“She enjoyed life to the fullest”
Friends, family remember former Saugus resident Trudi Alagero
Those who were close to Gertrude “Trudi” Alagero say there was not a soul she encountered that she did not affect in a positive way. Whether it was her engaging smile, her love of children or her overall enthusiasm for being on planet Earth, her friends and family say that Trudi had a way of making people feel good.
“She truly enjoyed life to the fullest,” said her brother Paul. “She was just such a dynamic individual. I’m truly blessed that I had 37 great years with my sister. She just enjoyed all facets of life.”
Trudi had celebrated her 37th birthday the weekend before the fateful Tuesday, Sept. 11 when she was killed after a hijacked airplane collided with Tower 1 of the World trade Center, where she was working on the 94th floor. She is survived by her mother Marie Alagero, three older brothers, Stephen, Charlie and Paul, and four nieces and nephews. Trudi grew up on Chestnut Street in Saugus and was a 1982 graduate of Saugus High School. She also joined all three of her brothers as graduates of Providence College, where she earned her degree in 1986.
The night before the incident, Trudi and her fiancé Peter Walther had been making plans for their Jan. 5 wedding by listening to tapes and reading books on Africa where they planned to go for their honeymoon. Walther and Trudi had met at their offices at Marsh Inc., a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan where they each worked and where Trudi was a Senior Vice President for Private Client Services. Walther said that he feels blessed for the time that he spent with Trudi while she was alive and will never forget what a beautiful person she was.
“She was as beautiful inside as she was on the outside,” Walther said. “ She just had this incredible ability to become absolutely silly at the drop of a dime and at the same time she could put on a beautiful dress and stop traffic. She had a warmth about her and a fierce loyalty to her friends and family.”
Paul Alagero remembered his sister as a woman who had a zest for life. Just a few weeks ago she had taken a week to go to Newport to learn how to sail and also had taken classes in gourmet cooking. More recently, she and her fiancé returned from a vacation in Maine where they spent time fly-fishing. Paul said that these were the happiest times of his sister’s life.
“Any opportunity to do something that she had never tried, she was going to try it,” Paul said. “It was just a great place in her life that she was at right now. She was the happiest that I’ve ever seen her.”
Reprinted from the Saugus Advertiser with the permission of the Community Newspaper Company.
Gertrude Alagero: The Luckiest in the World
She always had time for a friendly chat with the corner newsdealer and the counterman at the deli, and she was sometimes forgetful about paying parking tickets and bills. But Gertrude Alagero, nicknamed Trudi, was also a determined competitor. After she taught her fiancé, Peter B. Walther, to snowboard, she never let him beat her when they raced down Okemo Mountain in Vermont.
Ms. Alagero, a senior vice president at Marsh Private Client Services, a division of Marsh & McLennan, and Mr. Walther, who was her supervisor before they began dating in 1998, had planned to marry in Boston on Jan. 5.
A few days before the terrorist attack, Mr. Walther said, she pressed her fingers to his mouth while they were walking toward the subway from their Upper West Side apartment.
'Shhh,' she said, 'I need to tell you something: I am the luckiest woman in the world.'
On Sept. 7, the day that Ms. Alagero turned 37, she gave Mr. Walther a Nikon camera so he could become adept at using it before their honeymoon in Africa. He snapped two rolls of pictures, mostly of her.