It was supposed have been a quick getaway for Lynn Catherine Goodchild and Shawn M. Nassaney, a four-day trip to Maui, Hawaii, before they hunkered down to study for their M.B.A. degrees at Providence College.
So, they woke early on Sept. 11 to board United Airlines Flight 175, which was to take them to Los Angeles, where they would take a connecting flight to Maui, said Ellen Goodchild, Ms. Goodchild's mother.
They had almost decided against the trip, considering a vacation in Sydney, Australia. But they decided to visit a place where neither had traveled before. (The couple had lived in Sydney briefly after Mr. Nassaney was transferred there last year by his job.)
Now, both families wonder what would have happened if the couple had gone to Sydney instead of Maui. But they find serenity in the fact that the two were together. The couple had been almost inseparable since they met at Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I., more than four years ago, traveling frequently.
For Mr. Nassaney's 25th birthday in July, Ms. Goodchild took him to Disney World in Florida for four days. They spent four days in London for Valentine's Day. And in January, they went to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where Ms. Goodchild attended a birthday party for one of her college roommates.
Ms. Goodchild, 25, worked at Putnam Investments as a 401(k) plan administrator. Mr. Nassaney worked in the sales department at American Power Conversion.
Ms. Goodchild and Mr. Nassaney had a lot in common. Both were athletic and came from close-knit families. Ms. Goodchild practiced karate, while Mr. Nassaney was a runner. Ms. Goodchild lived with her brother, Neil Goodchild, 27, in Attleboro, Mass. Mr. Nassaney lived in his grandmother's three-story apartment building in Pawtucket, R.I., along with his two brothers.
"Just because Shawn is not there, it will still be his apartment," said his grandmother, Barbara Shaw. "It will be a little sanctuary for me."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 15, 2001.
Shawn Nassaney, 25, Pawtucket, R.I.: Was a sales manager for APC, a manufacturing company. He was traveling to Hawaii with his girlfriend, Lynn Goodchild. Nassaney had been at APC for three years. "He was considered a very good person and a good friend," said company spokeswoman Debbie Grey.