Drawn to the Surf
Stephen Hoffman met his wife, Gabrielle, during his freshman year in college when he checked out the girls living below his floor in a coeducational dorm. They dated for more than eight years, and a daughter, Madeline, was born five years after their wedding.
"We loved it, loved it, loved that life," Gabrielle Hoffman said. "We had a great marriage, and we were very much in love."
An avid surfer, Mr. Hoffman, 36, would sometimes get up at 5 a.m. to surf near their house in Long Beach, on Long Island. For that, he was willing to commute an hour each way to and from Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was a trader.
And he doted on Madeline, 5, whom he taught to surf last summer. "She's a little peanut, but she got onto the surfboard six times in one day," Mrs. Hoffman said.
Madeline misses Daddy. She now puts cologne on his old T-shirts and sleeps in them every night.
"It's very hard for her," her mother said. "He tucked her in, kissed her goodnight the previous night. The next day, he got up, went to work and she never sees him again. We are heartbroken."
Mr. Hoffman had an identical twin, Gregory. "Now it's a thrill to see Gregory," Mrs. Hoffman said. "It makes me feel I were seeing Stephen again."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 26, 2001.