"Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." John 8:32

Monday, September 11, 2006

Luke Nee



I have been honored and selected through an effort by a group of bloggers to memorialize the life of a precious person that departed this life on 911. I was given the name of Luke Nee to memorialize here. Each blogger is to only memorialize the life of the person they are given, not to editorialize about the events. I wish only to honor Luke.

I have been immediately struck at the emotions that have been expressed on behalf of Luke and his family. I have been awed at the love, tenderness and friendship that must have been a part of Luke's family and friends. He appears to be the kind of person that I would have immediately become great friends with, laughing and kidding and sharing great times.

If family and friends wish to contact me to share memories of Luke that I may share with the world in my blog, please leave a message here. If Irene or Patrick do not wish that this post about Luke remain here, I will of course follow their wishes and remove this memorial to Luke. In any case, I am proud and honored to know that Luke was much loved by all who knew him. He would have been the kind of guy I would have loved to hang out with because it seems it he loved many and was loved by many.

While we were asked not to cut and paste other tributes to those we were to honor, I can't help but to do so. The words spoken by family and friends of Luke have touched me deeply and I can never do justice to the depth of love and feelings expressed for the life Luke lived that touched so many lives.

In many ways, Luke was the typical American, living his life, loving his wife, Irene and being the best friend to his son, Patrick. Luke passed from this life on his 19th anniversary of his marriage to his wife Irene. Luke seems to have made life-long friends from the neighborhood he grew up in. I know their hearts were broken when Luke was taken. The empty void left in our hearts when a precious loved one is no longer there strikes deep. The memories become frozen moments in time that leave an ache that does not truly go away. Luke, though, was so loved by those that knew him that I can just see him smile and hear him say, "Hey, live and let live."

Never forget.


Luke Nee

Date of Birth: June 25, 1957
Date of Death: September 11, 2001
Department: Municipal Bonds, Cantor Fitzgerald
Position: Operations Manager

Luke Nee, 44, of Stony Point, New York, worked in municipal bonds operations for Cantor Fitzgerald, died at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Luke was born in Bronx, New York to John and Mary Nee. Luke was a devoted friend to everyone. Luke is survived by his dear and loving wife of 19 years Irene (Lavelle); his son and best buddy Patrick; his parents John and Mary Nee; his brother and sister-in-law John and Jeanmarie of Astoria; sisters and brothers-in-law Patricia and John O'Keefe of East Brunswick, NJ and Mary Barbara and John Reilly of Eastchester, NY; his seven nieces and nephews; and many lifetime friends who survive Luke. He was remembered and honored by a host of family and friends on Saturday, September 22, 2001, at St. Gregory Barbarigo Church, Cinder Road, Garnerville, New York.


Luke was a kind and gentle soul who loved life. He was known for his cheerful disposition and for always having a smile for the world. If you needed a helping hand, or a favor, Luke would help you in any way and every way possible. He loved people, and always saw the good in them.

Luke loved his family, especially our son Patrick. They were truly best friends, and they had many fun times together. Luke loved a day at the beach, and went there as often as possible. He also loved going to Yankee games with his friends or with Patrick. We had great trips to the city at Christmas time, enjoying the beauty and spirit of the season.

Luke was also an avid reader, and would sometimes read two and three books a week. He enjoyed listening to music, especially Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart. He also had a style of dancing that was definitely unique and all his own. Luke also enjoyed Irish rock bands and went to concerts whenever possible.

Luke was fortunate to have had numerous lifelong friends. He looked forward to any gathering with his friends, whether it was a drink at Jim Brady's or a wedding. He truly enjoyed their company, and he loved all of them.

Luke was also a dedicated and reliable worker who gave every job his all. He took pride in a job well done and helped many people get jobs and trained many people. He always showed great patience and people were thankful for that.

Luke leaves behind a brokenhearted wife, son, mother and father, two sisters and a brother. He is also mourned by his brother and sister-in-laws, seven nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles and many cousins. He is dearly missed by his friends.

Luke's favorite motto was "live and let live". I wish it were the motto of more people.
We will all be together someday and no one will ever take him away from us again.

