Joseph Sisolak

When there was a problem in the e-mail system at Marsh & McClennan in the World Trade Center, someone would call Joseph Sisolak at home in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, no matter what the hour. Mr. Sisolak, a 35-year-old senior vice president in charge of the e-mail system, would listen but would not hand out an answer. He would tell the caller to think the problem through, a technique that colleagues said made them better at their jobs.

'He just wanted to do the best he could,' said his wife, Suzanne. 'I think that’s why golf appealed to him so much. You had to keep score.'

Husband and wife took up golf three years ago, and last summer they played every weekend. Last spring, he joined 20 other men on an annual golf outing to Myrtle Beach, S.C. He was the newcomer, and he brought his enthusiasm to the game. When he parred a hole, he would dance around. He was so excited that he asked to return. Now next spring’s getaway has a name: the Joseph Sisolak Memorial Outing.

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

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Knowing you, however short a time, was a true privilege. Your smile and vibrant personality always brightened up the 95th floor. Thoughts are always with you Joe. Only wish we had longer time to spend together.
Mark Konzelman, Colleague
Sep 10 2016 2:19PM
I worked with Joe for over 3 yrs when I was school and so was he. I always enjoyed his quick witted comments, he's funny humor and quiet disposition. I think about him often most recently when our old boss and shop owner passed away. Thank you Joe making our part-time jobs so much fun!!!!!
Deborah Duffek, Colleague
Jul 15 2016 1:16PM
Joe, I must admit I we never met , but it turns out we are cousins. From the sound of these posts from all these nice people, the loss is mine. I first discovered you when I searched our last name. I was born in New Jersey but my family moved to Florida when I was young in 1969. It turns out we have a very large family all over the country. Today, we are all focused on you. Even though we never met, I am very proud to be related to you. We have a pizza place who's owners came from New York. They have an American commerative flag with the names of the victims forming the stripes and of course yours is among them. My belated condolences to your family. I hope they, along with the rest of us, know that you are in great company. Thank you for touching so many lives and continue to do so. God Bless You. Sincerely, Paul M. Sisolak Jr.
Paul M. Sisolak Jr., Family
Sep 11 2015 10:23AM
I was a classmate and played sports with Joe during our time at Maine Endwell. That was 30 years ago...It seems like yesterday... I remember your spirit, your sense of humor and your integrity. My thoughts go out to you and your family on this day. God Bless.
John Pastore, Friend
Sep 11 2014 4:25PM
Thinking of you today Joe. I'm going to use my best vocabulary words today in your honor. Gone but never forgotten. RIP.
eileen mcguire, Colleague
Sep 11 2014 9:59AM
Joe, I think of you often, and will never forget the enthusiasm you brought to our golf outing. Hope you're hitting them long and straight buddy. Tom
Tom Preston, Friend
Sep 11 2014 12:50AM
I knew Joe from Maine-Endwell High School. He was a friend and also a teammate on the bowling team. Joe gone but not forgotten.
Dennis Bruetsch, Friend
Sep 10 2014 11:37PM
Gone but never forgotten.
Tom Switzer, Friend
Sep 11 2013 8:55AM
I work for IBM and Joe was a valued client and friend. I think of him every year on 9/11 and want to wish him, his collegues at Marsh and most of all his family my best wishes on this day. Henry Rohrer
Henry Rohrer, Colleague
Sep 11 2012 11:57PM
Joe was my cousin, and a really fun one at that. He loved family and loved to play games. He was always laughing and making jokes. He taught me to fly a kite when I was quite young and I remember playing badminton with him and his brother Tom. Tom described him as 'Michael J Fox's character on Family Ties, but without the politics.' The more time I spend with family, the more Joe's absence is felt. I remember him with much fondness. He was always smiling. I wish we had more time together.
Barbara Lundberg, Family
Sep 11 2012 12:53PM
I think of you often these day Joe. All the days/yrs we spent as teammates on the wrestling team, your laugh, you kindness. You are missed!
Scott Key, Friend
Sep 11 2012 7:21AM
Well realizing that Joseph was a family member back then that I never knew him because of the attack..I was only two years old. If I could have met him when I was a baby I might have known who he was to me. I hope that Joseph was a really honest, well mannered, awesome guy. Joseph... I hope you watch over me in my darkest days. I am the great grandchild of George&Jane; Suflita.
Colin Greene, Family
