Kenneth Waldie

Kenneth Waldie
American Flight 11

The Oldest Teammate

Carol Waldie thought of her husband as her fifth child. "Just what I needed," she said. Kenneth Waldie wanted to do everything the kids did, especially their sporting activities.

For instance, his daughter, Meredith, 17, plays on the varsity basketball team, wearing No. 44. Mr. Waldie was at games so often that the coaches referred to him as No. 44 1/2. After he died, the coaches had his number put on shirts and presented them to Mrs. Waldie.

Since he admired Joe Paterno and his brother had gone to Penn State, Mr. Waldie was fanatical about the Penn State football team, and sometimes took his son J. T., 14, to games. He kept himself as fit as a professional athlete. He jogged and worked out every day, and at work, he always skipped lunch so he could go on long walks with colleagues. On frigid days, he would be the only one out there. Mrs. Waldie said that at 46 he looked the same as he did at 20.

Mr. Waldie, who lived in Methuen, Mass., had two other children: Andrew, 24, and Jeff, 21. A senior quality control engineer at Raytheon, he was headed to California on a business trip.

Around work, his colleagues referred to him as "911," because of his generosity whenever someone needed help. His favorite number happened to be 11, and he was on Flight 11 when it crashed on the 11th.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 13, 2002.

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