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Place of Residence:
Randolph, NJ
Location on 9/11:
Cantor Fitzgerald | Partner
The New York Times Portraits of Grief
Steven Russin Children Assistance Assistance Program

When Andrea Lynn Russin looked out the window of her Randolph home on hot summer weekends, she'd often see a group of neighborhood children erupting with laughter as they rolled around her front lawn. Leading the pack was the biggest kid in the bunch, her husband, Steven Harris Russin.

"Steve was definitely one of the kids on the block. He was so gentle and fun that the children didn't think of him as an adult," said his wife. "The kids would say, 'Let's do somersaults,' and he would be rolling around and playing, too."

Mr. Russin, 32, a partner with Cantor Fitzgerald, worked on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center. When the hijacked jetliner crashed into the tower on Sept. 11, he was on the phone with a colleague in Louisiana, his wife said. She last saw her husband the night before, when he got her a glass of water. Mrs. Russin was nine months pregnant with twins and having trouble sleeping.

"I was very pregnant and was up for most of the night . . . I fell asleep on the recliner in the bedroom and he woke up and said, 'Where are you,' since it was dark," said his wife. "I told him I'd come back to bed and that was the last time we spoke."

Four days later, she gave birth to Olivia Sabrina Gail and Ariella Sarah Dayle.

Born and raised in Marlboro, Mr. Russin attended Marlboro High School, where he first put his business skills to use by becoming a baseball card distributor. With that money, he was able to put himself through four years of school at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. He was hired at Cantor Fitzgerald immediately after college, and met his wife three years later at a bar in Lower Manhattan.

"I was in grad school at NYU and a group of us went downtown after exams one day," Andrea said. "A few girls were married and they decided that those of us who were single should meet some guys, so they tapped two men on the shoulder and said, 'These girls want to meet you and Steve was one of them.'"

At the end of the night, Mr. Russin walked her to the bus stop and accompanied her friend to the subway station to make sure they arrived home safely. The couple began dating and married in June 1996. They moved to Randolph two years ago.

His wife said Mr. Russin would race home from work everyday to spend time with her and their 2-year-old son, Alec Joseph. Last year, when Andrea's parents bought the couple a get-away at the Short Hills Hilton, Mr. Russin suggested they leave early the next morning because he missed his son.

"It was 9 in the morning and we're sitting at the pool. He took out the newspaper and I took out my magazine and he said, 'This isn't fun, let's go get Alec,' so we packed up and went home," his wife said. "He was fun and spontaneous and a wonderful daddy."

Mr. Russin also is survived by his parents, Ed and Gloria Russin of Marlboro; his brother, Barry of Marlboro, and his grandparents, Irving and Helen Russin of Coconut Creek, Fla.; and Max and Jennie Smith of the Bronx, NY.

Profile by Giovanna Fabiano published in THE STAR-LEDGER.