Sep 13 2011 6:53PM
Thinking about you and your family on this 10th year. Mickey
Mike Canestaro, Friend
Sep 12 2011 7:01PM
Joe I was a colleague and friend from our time together at Macys. I saw your name and Jonathan's come up on the 9/11 tribute this year -- hard to believe it's almost 20 years since we worked together and now 10 years since the attack. Lost track over the years but now I will keep the memory of many years of service. Bob
Robert Glassett, Colleague
Sep 11 2011 8:06PM
Joe, though I only knew you as my 2nd cousin, as each year passes by, I continue to grow more proud of you. Rest in peace and know that you will never be forgotten.
Steve Skinner, Family
Sep 11 2010 10:00AM
God Bless Joe Sisolak. Not forgotten. With Love from M-E Class of 1984
anyonomus, Friend
Sep 11 2010 7:54AM
I can't believe that it has been 8 years since we lost Joe. I still remember hearing the terrible news right after 9/11, and still find it so hard to accept as true. Joe was a good friend of our family and worked with my sister, Katy, at a store in Endicott for quite some time. I loved when Joe would visit our house...always so funny, nice, and full of life. Although I had not seen him for many years before his death, his photos look just the same as I remembered him & I am so proud of all that he accomplished in his short life. I remember him every 9/11, as do the rest of my family. Rest well, Joe...it was an honor to know you!
Anne Hyland Woodard, Friend
Sep 12 2009 9:54AM
To this day we could still use Joe's infectious smile and personality around the office. He made work that much more pleasant on the 95th floor. You'll always be remembered, Joe.
Mark Konzelman, Colleague
Sep 11 2008 1:02PM
Joe, I remember catching crayfish in your back yard. I remember listening to Heart on your record player. I remember wrestling with you in my basement, pinning you and then hearing you tell me 'congratulations Mike!'. You had a lot of class, even as a teenager. I lost touch with you after we both attended BCC and I always heard about you through your Mom. I hoped for us to catch up with each other some day. I'll be thinking of you again this year and wishing the best for your family. Your friend, Mike J. Canestaro III (Mickey)
Mike Canestaro, Friend
Sep 9 2008 2:20PM
Hey Mr. Sisolak! How's it going? Had a Rice Krispy snack the other day and naturally thought of you. I was also thinking of the way you would twist your back while standing around with your arms crossed and the loud cracks that would come from it. The Henry Rollins gig will always be one of my greatest memories. I still owe you that beer. Remember the Pink Ranger? Tee hee hee! Miss you Joe, Love M
M, Friend
May 12 2008 11:05AM
“Sisolak” Oh the world's a beautiful place sunny skies and warm breezes just a blow'n but why, oh why, can't we just open our eyes and really see it? now there's precious life all around can't you just open your eyes and see it now let's all let go of the hate and let every mothers child walk free in peace now I think of my friend that on that day I'm not sure what tower he was in but I know he met his fate on the day... another mothers child learned to hate So sweet mothers of the world our fate is in your warm loving hands now teach your children to love and see the beautiful sky we have above Joe, I'll see you again one day we'll share some laughs and talk of the old times old high school days have past but I still think of you and smile farewell for now my friend
mjh, Friend
Mar 30 2008 12:17AM
I never had a chance to meet Joe as a grown man, but I remember him fondly as a teenager in upstate NY. He would occasionally hike from his Mom's house to our's on 38B to goof off with my brother David, playing basketball. I remember him from band, from church, and from riding the same school bus for years. And even though I hadn't seen him in 20 years, man, Joe, I would have recognized you anywhere! Someone else mentioned Joe blushing - I totally remember that and in fact, when I picture him in my head, that's what I see - a blushing, grinning teenager. He had the most marvelous sparkling eyes and a sheepish grin. And a great sense of timing with the quietly spoken, hilarious verbal aside. To read such glowing remembrances from his colleagues does not surprise me at all. I think of Joe and his wife, Suzanne, often. And pray for his Mom and step dad, his father and family, his brother and Yvonne and kids... Such a lovely guy. Joe, I'm sure, lived his life to the fullest. Even those whose lives he touched so long ago still feel his spirit.
Karen Black Tuzza, Friend
Sep 11 2007 9:50PM
