Thomas P. Farrelly: Smiles and
math teacher courted the nurse. Before a school field
trip, the teacher addressed a "permission slip" to the
nurse's parents, who were deaf: Could she go as
chaperone? On condition, he added, that she marry the
The math teacher proposed to the chaperone on top of
the World Trade Center.
That was April 1978, when the twin towers were were
young themselves. By Sept. 11, 2001, the math teacher,
Thomas P. Farrelly, who was now a computer programmer at
Accenture in the trade center, and his wife, Virginia,
had four nearly grown children. The daughters ran on
their college cross-country teams. The sons were Eagle
Scouts. In August, Mr. Farrelly, 54, took his sons and
fellow scouts, who called him Smiles, kayaking in Maine.
"He always told us to keep smiling," said his oldest
child, Erin, 22. "It was the way he approached
Ms. Farrelly suspects her father would have remained a
math teacher had the salary allowed him to raise his
large family. He was good at it. He had tutored his
children, their cousins, his friends' children. "I think
teaching was what he liked best," she said.
He coached cross-country, too, and attended the
children's meets. Personal bests impressed him. "He
always asked if we did a P.B.," Ms. Farrelly said.
Thomas P. Farrelly -- the P is for Patrick -- was born
on St. Patrick's Day. His mother used to tell him the
parade was for him. For a while, Erin Farrelly says, he