We will love you always,

Irene and Patrick


Luke Nee came into most of our lives when he walked into the Bronx courtyard of 2855 Grand Concourse holding onto the chrome handle of his brother’s baby carriage. He left us on the wings of angels with the fine and brave, embracing each other toward Heaven.

Luke was holding on tight to the carriage that day when he saw the Carroll brothers sitting on the stoop. We would be friends in five decades. He lived in Apartment 4-G, beneath us, and the Hartnetts and Maiers, too. In four buildings, we also had the Beicherts, Davidoffs, Geohhegans, Slatterys, two sets of Walsh’s, the Kopilaks, the Moloneys, and the Mc Donalds. We tantalized Luke in jest often for a good laugh, yet he would always chuckle at himself and never lose his temper saying, “Why do you gotta be like that?” Luke was the consummate good friend, brother, husband, father, and son. His best friend, Robert, protected him at school and in the neighborhood, and was there in the end to help search for him and the brothers brave.

Luke was a kind and generous man, who loved music: the Faces, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and U-2. When he heard that my son liked Aerosmith, Luke gave their first album to Craig from his private collection. Luke would give you the shirt off his back, or buy you one at Yankee Stadium. That’s the type of man he was. Cathy and I were fortunate to have had Luke, Irene, and Patrick at our home on September 2nd. Luke always reminded me how lucky I was that Cathy had married me, and what a beautiful family we have. We played football that day, fathers against sons. In the 70’s, we would threaten to chuck Luke, if he dropped a pass, down and in, between two parked cars on Minerva Place. In our backyard that day, Luke never dropped a pass, and he caught a few touchdowns, too. That’s how we will always remember Luke. There wasn’t a bad bone in his body, nor a gray hair on his head. Luke Nee was a touchdown, a homerun!

There are many quotations that one may reference to remember and to honor Luke Nee: authors, poets, musicians, and of course politicians. With Luke it always seemed to come back to the Kennedy’s. Jimmy and Robert would endlessly tease Luke about his Kennedy shrine, burning candles included, honoring Jack and Bobby. So, Patrick and Irene, we salute your husband and dad, today, and we look to the future. In the words of JFK, “A rising tide lifts all boats!” We your family and friends will forever be there for you, because to quote one of Luke’s favorite songs, “Love Lives Here!” May God Bless Us All!

Tommy Carroll


Love Lives Here
(Rod Stewart/Ron Wood/Ron Lane)

It's hard to believe that this is the place
Where we were so happy all our lives
Now so empty inside and feeling no pain
Waiting for a hammer and a big ball and chain
They can tear it all down and build something new
But only I remember what was here
Tomorrow comes easy just another day gone
How hong will I have to keep returning

Now I look back think I've known all the time
I've been finding myself for so long
All the vows that we made
Count for old bags of lumber
Disappear on the cart down the road.

For Luke Nee

From Tom Carroll


I too had the honor of growing up with the Nee family in the Bronx and in Rockaway.......Attending the Mass in Garnerville on Saturday ..I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people attending..... so many faces from the old neighborhood in the Bronx as well as so many from the very strong parish of St. Gregory's The service was so beautiful and so touching. The Nee siblings did Luke proud as they each rose to speak. The family portrait of Luke, Irene and Patrick made us smile, as he did. Luke was so very loved and will be sorely missed. God Bless you all.

Deb Kelly


Luke was always so calm and collected. We would talk as if we had known each other for years. I would always answer his calls with a Darth Vader voice and goof around and tell him to "give in to the dark side". He was so very easy to get along with and always willing to help out with anything I would ask. We would bump into each other on the train every once in a while and what a great way to make the commute go easier. I will miss Luke very much. I will never forget him. My heart and my most sincere prayers goes out to his family and friends. God Bless buddy, rest well.

