While searching for some information about a company I used to work for, Westcap, I came across this tribute to Jeff (12/20/2002). This was a shock....I've wondered how many people I may have known that lost their lives in the WTC on 9/11, since I've worked with so many in the investment banking business. Jeff is actually the first I've found out about, and hopefully the last.
Jeff was an outstanding person to know...very quiet and reserved, but one of the nicest people you could ever meet. My thoughts go out to his family and those that knew him better than I did...he will be missed.
Jeff was a student of mine many years ago and I still remember his impish smile and dancing eyes. He was a funny kid who liked to laugh. His passing upset me, he is the first of all the students I have taught over the years to be lost and at such a young age. But I understand that he was doing what he loved and that he was surrounded by loved ones and that is how he should be remembered. Jeff, his family and friends will be in my prayers.
I just learned today, August 30, 2002 of Jeff's passing. To say the least, I was taken back. I worked at Westcap Securities with Jeff and always thought well of him. We didn't talk a whole lot, but when we did I always walked away with a good feeling. I know he will be missed.
Leslie Coale Brown
A Tribute to my Brother
By Leslie Coale Brown
Jeff brought out the best in people. Or at least he did in me. He always knew what I was capable of and encouraged me to not sell myself short. He believed in me. Sure we could easily revert back to kids’ fighting over who was Mom’s favorite, but he knew how to hurt me, and never used it. He loved my children and I think was happy that they were growing up in the very way we were raised. We had a great childhood, Jeffrey, Stephen and I; and we knew it, which is a gift in itself.
Jeff was always surrounded by love. He had a generous heart, a kind soul and a creative intelligence. He has friends around the world. And if you were Jeff’s friend you were special. While he was never mean, Jeff didn’t waste his time with people who weren’t genuine. Jeff rarely did anything he didn’t want to do; I think this is why he was able to experience so much in life, because he was not motivated by guilt or peer pressure. He didn’t waste time feeling bad.
Jeff had big dreams and he lived some of them, thank God, and he enjoyed making plans with many of his close friends. There was probably more joy in the planning than in whatever the possible outcome. His dear friend Andrew told me, “Les, we had big plans.” When I responded that they had always had big plans, he said, “But no Les, really, they are on my computer.”
Jeffrey had wonderful friends, some from childhood on, some just recently. And closest to his heart is Maggie, how lucky he was to know her love.
I believe in God and in Heaven, I know that Jeffrey is in a better place than our current world. And the only sense I can make of why Jeffrey’s life would be called so short is because of the effect it will have on so many people. He touched many lives and my hope is that now because of knowing and losing Jeff your lives will be different. Maybe someone here now won’t be afraid to dream big, maybe someone will realize how short life is and start living it differently. Maybe you will change jobs, or appreciate your family more. Each of us has a responsibility to live life with a little more passion and joy in honor of a life cut short. Try to be the person Jeff knew you were capable of being.