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Empty Sky: NJ State 9/11 Memorial
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Kevin York was a traveler who always knew how to make himself feel at home.
An Air Force brat whose family was living in St. Georges, Bermuda, when he was born, Mr. York would go on to spend his childhood shuttling between New Mexico, New Jersey, Ohio and Okinawa, Japan.
"Wherever we went, he just joined right in," recalled his younger sister, Mary Peled. "He made new friends easily, he joined the clubs, he played sports, and there was never any hesitation. He was never shy."
By the time his parents settled down in Burlington County, Mr. York had developed a love of travel and a commitment to family that he carried with him the rest of his life.
"We moved all over the world together, and we were a very tight family," said Peled, "because all you have in the military is your family."
The first member of his family to go to college, at Stockton State, in 1990 Mr. York wed Chiemi Brindle, his sweetheart from Pemberton High School. After settling down in Princeton, they began their own run of globe-trotting, at first traveling alone, then with their son Connor, now 6, and most recently 10-month-old Aidan.
Among other stops, the couple has been to London, France, Cancun, Mexico, Disney World, and, earlier this year, the Carribean islands of Turks and Caicos.
"They made a great couple," said Mr. York's close friend and frequent golf partner, Paul Kost. "He put his family by far above every other thing in his life."
Mr. York's commitment to family extended beyond his own household. When his mother, Elizabeth, died six years ago, Mr. York took over the family leadership role, holding Thanksgiving at his house, offering a shoulder to lean on and a sympathetic ear to his siblings and coordinating every family occasion.
At a party to celebrate his 41st birthday on Sept. 6, Mr. York described his Christmas plans. Instead of giving each other gifts, the adults would get together for dinner and a Broadway show in what was to be a new family tradition. Mr. York would organize it the first year, and then they would take turns.
On Sept. 11, Mr. York reported to his job as a senior vice president for EuroBrokers Inc. on the 84th floor of Two World Trade Center. He was last seen helping several co-workers climb to the 91st floor after the downward stairwell appeared impassable.
Mr. York also is survived by his sister, Susan York; his brother, Timothy York, and his father, John York
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Paul's Church, 214 Nassau St., Princeton.
Profile by Alan Sepinwall published in THE STAR-LEDGER.