Robert Lane Cruikshank

World Trade Center

A Very Decent Man

The marriage proposal of Robert Lane Cruikshank was not the stuff of which a maiden dreams. "My mother always told me how I would feel when I fell in love and I don't feel that way," he said, "but I thought about it and I decided she was wrong."

Marianne Johnson, sitting in a restaurant in her low-back black dress with the red cabbage roses, married him anyway. Why? "Because he was the most decent, the most solid — he was just a good man," Marianne says of her husband of 38 years, from their home on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

"I make him sound dull — we had a house in Stratton that we called Mountain De Open Dour, I was the 'open,' he was the 'dour' — but he was fun. You could trust him. Grown men have been here crying. He was a rock to everyone we knew."

Robert, 64, father of two, was a vice president of Carr Futures and worked on the 92nd floor of the north tower.

He and his wife had a home in Beaver Creek, Colo., and he was, his wife says, "very sportif" — he loved tennis, skiing and golf. He sometimes joked about quitting and going on the senior tennis tour, but the truth was, he loved what he did.

A special time? "He once decided to surprise me and planned a trip to Rome, the entire trip," Marianne says. "It was two weeks, which for Cruikshank was a very long time, because the world was waiting for him to work."

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

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