Tommy Cosenza, friend & co-worker


I worked in Securities Lending. Our desk was right next to Munis and Luke sat right behind me. Although it was only one short year working near him, I got to know Luke pretty well. He was a kind gentlemen and the nicest person I ever met. He always had a nice word to say to me and we had a lot of laughs. He spoke so proudly of his family. His wife and son were his world. I miss him like so many others I have lost in this horrific tragedy. If only I could turn the clock back. Luke, please know you are in my heart and prayers everyday. You were the greatest, I miss you. Until we meet again..."Lets go Yankees." My thoughts and prayers go out to the Nee family. I know he watches and protects you each and every day.

Karen Costagliola, co-worker


Until we meet again and I can see your smile.

Aunt Bridie


Luke was such a wonderful man and teacher. The summer before my senior year in college he taught me everything there is to know about clearing tickets and surviving in the municipal bond brokerage business. We worked side by side for 10 hours a day everyday for 10 weeks. At 21, he taught me a whole lot but he also protected me and helped me to mature and I will never forget him. After graduating I was so lucky and honored to work for Municipal Partners for four years of the best years of my life and Luke was so much a part of it. He meant a lot to me and to every one he knew. God bless him and especially his family.

Ellen (Ligon) Gold, co-worker


Luke, They just dont make people nicer than you. You were one in a million and fantastic to work with.
I miss you buddy.

Kate, co-worker


If you knew Luke you know this to be true: No one was ever happier to see you than Luke was. He would actually get legitimately excited when seeing his family or a dear friend, and could change the mood of a person (or a room) for hours. He really was one of the nicest, sweetest, most memorable people you would ever encounter in life. My heart breaks for his beloved Irene and Patrick. I know many of us think of him often, and I sometimes use his unique and delightful way of thinking to help make decisions - "WWLD" - What Would Luke Do?

Rich Petriccione, friend


Although the Nee and Hartnett families started out as neighbors at 2855 Grand Concourse in Apts. 4G and 5A, respectively, our families quickly became more than just neighbors -- all of us became life-long friends with one another. Even though we are not blood-related -- our bond with our families is certainly heart-related. You and your lovely family are always in our thoughts and prayers, and you will always be remembered with love and kindness. God Bless You All.

Kathleen Hartnett

Kathleen Hartnett, family Friend


We shared some amazing moments over the last 30+ years. You are missed, buddy, missed terribly. You see Luke, you were the glue who kept us all together; the ultimate friend. You were a genuine, good-natured soul who had a zest for life 24/7. You loved family, friends and your Bronx and Irish roots. In your own, unique way, you inspired us to value our friendships. You inspire us still. You are alive in our conversations. You gave us so many gifts and I am lucky to have been your friend. You will NEVER be forgotten! Your loving spirit lives on through everyone you touched.

John Kilcullen, lifelong friend


I knew Lukie for 6 years. We became friends almost immediately. Luke has the most remarkable personality. He found the good in everyone and everything. He lived his life with such passion. He loved his wife Irene, son Patrick, Parents, brother and sisters and in-laws, all family members with that same passion. His friends are his extended family, with a bond that has lasted 40 some what years. I am proud to have known him, and to have met such wonderful people through him. Dennis and I will miss you greatly and will notice the emptiness on our special day. We love you, Please continue to watch over everyone. (always another favor)

Carrie & Dennis, friends


Our families grew up together. I've known Luke forever and will never forget him. His happiness rubbed off on everyone. He has an amazing family that is in my heart and prayers every day. Everybody misses you Lukey. We always had fun when we hung out, but my most special memory of you was when you sat and talked with me about my father after he died. That meant more to me that you know. So thanks again Lukey. Rest peacefully. Love, Nora

Nora Hartnett, friend


I will always remember my trips to the Bronx to visit the Nees and my cousins Luke and John. I always looked up to Luke because he was good at football ,stickball, and basketball . As I grew older,however, I realized what a special person he was . I always noticed how my buddies he had , that he never had anything bad to say about anyone , and that Luke was someone special .I will try to live the rest of my life like Luke ,and I pray that his family knows how sad I feel. I miss Luke and I will forever look up to him .

Jimmy Gormley, (cousin), Rena, Jimmy C, Katie, and Kevin


I first met Luke in September 1968. It was about the second week of school and I just tranfered into SPNS. When I arrived Luke was sent to bring up to class. With his never ending smile on his face he introduced himself and continued to introduce me to everybody we past that day. As the years went on we continued as friends no matter how many years may have past. I always remeber Luke as my first friend in the new neighborhood. My prays continue to include you and your family.

