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Every Tuesday morning, Michael J. Pascuma Jr. of Massapequa Park would take a short stroll from the American Stock Exchange to meet colleagues for a breakfast conference at Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center.
“They would conduct business and maybe later tell a few jokes,” recalled his daughter, Melissa Pascuma, a fourth-grade teacher at the Shaw Avenue Elementary School in Valley Stream.
Pascuma, 50, worked as an independent stock trader with his father at their firm, MJP Securities. Both held seats on the exchange. The senior Pascuma, 93, still works as a trader at the exchange. Shortly before the terrorist attack. MJP merged with another firm and is now called Harvey, Young & Yurman.
Pascuma’s daughter said that immediately after the first plane struck the north tower, her brother, Michael, reached their father by cell phone. “I have to get out of here. There’s a fire,” were the last words he said to his family. The trendy restaurant was located on the 107th floor of Tower One. Pascuma’s remains were discovered shortly after the disaster, and a memorial service was held at St. Rose of Lima Church in Massapequa.
“My father had the most amazing sense of humor,” said Melissa Pascuma. “He thoroughly loved telling jokes to the family and his friends. He was constantly generous with everyone around him, and he enjoyed every single day of his life.”
She said her father was fond of chatting online with friends and was an avid golfer. “He never worried about the small things. He knew what mattered,” she said.
Pascuma’s wife, Linda, said, “My husband was a wonderful family man who was very much loved and appreciated by everyone.”
The couple would have been married 27 years on Sept. 21. Linda Pascuma called the entire family “Disney-O-Philes.” “For the past seven years at Easter time, we’d all go to Disney World for 10 days,” she said. A friend served as travel agent and also went along on the trips. The annual event also included her sister’s family, bringing the fun-seeking entourage up to about a dozen members, recalled Linda Pascuma.
“Sometimes when my husband got a little bored with things, he’d go off to play golf while we went on the rides and things,” she said. “But it always was a trip we’d talk about all year.”
Pascuma, who grew up in Richmond Hill, never attended college but as a young man learned the ins and outs of stock trading from his father, still a well-known figure in financial circles who remembers the stock market crash of 1929.
Besides his wife and daughter, both of Massapequa Park, Pascuma is survived by his sons, Michael, a college student at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.; Christopher, a Massapequa High School student; and his parents, Michael and Ada, of Richmond Hill.
Bill Kaufman (Newsday)
Michael J. Pascuma
Broker didn’t sweat ‘the small things’
April 19, 2002