Gayle R. Greene

Montville, New Jersey


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Two Trips a Year
This year, for the first time, the Christmas lights outside Gayle Greene's town house in Montville, N.J., are red, white and blue.

Inside, however, nothing has changed: the holly arrangements are scattered about, as are Ms. Greene's cherished antique ornaments and the holiday-themed carousel horses that she collected. "Every nook and cranny of everywhere she ever lived was covered with Christmas stuff," said Eileen Carey, Ms. Greene's best friend and roommate. "So this year, in her honor, every decoration she ever had is going up."

Ms. Greene, 51, worked as a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, commuting two hours each way to the World Trade Center and hauling out her laptop many nights to finish projects as she watched "Eco-Challenge" and other adventure shows on television.

But to satisfy her lifelong wanderlust, Ms. Greene always made time for two trips a year. She adored Alaska, Las Vegas, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and especially Hawaii.

The finest day of her life, she often said, was spent on a catamaran off the emerald- hued Na Pali coast of Kauai.

In her will, she asked that her ashes be scattered there.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 8, 2001.

Gayle Greene, 51, close 'like a sister'

Gayle Greene was a hidden adventurer -- a detective who pored over mysteries by Patricia Cornwall and John Grisham; an athlete who adored watching the Olympics; a risk-taker who enjoyed casinos; and an explorer who cruised around the world, once having even stood atop a glacier in Alaska.

She got her first job in the insurance industry at 19, and steadily moved up the career ladder. "She started out as an underwriter and became vice president," said Eileen Carey, her best friend and roommate.

Carey's and Ms. Greene's mothers were friends even before Carey was born. As the two girls grew up, they also grew closer. Five years ago, since both were single and neither liked living alone, they moved into a Montville townhouse where they cooked dinner together every night, shouting out answers to "Jeopardy."

They had a group of single friends who enjoyed traveling and each other's company. Every Saturday night, they would pick a restaurant where their friends would gather together. They helped each other through family deaths and other life changes. "We had each other and could depend on each other," Carey said.

Born in Maryland, Ms. Greene, 51, grew up in the Bronx where she attended Mount St. Ursula High School. After graduation, she took a job with Fred S. James, an insurance company later bought out by Sedgwick Insurance. In 1999, Marsh purchased Sedgwick, and Ms. Greene office was moved to the Twin Towers. She was Vice President of the Professional Resource Group at Marsh & McLennan, on the 100th floor of One World Trade Center.

She was an outgoing, gregarious woman who was a mild workaholic and was seldom without her laptop computer. Not that she didn't know how to relax; she loved to travel, often accompanying Carey and her family on trips.

"She was like part of our family," Carey said. "She was a member of our family as far as I was concerned, like a sister."

They were supposed to leave on a trip to Europe on Sept. 14. That is why Ms. Greene insisted on going to work Sept. 11, even though she had a bad cold -- she needed to finish her work before they left, she told her friends.

In addition to many close friends, Ms. Greene is survived by her sister, Donna Kramer of California and a niece, Janelle Welch.

A memorial service will be held at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Montville. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the American Red Cross would be appreciated.

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

I worked for Marsh in Reno and spoke to Gail often by phone, on 9-10-01 I talked to her for a long time, she told me she was going on a trip. This was the first time we had ever spoken about something other than business. We talked about our families and various other things. When I hung up, after we said our goodbyes, I thought to myself, what a lovely person and looked forward to talking with her again, not realizing that would never happen. I was so sad to hear she was lost in the attacks...

Dear Gayle,

It is 9/12/17. It still hurts to think about you & all the others on that "nightmarish day". I think of you & pray for you. I still cannot participate, listen to, or watch the annual 9/11 Memorials.

You know that I carry you in my heart always!

I do know that you are up there saying "live your life...don't dwell on the past, especially 9/11/01. Life is for the living." For that philosophy, I am very grateful to you...

Gayle is the only familiar face I knew, of all of those lost on 9/11. I was the Engineer on the train she rode into Hoboken everyday. I always remember seeing her standing in the platform in Towaco Station. She was usually first in line to board.

I wish to extend my heart felt condolences to her family and friends.

Gayle, As a young teenager, I knew you thru my mother, who knew you thru work. That's actually how I met you, from her taking me to the office on the occasional Saturday when you both were working. I remember you so clearly as someone I thought of as fun. This may seem silly, but I always felt close to you, and something that solidified that was when my dog had puppies, and my mother told me that you took the last one. Seems silly I know to have such simple memories of someone, but these were...

I knew Gayle when we worked together at Sedgwick. She was always kind, and had a great laugh. I have often thought about her over the years and wished that I would have reached out to her after I left Sedgwick. A sweet soul, and a wonderful person. My prayers go to Gayles family and loved ones.

Happy Birthday!!!

As I stitched your name on the memorial that I am doing for all of the victims, I prayed for you and your family. Please know that your death was not in vain. We will always remember. God Bless.

In remembrance....