Margaret L. Benson

Margaret L.  Benson
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Card Games and Cruises

Books, card games and cruises were Margaret L. Benson's preferred pastimes, and her older sister, Kathy Savidge, was her constant companion. They had scheduled a Mediterranean dream cruise for 2005 and hoped to retire in North Carolina. Sibling rivals, they grew up to be best friends, and sometimes — not always — let their husbands in on their high jinks.

"We planned to become little old ladies together," Mrs. Savidge said. "She was stubborn, set in her ways. I remember in grammar school when the nuns wouldn't give her a perfect 100 average even though she got all 99's and 100's. They told her only God was perfect. She was mad!"

Marge Benson, 52, worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for 33 years, starting as a clerk and working up to a human resources post. She lived in Rockaway, N.J., with her husband, Jim, and two children, both in college. She was last seen outside a Borders bookstore next to the twin towers.

"A friend told me to think of it this way," her sister said. "She's in a back corner full of books, she's got a card game going, and she's winning. I just wish I could call and tell her that. She'd laugh."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 20, 2001.

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