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The New York Times

Sean Rooney: A Man of the Kitchen

 

The kitchen in the house of Sean Rooney and his wife, Beverly Eckert, in Stamford, Conn., reminds her of him for several reasons. First, Mr. Rooney loved to cook. Even more, he loved to have his friends and family, and their conversation and laughter, in the kitchen with him when he did.  

 

But there is another reason that Ms. Eckert likes to sit in their kitchen these days: The hardwood floors beneath her, the cabinets around her, the island in the middle and even the maple dining-room table were all built by Mr. Rooney, by hand. "When I sit there I'm completely surrounded by him," she said. "That makes me feel happy."  

 

Mr. Rooney taught himself carpentry. And somehow, with the demands of commuting and his job as a vice president at Aon, he found time to make the kinds of tangible objects that were such a contrast to the abstractions of insurance.  

 

Mr. Rooney and Ms. Eckert met when they were 16, at a high school dance. This year, they turned 50 together. And though they were very different, the words "Bev and Sean" were often spoken as one instead of three. On their second date, they went to see the movie "Camelot." From then on, they always felt that they were "happily- ever-aftering," as the song says.  

 

"What I miss," his wife said, "is having him come through the door saying, `Where's my hug?'"

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