Talent for Drawing Laughs
Joseph A. Lenihan was a master mimic, and everyone he met was fair game.
"No one was safe from it," said John J. Lenihan, one of his older brothers. "But it was never to belittle someone or make them feel bad. It was always uplifting."
Making people laugh was a talent Mr. Lenihan, 41, developed as the youngest of six children and one he perfected as an executive vice president and director of fixed income at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. A businessman's businessman, Mr. Lenihan possessed an ever- present smile and engaging personality that made everyone from taxi drivers to chief executives feel special.
"He was really into relationships," said his wife, Ingrid. "He couldn't even garden outside without talking to half of the neighbors on the street."
Mr. Lenihan, who lived with his wife and three children in Cos Cob, Conn., had a reputation for being lucky.
When an earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay area in 1989, he was hovering above it all in an airplane. He took the day off from work to move into a new house when the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993.
But during the week of Sept. 11, he made sure that he was in town so he could attend an open house at his daughters' school.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 27, 2002.
Joseph A. Lenihan, 41, of Cos Cob, died Tuesday, (September 11, 2001) in the tragic events at the World Trade Center where he worked for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods (KBW). Joe was an executive vice president and a member of the Board of Directors for KBW. Joe was born and raised in West Hartford, and received his BS and MBA from the University of Connecticut. Joe was a devoted husband and father. Joe leaves his beloved wife, Ingrid (Cosentino) Lenihan of Cos Cob; and their three children, Megan, Gabriele, and Joseph. He was the son of Ann K. Lenihan and the late Joseph F. Lenihan of West Hartford. He also is survived by five siblings and their spouses, Mary Lenihan of Boston, MA; David and Midge Lenihan of Marlborough, Sue and Paul Faulkner of Granby, Betsy and David Smith of West Hartford, and John and Michelle Lenihan of Avon; and by Ingrid's parents, Val and Ursula Cosentino of Stamford and Ingrid's brother and his wife, Mark Cosentino, M.D. and Camille Rigoglioso, MD. of Basking Ridge, NJ. In addition, he leaves many nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and special friends. Joe was the kind of person who lit up a room when he entered and he made a lasting impression on everyone. He had an infectious smile and a remarkable talent for making people laugh. Joe will be dearly missed by his family, friends, associates, and all who knew him. Joe was a member of the Veteran's Appreciation Council. He was recently chosen by the Irish America Magazine as one of the recipients of its 2001 Wall Street 50 Award. Joe was a parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Riverside. His Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, October 1, 11 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 4 Riverside Avenue, Riverside. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cos Cob Elementary School, checks make payable to Cos Cob Elementary School and specify "Joseph A. Lenihan" on Memo line, 300 East Putnam Avenue, Cos Cob, CT 06807 or the Friends of the Cos Cob Library, checks made payable to Friends of the Cos Cob Library and specify "Joseph" A. Lenihan" on Memo line, 5 Sinawoy Rd., Cos Cob, CT 06807.
Paid Notice published in THE HARTFORD COURANT on September 26, 2001.
Joseph Lenihan, 41, a natural leader
From a young age, it was clear that Joseph A. Lenihan's outgoing and spirited personality made him a natural leader. With a warm handshake and an engaging smile, Mr. Lenihan could make anyone immediately feel at ease.
"Joe was always a positive, upbeat person who left you with a wonderful feeling after you were with him," said his brother John Lenihan, of Avon, Conn. "Joe was probably one of the finest guys I've every known in my life."
Mr. Lenihan, of Cos Cob, Conn., worked for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods as an executive vice president. He was in the company's office on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center South Tower when a hijacked plane struck the building on Sept. 11. He was 41.
John Lenihan said his brother called his wife, Ingrid, shortly after the first hijacked plane crashed into the North Tower. He told her the security officials in the South Tower instructed everyone to stay in the building.
"He told her he was okay," John Lenihan said. "Knowing Joe, if they were beginning to mobilize, he would have been one of the last people out."
Leadership and putting others before himself came naturally to Mr. Lenihan, who was the youngest of six children, his brother said. It started early when Mr. Lenihan became the president of his 8th grade class. At William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, Mr. Lenihan was vice president of his senior class and helped organize a talent show at the school.
"Early in his life, we knew he was a leader," John Lenihan said. "You could see his leadership qualities progress into high school and college."
Mr. Lenihan attended the University of Connecticut, where he received both his undergraduate degree and master's in business administration. He worked for Arthur Anderson for three years before joining Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, where he was recently named to the board of directors.
Irish American Magazine also placed Mr. Lenihan on its 2001 Wall Street 50 list. Though he worked long hours, John Lenihan said his brother always found time for his family and three children, Megan, 10; Gabriele, 8, and Joseph, 1.
"He loved his family," John Lenihan said. "(They) were everything to him."
In addition to his wife, children and brother, Mr. Lenihan is survived by four other siblings, Mary Lenihan of Boston, David Lenihan of Marlborough, Mass., Sue Faulkner of Granby, Mass., and Betsy Smith of West Hartford, Conn.; and his wife's brother and his wife, Mark Cosentino and Camille Rigoglioso of Basking Ridge.
Services for Mr. Lenihan will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 4 Riverside Ave., Riverside, Conn. Donations may be made on behalf of Mr. Lenihan to the Cos Cob Elementary School, 300 East Putnam Ave., Cos Cob, Conn., 06807-2545
Profile by Matthew J. Dowling published in THE STAR-LEDGER.