Anything for Family
David Robert Meyer played with Barbies, even at 57. He did not much like it, but he did it because that is what dedicated and loving grandfathers do with their 2-year-old granddaughters: play the games that they play, usually on demand. So when his granddaughter, Samantha Vulpone, demanded, it was time to play.
"The dolls would come home from work and say, `Hi, honey, how are you doing?' " said Dawn Meyer, 32, one of Mr. Meyer's three daughters. "He loved Samantha. The signer on his e-mail was `Samantha Rules,' and she did rule his world. He loved his kids, too. He had a big extended family that he loved to spend time with. He was awesome."
Mr. Meyer, of Glen Rock, N.J., worked on the 105th floor of 1 World Trade Center as a stock trader at Cantor Fitzgerald.
He and his wife, Margie, would have celebrated the 32nd anniversary of their marriage on Nov. 23. In addition to Dawn, their daughters are Heather Vulpone, 29, and Heidi Meyer, 25.
Shortly before Sept. 11, Heather Vulpone had another daughter, Morgan, who is now 7 1/2 months old. Her father would have played dolls with her, too, Dawn Meyer said.
"You know, I've taken his place for Samantha," Ms. Meyer said. "She's always asking me to carry her downstairs like Poppa did. I'm going to keep doing it for as long as I can if it reminds her of my dad."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on April 21, 2002.
David Meyer, 57, doted on daughters
David R. Meyer had piercing blue eyes and was a family man. His eyes were what first hooked his wife, Margie. That, and his renditions of Johnny Mathis songs.
"We just had a good time," she said.
Mr. Meyer had three daughters who, as children, adored dancing with daddy.
"I always wanted to marry and date guys that were like my dad," said Heather Vulpone.
He was an avid Giants fan, and passed that enthusiasm to his children. He never had any sons, but didn't treat his daughters, in Vulpone's words, "like prissy girls." He coached their soccer, softball and basketball teams and taught them to be strong women.
"He always said there's nothing that we can't do," Vulpone said. "It didn't matter if we were girls or not, we could do it."
On Sept. 11, the 57-year-old Mr. Meyer woke early as usual, fed his birds -- they had three, but his favorite was a cockatoo named Angel -- and headed off to work as a bond trader with Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center.
He usually called Margie around 8:30 a.m. to talk about the day ahead, but that day he didn't. Margie Meyer didn't know about the attack on her husband's building until her daughter called.
Born in Jersey City, Mr. Meyer lived in Glen Rock for 26 years.
In 1967, on a ski trip to Lake Placid, N.Y., Mr. Meyer met his future wife, Margie Kennedy. They had three daughters: Dawn, 31; Heather, 28; and Heidi, 25.
Girls, it seems, were a theme in Mr. Meyer's life. Vulpone ended up having two daughters of her own, and his granddaughters were the center of his world.
He developed his grandparenting skills on Samantha, born two years ago. She liked dancing too.
Morgan, Mr. Meyer's second granddaughter, was born to Vulpone at the end of August. She wasn't due until Sept. 15, her mother said, but the baby came early. For that, she is grateful.
"I'm so glad that he got a chance to hold her," Vulpone said. "He saw her every day."
Mr. Meyer also is survived by a brother, Charles; and a sister, Kristine Riordan.
Profile by Paula Saha published in THE STAR-LEDGER.