Thursday, September 11, 2008
Donald Thomas Jones II 11/4/61 - 9/11/01
It is with a profound sense of sadness that I write this letter. On September 11th, 2001 the lives of my entire family were changed forever. My beloved brother, Donald Thomas Jones II, age 39 was lost in Building One of the World Trade Center. He was a loving husband to Michele and a devoted father to his daughter Taylor Nicole, age 5 and his son, Donald Thomas III, age 2. He was a caring son to grieving parents, Judith and Donald Jones, son-in law to Carol and Felix Ramirez and brother in law to Christopher Ramirez. He was a dear nephew to Marjorie & Edward McSpirit, Linda Zielke and Robert Sutton; tremendous cousin to Stephen McSpirit, Edward Otto Zielke, Jason Zielke & Lauren Zielke and uncle to Stephen McSpirit, II. Don was also an honored family member to The Winifred Jones Family, John & Barbara Jones; The Mees Family, The Markferding Family, Gertrude Dickison, The Bregman Family, The Red Jones Family and The Janelli Family.
My brother was an Executive Vice President in the Municipal Bond Department of Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of Building One of the World Trade Center. He survived the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and was called a hero in many New York newspapers as he calmly lead many down a darkened stairwell over 100 floors, (including a pregnant woman who was in labor) to safety. I am sure he tried to do the same for his co-workers again this time. That was the kind of man he was.
He moved with his family this past March to Billingsley Drive, just around the corner from where he grew up. He was delighted that his daughter was starting Collins School in the same kindergarten classroom he attended. We will never forget the wonderful people on his street, many of whom he had yet to meet. The Hollis family, the Brenners, the Maxwells, the Place family, the Heicklens and so many more all coming in every day with food and kindness to try to bolster our spirits, while we waited.
We were also supported by our wonderful friends Elaine, Donna, George and Karen Reinhardt, Sue and Ed Luigori, Dana and Gary Marshuetz. His wonderful Newark Academy friends, Jim Borkan and Mike Melillo.who have been with us every day. The Lopomos, the Bonsmas, the Cantors, the Collins School mothers the PTA and Officer Chuck Granata of the Livingston Police Department have all helped ease our suffering. Reverend Long of the Federated Church spent time with us and prayed with us at the beginning of this ordeal, when we needed his prayers. The employees of St. Barnabas Hospital helped us with their kind words and generosity. My brother's many friends from the Northfield Townhouses in West Orange including Elaine Sugerman, the Patels and Paul and Ava Goldstein stopped by repeatedly and offered their comfort and support. Pip Printing on Route 10 in Livingston assisted me, at no cost, in preparing flyers with my brother's picture, which I posted throughout New Y! ork during our search. Trays of food were sent from Chuck Tahaney at the Town Hall, Joe Roberts and the Town Building Department, Prudential Real Estate Associates, the employees of Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales, Joseph Zahn, Shelly Umanoff and Gail Lowenstein of Gail Lowenstein Real Estate, Marty Writt, Frank and Shirley Goehringer and Ochs Cider Mill. Countless others stopping by with cookies, donuts or that big hug that we so desperately needed. I'm sure there are many who I can't remember, but you know who you are and we love you for caring for us. I know we will never be able to adequately thank you.
I would also like to thank my wonderful cousin Lauren Zielke, who spent days tending to my brothers' children giving love and kindness and patience where it was needed. She was and is our rock to lean on each and every day.
Finally, I would like to thank my dear friend Steve Avetzek, and my cousins, Edward Otto Zielke, Stephen McSpirit and Jason Zielke. For 2 days we searched countless sites in New York City, including hospitals and the armory to find my brother. We walked hundreds of blocks when we weren't allowed to drive. After we ran out of places to search and came home, my cousin, Stephen, a Patrolman on the Livingston Police Department went back and spent nearly a week without rest working tirelessly with the rescue crews digging in the rubble to find his cousin. No greater gift could my brother have received than his cousin's love and dedication. I will always remember their expressions of love for this great man, my brother. I will miss him all the days of my life. May he rest in peace.
William B. Jones II