John Farrell


I cannot describe how much you are missed by all of your friends. You were and always will be the heart and soul of our crowd. You never realized how excited we were to see you. You created a buzz of excitement when you entered a gathering and made everyone feel their best friend just arrived. I miss you so much and thank you for allowing me to be your friend.

Tom Connolly


With much sadness and allot of thoughts and prayers I think of you all today. I look at Luke's picture and I can still see him at the Little League fields, smiling! I never knew his name, just the face, the smile, and being one of those parents who was there, happy and helping. Until today, while reading Lukes tribute, I didn't realize that we shared early grade school together at St.Philip Neri.. being the same age, we may very well have shared 1st grade class together.. this world isn't really that big after all. I'll never understand why anyone, or how anyone, could knowingly try to destroy it, or the wonderful people in it, like your Luke. I will never find the words to express how I feel, but know that my thoughts and prayers are with you often.

Beth Sheehan


Happy Anniversary in heaven my happy Irishman. You were an angel here and now in heaven you are watching over your love ones. A great person that was always happy and smiling. I am blessed that you were my friend.

Mary Jane Palmisano


I have had the pleasure of meeting Luke at my sister's wedding. It was in '85. He was a childhood friend of my brother in law. He was so full of life. He is still spoken about due to his performance on stage the day of my sister's wedding. I believe it was a Rolling Stone's song. God Bless.

Kim Fiorito


You will always be remembered as a great husband, loving father and wonderful friend. As a friend, we will always remember your happiness, generosity and kindness. From the days on Minerva Place, Hayes, Drexel, the Alibi, Rockaway, Dewey and Yankee Stadium we always knew how to have fun. Your laughter lead us to great times and fond memories. We have all been blessed and honored to be your friend. We will always miss, love and respect you forever.

Michael, Laura, Michael, Jacqueline Walsh


Bronx in His Blood

As a boy, Luke Nee played all the games that a Bronx sidewalk offered to kids on Minerva Place, just off the Grand Concourse: stickball, of course, and off-the-point and street hockey.

Right out of Cardinal Hayes High School, he answered a help-wanted advertisement for people with math skills and landed a job at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Before long, a half-dozen guys from the block followed. It was a small world, he would say, but he would not want to paint it.

At Drexel, he met Irene Lavelle, and they were married September 11, 1982. After he had shifted to Cantor Fitzgerald, he would chew through a couple of novels a week on the train ride from Stony Point, N.Y., said his brother, John Nee. His Bronx roots showed: he shared a ticket plan for Friday night Yankee games with boyhood friends from St. Philip Neri School.

Luke Nee, 44, made the simple pleasures glow. "He treasured Irene and loved bringing their son, Patrick, to ballgames," said his brother. On summer weekends, he, Irene and Patrick would jump in the car, pick up a few relatives and head for the beach. And on Sept. 11, he made a final call of farewell and love to his family.

"Luke was just a friendly, kind, peaceful, and unaffected guy," said Mr. Nee. "Meatball heroes, watch a movie with Patrick — that was a Saturday night."
THE NEW YORK TIMES


And lastly, this sums up the wonderful person Luke Nee was...


Goodnight sweet brother. The brightest light in our family has gone out. I will always love you. Please watch over all of us.

Love, Barb Mary Nee Reilly (Sister)

Luke Nee, a great guy.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Thomas Blake said...

I remember Luke as a real intelligent,stand-up guy.His sister,Pat,was in my class.I live in New Mexico now,and was unaware of Lukes' passing on 9-11.I was working in NYC at the time and watched the horror unfold and lived through the aftermath,as we all did,and still do.Thomas Blake

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the Nee Family from SPN and subsequently Cardinal Hayes High School. I remember my family sad over Luke's passing, especially my late mother who remembered him from her library duties at SPN.

Rest In Peace

Frank McHugh and all the McHugh Family

7:43 PM  

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