This Patriots’ Day, South Brunswick Public Library would like to honor those who have fallen from our community.
South Brunswick Hometown Heroes lost on September 11th, 2001
Hometown: Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick NJ.
Occupation: Systems Analyst, Marsh & McLennan Inc.
Jeffrey Robinson was a soft-spoken “everyday guy,” said his wife, Millicent, but he had a well-developed ear and a passion for jazz. His wife said that the people who worked with him quickly learned that he was the fellow to call if you needed a new tweeter.
He also had a “guy” hobby that amused his wife: racing miniature model cars. “They were like big kids,” Ms. Robinson said of her husband and his racing buddies. “It was like they didn’t get train sets when they were little.”
But Mr. Robinson, a systems analyst, had four children of his own and wanted easy commuting. When he started working at Marsh & McLennan, his office was in Princeton, N.J., only 10 minutes from his home in South Brunswick. In February, however, his group was transferred to the World Trade Center, lengthening his travel time to an hour and a half or more.
On Sept. 11, Mr. Robinson told his wife he had stayed up until 1 a.m. listening to a Billie Holiday anthology and overslept. Skipping his morning jog, he raced for the train station. “He was running out of the house like a madman,” she said.
Toyena Corliss Skinner
Hometown: Kingston, NJ.
Occupation: Associate, Wachovia Corporation
Toyena graduated from Lehman High School. In 1998, she joined First Union and worked as an associate in the Wealth Management National Services Group. She was a hard worker, very smart, and a fast learner. She had a big heart, was honest and sincere. She loved her cat January, rock music, and was a proud Mom.
She left behind her son, her Mother, two sisters, and a brother. Skinner was a new mother whose last day at Wachovia was supposed to be Sept. 14, 2001, according to a blog post from Sept. 10, 2006. Part of the posting reads: “She planned to start a new life as a mommy. According to comments left online by your sister, your son has grown up to be a brilliant child. He is also very handsome, as he resembles his mother.”
Kenneth Charles Ledee
Hometown: Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick,, NJ.
Occupation: E-mail coordinator, Marsh & McLennan Inc.
The following are excerpts from a Charles Kim article with Kenneth Ledee’s widow Mary written for the South Brunswick Sentinel.
Mary said that Kenneth was a wonderful husband and father, and will be sorely missed. “I get up and open my eyes, because I have a 4-year-old daughter. She doesn’t have Daddy here,” Mary said. “He did not deserve to go out this way. He should have died in his sleep as an old man on a lounge chair watching a ball game,” she said, adding, “He died very cruelly; that is what I’m angry at the most.”
Mary said that Kenneth would never call in sick to work, and deserved a much better fate. She also said that the community of South Brunswick has really opened their hearts to the family following the disaster. “They all came out for a service. They brought fire trucks, police cars, and the people packed the road,” Mary said, noting, “It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”
She also said that we should be careful not to attack our own neighbors who may be from that part of the world. “We should not be attacking our brothers. Then we are just as bad as they are,” she said.
Mukul K. Agarwal
Hometown: Kendall Park, NJ.
Occupation: Research Analyst, Fiduciary Trust
Mukul Argarwal grew up in Kendall Park and graduated from South Brunswick High School in 1980. After graduating Mukul went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and the Wharton School earning an MBA in 1990. After having worked in investment banking in the United States and abroad, Mr. Agarwala, an American citizen, headed an Internet-based company in San Diego that dealt with stock research, Ajay Agarwala said.
He was courted by Fiduciary Trust and offered a position in early September. He took the job because he wanted to get back to the East Coast and because he wanted to be able to help his family, relatives said. September 11th was the 2nd day at his new job at Fiduciary Trust.
South Brunswick High School classmate Hank Kalet who teaches journalism at Rutgers University remembers Mukul’s wit and humor. Debbie Lawrence, a friend from South Brunswick High, remembered how Agarwala had often helped her with advanced placement chemistry homework. “He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh at himself,” she said.
“He was very excited about starting a new job at Fiduciary,” his brother said.