Michael D’Esposito, 32
When Michael D’Esposito was 12 years old and all the boys in the neighborhood were getting Nintendo games, he wanted a computer that he could program. His parents bought him a TRS-80 color computer, and he became the neighborhood expert, helping everyone out whenever they got computers.
Mr. D’Esposito’s early aptitude let to a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science at Pace University and a career in computer programming. Most recently, he was self-employed as an independent consultant contracted by Marsh & McLennan.
The 32-year old Morganville, NJ, resident was at his office on the 96th floor of 1 World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11, and is among the thousands missing since the day of the attack.
He was born in Staten Island, NY. Mr. D’Esposito played hockey from the time he was 7 through his years at St. Peter’s Boys High School, Staten Island, where he graduated in 1987. He continued his interest in hockey as a passionate New York Rangers fan.
Mr. D’Esposito met his wife, the former Grace DiBenedetto, in 1986, when both were working for Pathmark. After they married, the couple lived in Westerleigh, Staten Island for four years until they bought a house in Morganville in 1997.
The most important thing to Mr. D’Esposito was spending time with his wife and their daughter, Mrs. D’Esposito said. “His idea of a vacation was to stay home,” she said. They enjoyed cooking together, and he had recently branched out to experimenting with recipes picked up from the Food Network. His most recent endeavor was a recipe for ribs.
The birth of their daughter, Ashley, two years ago added a new dimension to their time together. He gave up the diversion computer games had become when she was born. “He wanted to be with her,” said his wife. He had recently started a Saturday music class with his daughter.
Ralph D’Esposito still has his son’s TRS-80 in his garage. He hung onto it for sentimental reason and now he is glad he did, because, he said, “It was a great part of what Michael did.”
After graduating from Pace, his son was employed as a Microcomputer systems analyst at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), Manhattan.
In 1997, he began working for APPCITY, a computer consulting company that placed in at Marsh & McLennan.
From 1999 until last year, he worked at APPCITY’s offices, when they had become more of a software development company. Late last year, he became an independent computer consultant and was contracted by Marsh & McLennan.
Although father and son did not share the same profession – the elder D’Esposito is a Certified Public Accountant who has worked as a chief executive officer for various companies and is now is public practice with a CPA firm – Ralph D’Esposito often deals with computers.
With a son who was up on the latest in computer technology, he had come to rely on him for technical support. “Hardly a week went by that I didn’t call him with computer questions,” said Mr. D’Esposito.
He was one of the few people I know who is happy with their life,” he said. “He loved his job, he loved his family, his wife and child. He always had a smile on his face.”
In addition to his wife, Grace, his daughter, Ashley, and his father, Ralph surviving are his mother, the former Carol Ann Castellano; his brother, Robert; his paternal grandmother, Ann D’Esposito, and his maternal grandparents, Anthony and Anna Castellano.
A memorial mass is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. at the Church of Saint Clement, Matawan, NJ.