Warren Grifka

Nine years ago, the health of Warren Grifka's elderly mother began to deteriorate. Mr. Grifka, a Marsh & McLennan computer specialist who lived with her in Brooklyn, took on her care. 'He'd be up all night with her,' said Bonnie Montellaro, his older sister. 'Then he'd go to work in the morning.'

He quit taking vacations or going out with friends. Mrs. Montellaro said she and Henry, their younger brother, wanted to help or hire round-the-clock help. But Mr. Grifka, 54, would not hear of it, she said. 'His feeling was that this was his job and that was it,' she said.

Last year, Frances Grifka, who had been bedridden and largely unable to communicate for three years, died at 86.

'He was just starting to live again after my mother died,' Mrs. Montellaro said. 'He was back seeing his friends and going to movies.' He went to Florida to see friends and relatives — his first vacation in a decade. An accomplished baker, he spent a Saturday showing a Brooklyn chef how to make his famous cheesecake.

'He was out, which was so nice,' Mrs. Montellaro said. 'Out to dinner at night, out on the weekends. He had just got his life back.'

Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

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Always thoughtful, friendly, warm and helpful.. A trait that made Warren stand out. A trait for which he'll always be remembered. Thinking of you.
Mark Konzelman, Colleague
Sep 10 2016 2:46PM
A friend of mine posted a picture of a subway plaque that happened to be of Mr. Grifka. I decided to look him up and learn about him. He truly seems like a kind and generous individual.
S M, Colleague
Sep 11 2014 9:02AM
I never knew Warren but I saw a photograph of the National September 11 Memorial with Warren Grifka's name on the Memorial. I felt compelled to show a moment of respect to his memory by finding out something about him and his life. I was moved to tears. RIP Warren Grifka.
NaturalTV, Friend
Dec 31 2011 11:45PM
I remember Warren as being such a warm and caring person, in addition to being very capable in his job. He always had a smile on his face and was such a pleasure to be around. You are missed.
Julie Wilde, Colleague
Sep 8 2011 4:44PM
Sometimes all it takes is something that most people would consider insignificant for you to remember a person by. Whenever I think of Warren, I think of a friendly person with a smile from ear to ear.
Josephine Restivo, Colleague
Sep 13 2010 5:03PM
Grateful to have known Warren and will always remember him. I recall back to 89 at a training seminar with him and a bunch others from J&H.; Some of who had also passed on 911. How I had a splittin headache after a long road trip to Massachuetts. After arriving I went immediately to my room to lay down as other colleagues gathered downstairs, arriving from different locations. Several minutes later I heard a knock on the door. Others had told Warren I wasn't feeling well and went to my room. He came up 7 flights and walked down a couple long hallways with a glass of water and asprin. Just a common consideration from a friend and how those thoughts can entrench themselves in your mind forever. A thoughtful, soft spoken and pleasant guy was Warren. My thoughts are with you on this the anniversary of that terrible day and always.
Mark Konzelman, Colleague
Sep 11 2008 1:18PM
Hi Warren, I saw someone recently that looked like you. I wish it was really you. You are missed. Take care, M
M, Colleague
May 12 2008 11:27AM
I worked with Warren back in the J&H; days of our organization. He was always friendly and courteous and an all around nice person. I always wanted to ask him for some of his recipies buy, regretfully, never got around to doing so. The world needs more people like him. He will be missed. Rest in peace, Warren.
Michael Cantatore, Colleague
Feb 3 2003 12:34PM
Warren was a modern-day saint. He always had a smile on his face, and his manners were impeccable. He was also the kind of person who was always ready to help and share information. On a less serious note, I will always remember his knowledge and skill around food. He knew good food... He knew where the good food in Brooklyn was, and he was right. Also, I can still taste the incredible chocolate mousse and truffles he would make himself to share with us after lunch. Thank you, Warren.
Flora Bennett, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 6:15PM
I will always remember Warren as a man with a smile on his face. Being passionate about baking, he would sometimes bring some samples into work, which would be devoured in no time. Being the friendly chap that he was, and seeing how much I enjoyed his baking, he gladly sent me some of his favourite recipes. Tonight in his honour, I think I'll make a cheesecake! My heart-felt condolences go out to his family and friends.
Chris Venne, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 1:16PM
Warren and I worked in different departments, so we didn't know each other well, but it still impresses me how friendly he was and what a big smile he always had for you. I hope he and his mom are together in heaven.
Josephine Restivo, Colleague
Aug 25 2002 7:36PM
I worked with Warren over the Phone, Never meeting, He was always helpful, with my work and answered any questions I needed to answer. I remember him as a VERY professional. I will always remember him in my prayers.
Stephen B. Howard, Colleague
Aug 18 2002 8:00PM
Always helpful, thoughtful and friendly. Warren was the kind of guy you would want on your team. Thats exactly how I'll remember him. Looking forward meeting him again one day.
Mark Konzelman, Colleague
Jun 18 2002 3:53PM