Jean DePalma

Family Tribute:Jean was quite an accomplished woman. Certainly among her greatest achievements are her son and daughter, Drew and Jamie.

Jean was the first of five children and indeed a born leader in every way - - both in business and from a personal perspective.

Our sister was smart, successful, articulate, well read, and worldly. She knew a little bit about everything. You could always call Jean, ask her a question, and most probably she had the answer or knew where to find it.

In 1980, Jean completed college and started her career at an international accounting firm. Throughout her career with that firm, she worked diligently and on January 1,1993, she became a partner. Most recently, Jean had accepted an offer as Vice President of the C.A.P.S. Division at Marsh & McLennan Companies.

Described by her co-workers as dedicated and driven, she was often referred to as “the person who could get the job done.” If there was a difficult project to be completed within a short deadline - - Jean would tackle the job. Jean handled each assignment with skill and precision while balancing the demands of a career and motherhood.

On a personal level, Jean’s organizational skills couldn’t be beat. Whenever there was a special occasion, a milestone birthday, or a significant anniversary - - Jean was the first to organize a gathering or to think of an idea for the kind of present we should consider buying. She had a tender heart and was generous with her time as well as her resources. If one of us was unable to contribute as much as the others, Jean always put in the rest. She never forgot an important date in our lives and always sent a card for a special occasion.

But most of all she had a lively spirit, and it was always easy to bring a smile to her face even when life was less than perfect. This past summer, when she was somewhat upset because her car had been stolen, the stock market took a dive, and there was a great possibility she might have to leave on extended travel for work. Jean sent her sister Michele a lengthy e-mail to which the reply was a two-line response. Within minutes Michele’s phone rang and a huge roar of laughter came from the other end - - they laughed so hard that day - - they cried.

Michele was able to spend some time with Jean just two days before the tragic event. In fact, they did some of the things that they both loved - - running along the river, taking in a ballet, and lying in bed eating ice cream while watching a Madonna concert.

Recently, Jean’s long time friend and old co-worker, Toni, told a very touching and beautiful story. Toni said that early in their careers, they traveled together on a business trip. Jean had not been on a plane since she was much younger and this was her first flight as an adult. As the plane ascended into the air, there was a trail of puffy clouds climbing upwards. Jean turned to Toni and said, “Look, Toni - - a stairway to heaven.”

On the morning of September 11 at 8:45 a.m. as Jean sat working at her desk, the sky was blue and the sun was shining - - surely there was a trail of puffy clouds and a stairway to heaven awaiting her on that day.

