Tenderized by Love
Brainy and a perfectionist, Patrice Sobin was always a star corporate player. But it was not until 1994, at age 45, that she abruptly got in touch with her romantic side. That summer she got up the nerve to go by herself on a bus tour of Italy, and met a fellow voyager, Rolando Paz. He says he did not notice her until the last days of the trip, but later she told him that she knew from the start that they would be together.
The two were married only months later, and became inseparable. "I was her passion," said Mr. Paz. "She called me every day at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., no matter what. Even if it was an important meeting, everyone knew not to stop Patrice."
He returned the devotion, picking her up from work each night at Aon Corporation at the top of 2 World Trade Center. When she worked late, even past midnight, he stayed too, reading books in her office.
Friends remember that he changed her and made her softer and full of smiles. Together they traveled, collected art, bought a house and decorated it. Ms. Paz, still the perfectionist, sewed curtains by hand when she could have bought just what she wanted.
"I was sad we only had so few years together," said Mr. Paz, "but a colleague of Patrice's said to me, `You got more into those years than most married couples get into 30.' And it is true."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on April 14, 2002.