Trader Relished Privacy
"Dad, someday I'm going to tell you to wear a tuxedo, and that will be my wedding," Robert A. Zampieri once said. "You won't even meet the girl before."
Robbie, as everyone called him, was shy and private. Now the father, a dentist who is also named Robert, has been moved to make his son's life a little more public. Dr. Zampieri is finishing a newsletter devoted to the life of his son. He has been writing such letters to his patients for 30 years, but never one so personal.
Robbie Zampieri, 30, a trader on the foreign exchange floor for Carr Futures, was low man on the totem pole, working the swing shift. The week before Sept. 11, he had been on nights. That week, he was moved to days on the 92nd floor of the north tower.
He grew up in Saddle River, N.J., the oldest of three children, and attended St. Francis College in Loretto, Pa. He loved his dog, Daisy. They ate and slept together, and played in the ocean. He and his father were buddies. They played golf every Friday.
Robbie loved to surprise his mother. He cut the hedges just the way she liked them. He cleaned the gutters. Despite the memorial service, his father has not said goodbye. "He's not gone," Dr. Zampieri said. "It's just that I can't hug him anymore."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 25, 2001.
Robert Zampieri, 30, beach was his love
The only thing Robert Alan "Robbie" Zampieri of Saddle River loved more than commodities trading was being on the beach with his family, his girlfriend and his dog.
"He loved working on Wall Street, and we spent a lot of time playing golf together but family, friends and the beach -- that was his hobby. You have to know that if you want to know Robbie," said his brother-in-law, Stuart Schlesinger.
For the past year, Mr. Zampieri, 30, worked as an Asian markets commodities trader for Carr Futures, sitting next to the person who got him the job, high school buddy Chris Vialonga of Demarest.
They were together in the office on the 92nd floor of One World Trade Center when it was hit in the terrorist attack Sept. 11.
"They're both missing," said Schlesinger.
"All I can say is, this kid had the biggest heart you'd ever want to see. He'd go out of his way to help everyone," said Schlesinger. "Even my family, his in-laws, loved him."
Schlesinger said he and his wife, Jeannie, Mr. Zampieri's sister, have a beach house in Brick Township. Early mornings would find Robbie on the beach with his dog, Daisy, before the lifeguards came on duty.
"He'd throw the ball into the water, and she'd go get it," Schlesinger said. "At 5 p.m., when the lifeguards went off duty, she'd be waiting at the gate for him to come get her and throw the ball into the water some more."
But Sunday dinners on the deck with Coli, Mr. Zampieri's nickname for his girlfriend, Nicole Cruikshank of Mantoloking, and the rest of the family was what he looked forward to, Schlesinger said.
"We were lucky enough to have dinner there with him the Sunday before it happened," he added.
Mr. Zampieri played wide receiver for Bergen Catholic High School, graduating in 1989. He was a 1992 graduate of St. Francis College in Loretto, Pa., and studied abroad in London for a year, Schlesinger said.
Mr. Zampieri also leaves his parents, Robert and Patricia Burck Zampieri of Saddle River; his sister, Jeannie Zampieri Schlesinger of Brick Township, and his brother, Michael, of Saddle River.
A memorial Mass will be held at 1 p.m. Friday in the Church of the Presentation, 271 W. Saddle River Rd., Upper Saddle River.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for the UFA Widows and Children's Fund, c/o the Uniformed FireFighters Association, 204 E. 23rd St., New York, N.Y. 10010.
Profile by Patrick Jenkins published in THE STAR-LEDGER.