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Hard to believe it's been 15 years since you were taken from your family and friends, Jean. I for one will never forget you.
Mark Leisen, Colleague
Sep 10 2016 10:01PM
RIP, Jean. Think of you often.
Chris Gruttemeyer, Friend
Sep 11 2015 0:05PM
Thinking of you today Jean..
Norman Perkel, Colleague
Sep 11 2014 8:27AM
Another year goes by. You are still thought of often Jean. Today I share your story on facebook as usual. Miss you, your partner at Campos & Stratis and friend. Mark
Mark Leisen, Colleague
Sep 10 2014 11:49PM
Another year Jean. And you are always in our minds, memories and prayers. I always remember the great seminars and partners meetings you arranged as part of your duties as our partner at Campos & Stratis. Still miss ya! With love, Mark
Mark Leisen, Colleague
Sep 10 2013 10:29PM
Jean, you are never forgotten. On this, your tenth anniversary, I remember you today, just as I do every day.
Mark Leisen, Colleague
Sep 11 2011 1:05AM
On 9/12/01 I was a volunteer working at Ground Zero. While taking a break I was sitting Up against the iron fence at St Paul’s Church. The one thing I will always remember is that there was paper all over, it was everywhere. All I kept thinking to myself was that this the only thing that survived .So as I sat there I reached my hand behind me into the through thru fence that surrounded the Cemetery that was part of Saint Paul’s. I pulled out a hand full of paper work there were memos, little yellow sticky notes and some petty cash receipts’. Then there was a business card it said Jean C. Depalma. At that moment I really felt something come over me it was almost as if I knew right then and there that she was with God. My life has never been the same since that day. In all the years that have passed I have never forgotten her, I feel as if I knew her. God Bless You Jean. Anthony Lombardo 05/04/2011
Anthony Lombardo, Friend
May 4 2011 2:48PM
Jean, it's been so long but it seems like yesterday. I still think of you and never will stop. I'm sorry for your kids, and for you. I don't know what to say, Love you Jean.
Mark Leisen, Colleague
Sep 11 2010 5:23PM
Jean and I were 'soccer moms' together as Drew and my son Timmy (now 25) played on traveling teams together. We had some really great conversation and were of a similar independent and driven style. The last time I saw her was at a nail salon. What a great time we had reminiscing and laughing at our present life status. She had some really creative language that day and when I went home, my sides hurt from laughing, but I was also concerned for all she had experienced in her personal life. She was amazing and had moved in a new direction with strength and grace. What a beautiful, beautiful woman. We think of her often and most especially on this day each year. I loved the 'Stairway to Heaven' reference and find solace knowing that she is taking charge up there and most likely making it a more spirited, more humorous place by her presence. I like to think that the hand of God reached down for her and away she went. To Drew and Jamie: As a mom of two myself, I am sure you know but I just want to say again that you two were her very life. She was so proud and filled with such a deep love as we moms know. When you become parents one day...you will experience truly the depth of love she had for you both. We will continue to remember her and wish you only peace and happiness in the future. The Kitchells Tim, Patti, Timmy and Collin
patti kitchell, Friend
Sep 11 2008 12:49PM
My Aunt Jean was an amazing person!! I love and miss her very much!!!
Marisa, Family
Oct 14 2007 5:41PM
i had the pleasure of meeting jean at a time in my life when she was a blessing to me...and i hope i was a help to her too...what a great person...i miss my friend a lot...goodbye snowbunny
john mayer, Friend
Jan 8 2004 1:09AM
I couldn't believe it when I saw Jean's name in the paper as a victim of that hideous day. Jean and I were both Partners at Campos & Stratis, she in New Jersey and me in Chicago. But I'll never forget all the great times we had during our firm's national seminars and partner's meetings. She was a real sweetheart and I think about her often. We even shared a dance once. She'll never be forgotten. See you in the future!
Mark Leisen, Colleague
Jan 21 2003 11:30AM
I wear Jean's name around my wrist this week, on a band provided by my church, All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena, California. This morning, at 5:45am, we opened the church to all who wanted to come in and pray for those who died, for our country, and for peace and reconciliation in the world. Names of every victim were read aloud and projected on a large screen above the altar, while candles were lit in tribute, filling the steps below. I lit a candle for Jean. Before going to church, I attended a service across the street in front of Pasadena City Hall. A procession led by police and fire personnel led hundreds to the steps, where the Pasadena POPS Orchestra and Occidental College Foothill Master Chorale performed Mozart's requiem. Afterwards, two trumpeters played taps, then the crowd left quietly, immersed in their own reflections. It was a beautiful day and a moving remembrance. Jean, I don't know you or your family or your friends. But today I look at your face on this web site, read about you, and honor your memory. You are more than just a name on a list, and today I pray for your eternal peace and for comfort and grace for those who continue to grieve for your loss. With respect, Karen Germaine Mom to Jackson, age 8
Karen Germaine, Friend
Sep 11 2002 2:54PM
Jean and I were childhood friends. Girl scouts,Wallington park, journals,dreams,sunrise/sunset; make new friends but keep the old,one is silver and the other gold-so many treasured memories that remain in my heart. Thank you,Jean, for illuminating my life with your faithful friendship. I miss you and your radiant smile.
Doreen Glut, Friend
Jun 7 2002 12:55PM
Jean Mother, daughter, sister Friend NYC, WTC, City Folk Plays, Ballet, Dinners Confident, Counselor, Confidant Goodness epitomized Friend I miss you
Linda Kostenko, Friend
Jun 1 2002 5:26PM
Jean is my older sister. She kept a close watch on her younger siblings, always ready to lend a hand and share her special talent for education. She used to help us recite our catechism when we were kids. She tutored me on more than one ocassion through high school and college. Jean had huge impact on my life. I was never an exceptional student. I wonder if she realized that while helping me with my schoowork, she also taught me to try harder and not to give up until I understood. In turn, I will try to pass that ambition, that perserverence, that passion for education and understanding to my daughter. Thanks Jean, for a gift that only a truly caring and loving person can give. Love always, Steven, Lori, and Mia.
Steven Caviasco, Family
May 31 2002 2:40PM
Jean was our first born and a born leader. She excelled in everything she undertook. Our hearts have been broken and there is a big gap in our lives that will be hard to fill. She was a terrific daughter and a great mom to her children. Not a day goes by that her name is not mentioned and a prayer is not said to her.We love you and miss you Jean. Love Mom & Dad
Frances and Ed Caviasco, Family
May 30 2002 10:44AM
I think about Jean everyday and the important role she had in my life. She was a big sister, friend, and confidant. Jean influenced me in ways she never knew. I am thankful for the times we shared.
Francine Michalski, Family
May 29 2002 9:20PM
Jean was a VERY special person and a wonderful friend. She was always thinking of the other person and how she could help them. She never forgot her friend's special days. Jean was an avid skier and we had wonderful times skiing with her and her children in Utah and Vermont. Jean has been a special friend of our family for almost 20 years. Our son, Joe, is the godfather to her son Drew and when he was moving back to Utah from NJ, Jean took Paul, Joe and I to a farewell dinner with Drew and Jamie about 2 weeks before Sept. 11th. She had written on Joe's card - If there is EVER anything you need, let me know. That's a true friend because she really meant it. One of the hardest times for us was Sept. 11th when we received a wonderful e-mail from Jean that she sent us from her desk at about 8:40 AM and then we saw the devastation that was happening at the WTC while we were on vacation in Utah. We know that Jean is with her Lord in a much better place, but it hurts all of us who are left behind. We just pray that Drew and Jamie remember what a wonderful Mother she was and how much she loved them. We know they will. God Bless Jean's Mom and Dad, her sisters and brother, and her children Drew and Jamie. We love you.
Kim and Paul Komarnicki, Friend
May 29 2002 6:24PM
I often find myself reflecting back onto the most important days in Jean's life. Those were the days when her children were born. Of all Jean's accomplishments, none could match the beautiful children that God blessed her with. Times shared at birthdays, religious and sporting events will be cherished forever. I could never thank Jean and Steve enough for blessing my life as well, with Drew and Jamie.
Denise DePalma, Family
May 29 2002 4:17PM
I had the pleasure of Jean's company on a few occasions. We shared laughs with my great friend and her sister Michele. If people say half as many nice things as were said about Jean in this tribute I would feel honored and accomplished.
Gail Pezzillo, Friend
May 29 2002 3:23PM
What a beautiful picture of Jean. Really captures her great smile - Jean had a great laugh, too.
michele caviasco, Family
May 29 2002 12:51PM