Margaret Orloske

It is not easy to prepare an entire Thanksgiving meal, from turkey to pies, over an open fire. But every year, Margaret Quinn Orloske made it look easy. Using only cast iron pots, trivets and a brick oven, Mrs. Orloske and her husband, Duane, cooked their Thanksgiving dinner — and many other meals — in the cooking hearth of their home, a reproduction of an 18th-century house with period details but modern appliances.

A lifelong American history buff, Mrs. Orloske was transported daily from the world of five-count ovens and antique woodwork to one of electronic networks and information management, as she traveled two and a half hours each way to her job as a vice president at Marsh & McLennan.

Mrs. Orloske enjoyed her work enough to make the commute, but she also loved returning to her dream home in Windsor, Conn. 'I think the 18th century was her refuge,' Mr. Orloske said. 'It was such a contrast to what her everyday life was like.'

A former librarian, Mrs. Orloske, 50, was a born organizer. The details of an annual trip in December were worked out by Labor Day.

'We even knew during the summer where we were going to eat every night,' said her friend Jean Mayhew, who, with her husband, often visited historic places with the Orloskes and their son, Stephen, 19. 'She was a most unusual woman,' Mrs. Mayhew added. 'No matter what she did, she did it well.'

In December, Mrs. Orloske's former boss, Tim Brady, and his wife, Bernadette, had a daughter. They named her Margaret. As a gift, Mr. Orloske presented the couple with a quilt his wife, ever the planner, had picked out for them months before. 'It's something she'll always be able to have,' said Mr. Brady. 'From a woman she'll never be able to meet.'

