Christopher S. Gardner: The Captain
of the Ship
S. Gardner had a lifelong passion for the sea and was a
born skipper. "He was always the captain of the ship,"
his brother Jonathan said, "whether that was at work,
around the house, or on the boat. He had an incredible
amount of energy."
Mr. Gardner, 36, rose at dawn each day and drove to
the World Trade Center, where he was an executive at Aon,
with a large staff reporting to him on the company's
global risk services. He was a combination of boss and
friend -- a captain beloved by his crew, even when he had
to lay someone off, which he found agonizing.
When he got home, he and his wife, Susan, put their
children, Christopher Trowbridge, almost 4, and
Alexander, 2 1/2, to bed, which he found delightful. "He
never brought work home," Mrs. Gardner said. "He never
played golf a single weekend in his life. We really tried
to maximize our time with the children."
This past summer the family spent a lot of time in
Maine, where Mr. Gardner took the boys sailing and began
their seafaring education. They were too young to absorb
much information, but they loved steering the ship with
their dad. "First Christopher drove the boat," Jonathan
Gardner. "Then Alexander got so excited, he just had to
drive it. And meanwhile the boat is going all over the
place, all over this crowded harbor."
But the captain was happy and in control.
"He was never worried," Mr. Gardner said.