Changing His Life
E. Rudy Bacchus thought becoming a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission was one of his greatest accomplishments. "He passed the exam on his first attempt," said his sister, Dr. Avril Anthony- Wilson. "He was pleased."
Mr. Bacchus, 48, was a successful independent trader at the American Stock Exchange and lived with his wife and two children in Metuchen, N.J. About 10 years ago, he made some changes in his life, giving up going to clubs and dancing, and becoming a deacon at his church. He used some of his earnings to help parishioners pay mortgages and college tuition, and he helped them define their financial goals.
He was attending a breakfast meeting at Windows on the World on Sept. 11.
Mr. Bacchus recently provided emotional support to Dr. Anthony-Wilson as she made plans to open a private medical practice in their childhood home in Cambria Heights, Queens. The week before the attack, she reminded him of the date of the opening celebration. "Sept. 22, I'll be there," he said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 8, 2001.
E. Rudy Bacchus, 48, exuded confidence
On the evening of Sept. 10, E. Rudy Bacchus went to the bookstore with his 16-year-old daughter to buy new textbooks for the school year.
As usual, Mr. Bacchus was eager to dispense advice to his only daughter about life's paths and what awaited her after she graduated from high school. It was common for the two to have these stern conversations.
"He was giving me a speech about how he was never going to be around all the time and that I would have to fend for myself," Carla Bacchus recalled. "I didn't take it like he's not going to be around in the near future."
The next morning, Mr. Bacchus, a self-employed stock broker, got up earlier than usual for a breakfast meeting at the Windows on the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center. The Metuchen resident was in the restaurant when a hijacked plane struck the North Tower. He was 48.
Mr. Bacchus was a confident man who was known for his snappy outfits and warm, toothy smile. Born in Guyana, he came to the United States at the age of 13 and settled in Queens. At 17, he got a job working in the mailroom of Merrill Lynch.
Mr. Bacchus climbed the ladder to the position of a vice president before he was laid off after 22 years with the company. In 1980, while he worked at Merrill Lynch, he met his future wife on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. For him it was love at first sight -- but not for her.
"I thought he was too cocky," Juanna Bacchus said. "He was always so sure of himself."
She capitulated to his charm and they started dating. Six months later he proposed to her.
"He made his nos no and yeses yes," Juanna Bacchus said. "He had integrity and you could depend on him. He never went back on his no."
Mr. Bacchus' dream was to trade on the floor and become a member of the American Stock Exchange. He succeeded, and always strove to be the best broker he could be so he could set an example for his children. Mr. Bacchus often told his daughter, "If you are a street sweeper, make sure you're the best street sweeper there is."
Juanna Bacchus said her husband followed that advice in all aspects of his life, too.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Bacchus is survived by a son, Humberto of Metuchen; his parents, Gloria and Rudley B. Anthony of Lake Suzie, Fla.; three brothers, Charles Bacchus of Queens, N.Y., Trevor Anthony of Ft. Myers, Fla., and Ian Anthony of Jacksonville, Fla.; and two sisters, Dr. Avril Wilson and Desiree Wharton, both of Queens.
A celebration of his life will be held noon Oct. 20 at the Cathedral Second Baptist Church in Perth Amboy. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Scholarship Fund at Cathedral Second Baptist Church, 277 Madison Ave., Perth Amboy, N.J 08862.
Profile by Katie Wang published in THE STAR-LEDGER.