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

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Margaret, recent events in Paris caused me to reflect on past horrors and lost colleagues. You came to mind as usual and I once again was reminded of how yours was "a life well lived" and how your career influenced my husband Michael, a former Marsh employee who passed away. Thinking of the two of you discussing the world of information science (and also swapping some holiday recipes) brings a smile to my heart. It was an honor to know you if only through email and the telephone. You helped me navigate the M&M world of information and made my job so much easier and fun. Thank you from one Margaret to another.
Margaret Sensiba, Colleague
Dec 1 2015 2:38AM
Thinking of you today, you are not forgotten.
Linda Abersold-Burns, Colleague
Sept 10 2015 6:09 PM
Margaret was such a help with Data Mining. Clearly she loved it. I hope she is reading a juicy history book up in heaven.
Lauri Hanson, Colleague
Sep 11 2014 11:32AM
As the years have passed and my husband Michael Sensiba and I, both former Marsh employees shared a memory or thought about that day Margaret's name always came up. Michael had started a new career as a librarian and Margaret was part of the reason. Michael passed away on Feb 7th. I am hoping he and Margaret are enjoying a conversation about their mutual interest and their favorite projects.
margaret sensiba, Colleague
Feb 18 2014 10:14PM
Thinking of you Margaret as I do so often but especially today. Peace. Wren, Marsh Cincinnati
Wren Schnelle, Colleague
Sep 11 2013 12:35PM
I sure appreciated Margaret's knowledge and research capabilities at Marsh. She helped me out many times when I worked in Detroit and no request was ever too difficult for her to dig into. I also taught a class with her and really respected her dedication and professionalism. How fitting is it that Margaret and Maureen are next to each other on the tribute list! Margaret, we miss you and will never forget you.
Lauri Hanson, Colleague
Sep 10 2011 8:34AM
I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret during the J&H; Marsh merger time. Margaret was so kind to me as we worked together. I remember the first time she told me about her commute, and I could not believe it. Clearly, she was a dedicated, very capable employee, but also a loving wife and mother. You are missed and thought of often.
Julie Wilde, Colleague
Sep 8 2011 4:40PM
I knew Margaret only as a resource to me in the Detroit office; we spoke but never met But I feel I know her well in some ways becuase of the positive impact she had on my husband Michael's life. I met and married Michael when we both worked at Marsh. I then moved from Marsh to Aon and on that terrible day we both sat at home in front of our TV shocked that so many of our friends and colleagues were gone in an instant. The events of that day had a life-changing effect on my husband in a way that at first I did not realize. He did not feel at home anymore at Marsh, so much had changed. I understood because I knew many of the same people. But then when he came to me and told me of his desire to change careers - become a librian, and that Margaret was his inspiration, I was able to find some solace despite the loss of so many friends at both Marsh & Aon. I am writing this today because as I spoke with my husband this morning as we got ready for work and he talked about the Wayne State Holiday party for the Library Sciences group, I was pleased to hear him excited about being with his fellow employees. I watch him grow in his job and see the lives he has touched and I am proud. Our niece, Melanie, plans to become a librian 'just like Uncle Mikey'. Thank you Margaret - for the part you have played in my husband's renewal.
Margaret Sensiba, Colleague
Dec 12 2007 12:57PM
Margaret, I am thinking of you today. I am now a full time librarian at Wayne State University, and have used your inspiration to make me what I am today. Bless you.
Michael C. Sensiba, Colleague
Sep 11 2006 1:48PM
Thinking of Margaret on this day - 5 years later. She was always a joy to work with. She is missed.
Russ St. Hilaire, Colleague
Sep 11 2006 10:03AM
It's taken me five years to be able to write this. Margaret was the first colleague who befriended me when I joined Marsh in 2000 although she worked at WTC and I was in Stamford. Margaret took the time to 'show me around' this huge company, and on a couple of occasions went out of her way to stop by our office in Connecticut to meet with me on her long commute home. She always went 'over and beyond.' We shared similar interests in and out of work, so I got to know Margaret as both a colleague and a friend. While I only knew her a short time, I miss her dearly.
Judith Platt, Colleague
Sep 11 2006 8:52AM
Libraries across America will be engaged in 'The September Project,' where people will gather to discuss the significance of concepts like patriotism and duty and loss (my words). I will be a speaker at the September Project presentation at Wayne State University in Detroit. I will do my best to honor my fallen friends and colleagues at Marsh. And most significantly, I hope to honor you, Margaret. I'm sure you would think it fitting that libraries host such a noble undertaking. I, for one, will not forget, and maybe I can help others to remember as well.
Michael Sensiba, Colleague
Sep 8 2004 12:30AM
I enjoyed working with Margaret on various research projects, even though we never met face to face. I remember talking to her about the intricacies of performing Boolean searches in Lexis-Nexis. Margaret was always professional and a light at the end of the tunnel. I no longer work for Marsh, but Margaret continues to inspire me. I am now a graduate student at Wayne State University seeking my Masters in Library and Information Science. This semester I'm taking a Business Resources & Information class, and I think of Margaret watching over me every day. I only hope I can be of as great a help to others as she was to me. Bless you, Margaret.
Michael Sensiba, Colleague
Sep 8 2003 9:18PM
I worked with Margaret on and off since she first came to Marsh. She was great to work--competent, cheerful, and always responsive. She and I often bounced ideas off each other. I have thought about her many times in the last year, and I miss her. Margaret was a wonderful person and we will never forget her.
Marianne Bonner, Colleague
Sep 19 2002 4:09PM
I worked for Margaret on a short-term project involving the merged library collections of Marsh and J & H during the first six months of 1998. Although I only worked with Margaret for a short period of time, I had the opportunity to see what a remarkable person she was. I will always remember her kindness.
Leonard de Beer, Colleague
Sep 18 2002 6:02PM
My neighbor dedicated a garden we built to honor Margaret, my wife, it was a wonder ceremony. Many press people showed up for the event and here is the text of the article that was in today's paper (The Hartford Courant). Garden Honors Sept. 11 Victim Memorial Dedicated To Margaret Orloske July 7, 2002 By CARRIE BUDOFF, Courant Staff Writer WINDSOR -- Two of Margaret Orloske's greatest loves - gardening and community - intersected Saturday at a ceremony honoring her memory and a life cut short by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. A collage of yellow day lilies, thyme, black-eyed Susans and other foliage now decorates a plot of land at the center of a cul-de-sac on Settlement Hill, the street where Orloske lived. Neighbors decided late last year to transform the island of overgrown grass and shrubs into a permanent memorial to a woman who always made time for her own passion, gardening, and those who lived around her. 'It is fitting because it is a garden and it was something Margaret like to do,' said Duane Orloske, her husband, at the ceremony. 'It was built for and by our community. It is fitting because it is a tribute to life and all living things.' Orloske commuted from her Windsor home to New York City and her job as a vice president for the insurance brokerage firm of Marsh & McLennan Cos. at the World Trade Center. She worked on the 96th floor. Within weeks of the attack, neighbors began thinking of ways to remember Orloske, the resident gardening guru of the tight-knit neighborhood of 18th century-style colonial homes. She would throw several parties a year for her neighbors and offer gardening advice to anyone who asked. On Saturday, after months of planning, dozens of family members and friends gathered around the garden and locked hands. They spoke of the symbolism of the garden - life, growth, development, interconnection - and how those values mattered to Margaret Orloske. The focal point of the garden is a granite bench and plague inscribed with a poem by Stephen Orloske, her 20-year-old son. A copper beech - a tree Margaret Orloske liked - towers over the garden. A small jar of dirt from the World Trade Center was dropped over a portion of the garden. A man who worked at the wreckage site for seven months offered it to the family, even though he did not know the Orloskes, said the Rev. Janet Stoddard, who works at Central Connecticut State University with Duane Orloske, director of the campus student center. At the end of the ceremony, friends and family sprinkled a few dozen bottles of water onto the small shrubs and flowers. 'This feels good,' said Kevin Harter, a neighbor who originally proposed the garden memorial. 'It's kind of cathartic.'
Duane Orloske, Family
Jul 7 2002 3:45PM
I had the pleasure of working with Margaret on the Factiva and SilverPlume Centra Sessions. Her sence of verbal style and knowledge base greatly added to these broadcasts. What impressed me very much was her kind and loving personality. I will miss you very much and know that you are in a good place. To quote Billy Joel 'Only the good die young'. Love, JAN
Jan P. Brenner, Colleague
May 19 2002 7:48AM
Margaret was a pleasure to work with and very helpful. We worked together on a professional development course and I was very impressed with her technical knowledge and her eagerness to share.
Cathy Fortune, Colleague
May 10 2002 9:46PM
Margaret and I worked closely together on updating the Workers Compensation Database and providing guidance and assistance to colleagues all over the country on Workers Compensation issues. She was always there for me when I had a question, and I always was there for her when she didn't know the answer to a Comp related question. I will truly miss her and never forget her.
Bill Gardner, Colleague
May 9 2002 12:43PM
You are truly missed, and I wish I could have met you to say this in person. Quite simply, thank you. Thank you, Margaret, for giving me the tools to make things happen for others.
Julie Waryjas, Colleague
Apr 26 2002 2:20PM
Margaret was only a voice and an email to me. This note is one of appreciation for her hard work and responsiveness to queries (and complaints) from the field. You were great to work with. Thanks, Margaret.
Ty Howe, Colleague
Apr 15 2002 9:28AM