that the feeling was mutual. "We hoped that the next family get-together would be for the wedding," Mrs. Rowe said.

On Sept. 11 Mr. Rowe, who worked for a company called Umevoice that designs speech recognition software, was participating in a conference at Windows on the World. He was 28.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 17, 2001.

A native of South Africa, Nick Rowe told friends he had come to the U.S. in part because it was safer than his homeland. He was comfortable and confident and competent in virtually any business and social situation, said Adiathia Padala, chief executive officer of Rowe's employer, UmeVoice Inc., a voice recognition system for Wall Street traders. "He dealt with the very high-end Wall Street customers," Padala said. "He would walk into the room and get people to smile. It didn't matter what kind of people they were." Rowe, 29, of Hoboken, N.J., had worked at UmeVoice for nearly four years and had been in the U.S. for several years before that. He liked to play rugby and snow ski. Padala had pegged him to open the company's London office next year, which thrilled Rowe. "I'm going to miss a lot of things about him," Padala said, "but mostly it's his confident smile, his voice at the other end of the line." Rowe was on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower setting up a display at a trade show. Padala had lost his keys before they arrived and went looking for them instead of accompanying Rowe to set up the exhibit. "Oh, don't worry about it," Padala recalled Rowe saying, "I'll take care of it."

Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

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