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Christopher Ingrassia, 28, of Watchung, had a passion for sports and a sense of humor that kept his friends in stitches.
"One of the things that I think people would remember most about him, other than his sheer size, was his quick wit. He was just so funny that everyone loved him," recalled Dennis O'Dowd of Boonton, Mr. Ingrassia's roommate for two years at Princeton University.
He recalled that on a recent trip to Atlantic City, Mr. Ingrassia -- who sported a goatee, was 6 feet tall and weighed a "barrel-chested" 285 pounds -- was mistaken several times for baseball player David Wells.
"He wouldn't say yes or no (that he was Wells), he just sort of played along. That was a typical Ingrassia," Mr. O'Dowd said.
On Sept. 11, Mr. Ingrassia, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, was at work on the 104th floor of Tower One when the World Trade Center was attacked.
His family recalled his joy in life as well as his passion for sports.
"Chris was just a very happy, out-going person," recalled his father, Anthony.
"He had a tremendous number of friends. And what he really enjoyed was watching sports on TV or going to see Yankees and Giants games," his father said.
Mr. Ingrassia was a sports enthusiast from his youngest days. Little League soccer and baseball, midget wrestling and Pop Warner football were among his pursuits as a boy.
In high school, Mr. Ingrassia earned varsity letters in football, wrestling and track for three years. He was an all county, all conference football player for two years and was on the Coaches All State Team in his senior year at Watchung Hills Regional High School. He was a county and regional heavyweight wrestling champion for two years in high school and his senior year was fourth in the state championship. He played football two years at Princeton.
Although he worked long hours as an equity options trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, he loved his job. "All his clients and his co-workers were young guys like himself, and he really liked working with them," his father said.
Mr. Ingrassia went to work with Cantor Fitzgerald immediately after graduating from college. He spent one year working at the firm's World Trade Center office, and then transferred to London for four years. In February, he returned to Cantor Fitzgerald's offices in the World Trade Center. He was made a partner in March.
Mr. Ingrassia is survived by his parents, Gloria and Anthony of Watchung; his brothers Anthony, Jr., 29, of Watchung and Paul, 26, of San Diego, and a sister Elisa, also 26, of Watchung.
A memorial Mass for Mr. Ingrassia will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary's Stony Hill Church in Watchung, followed by a "Celebration of Life" at the church's Father Platt Hall. A memorial fund will be established in his name at Princeton University. Donations should be made to Princeton University, Office of Recording Secretary, P.O. Box 5357, Princeton, N.J. 08543.
Profile by Jenifer Braun published in THE STAR-LEDGER.