Joe Sisolak is my Nephew. His Mother is my Sister. Joe is one of the finest men I've ever known. He was, and still is, an important part of my life. I have loving memories of Christmas dinners with him and all our family. Once, after we had not seen each other in a few years, he remarked, 'This family thing is really great Uncle Mike. Even though it's been years, it's like we never missed a beat.' I believe our next reunion will be like that too. The other contributers have said it well. Joe is a caring, loving, and very real human being. He is intelligent with a great sense of humor. Besides that, he worked and achieved much in his life here on earth. I wonder what God has him doing now. Good stuff for which he's well-suited, I'm sure. I love you Joe. I miss you something awful. Some days, like today, I just cry wishing I could give you a hug and hear your voice. That's the effect you have on me, and others too. There's the testimony of what a great guy you are. At home there's a special place in my living room with your picture, and a piece of the World Trade Center steel in my office at work. And when family talk, you are fondly remembered. Until we meet again, that will have to do. Uncle Mike Suflita, or UMS as you used to refer to me in your emails.
Michael Joseph Suflita, Family
Jan 17 2007 7:59PM
my friend joe knew him and that ok i wish an always wish 911 never happened ill never will forget my friends in the usa and the usa is close in my heart ever since i was young
john hutchison, Friend
Jul 2 2006 9:28PM
Joe, Things have not been the same since that day you were taken away from us. We constantly reflect on how you were as a manager, and laugh about the good times we had as a team. You were not only my boss, but one of my mentors, and for that you will always hold a special place in my heart. Not many people in the office were priviledged to know the side of you that made people love and respect you, so I consider myself blessed. I know you are aware of how often your name is called, not only at work, but all around, don't be embarrassed by it, just know that you were loved and missed dearly. Hopefully you're watching over all of us, and lend a hand in guiding us.
Ordia Bryan, Colleague
Nov 11 2004 5:05PM
Dear Joe, Your 20th High School reunion just took place in Endwell NY. Many of your classmates, including myself, learned of your loss the night of the reunion. We are saddened and will pray for those left behind. Your picture was displayed for us to reflect and remember. You were a friendly, positive, intelligent and well liked boy. I'll remember your happy face and laugh. It looks like you turned into a successful, well-liked intelligent Man. For that, the M-E High 1984 class is Proud! We are sadden that you are gone, but You will not be forgotten! We will Honor you with our support of the Coventry House. With Love, Your Classmates
Anynomous, Friend
Aug 1 2004 5:47PM
Happy Birthday in Heaven, Joe. Still missing you, waiting for you to come back to work. I got off the phone with your mom a few minutes ago and we had a nice time talking about you. Did you blush? I Just want you to know you're still in my heart and prayers. Love, Mike
Michael M, Friend
Jun 3 2004 3:36PM
Joe, Well this memorial has certainly been a long time coming. Two years after 9/11 and only now can I begin to write this to you. You would think I would know where to begin, but I don't. So I'll just dive in. Let me start off by stating the obvious; I miss you! I hope that doesn't come as a surprise to you. I like to think that you and I were really good friends. I know I always treasured our friendship. When Greg first introduced us, I was a little unsure about what to expect. You were his boss! Not to mention that strong, professional exterior that you always had. Fortunately, I got to know the real you. The one behind that 'exterior'. You were always so much fun to be around. I loved your dry, acerbic wit as well as your overall goofiness. I admired your professionalism a great deal. You seemed to always know the score. But what I really liked about you was your fun side. You had a great sense of humor and you loved to laugh. It was great finding out that you and I had some common interests. That we liked a lot of the same music, enjoyed Monty Python, and had similar outlooks on the world around us. One of the most memorable nights of my life was when you, Greg and I went to see Henry Rollins at The Town Hall. We laughed so much that night! Not to mention the following morning in Greg's office. I regret not being able to buy you a round of beer like you did for Greg and I that night. I loved having lunch with you. I loved watching you get under someone's skin just for the fun of it. I loved making you chuckle when we were among other people and I hinted at something only you and I knew about. You were always a great source for advice. You never led me astray and always gave me your honest opinion. You used to ask me 'Do you want my advice as a friend or as a manager?'. Of course, I always chose 'friend'. You always had a gentleness about you. I'm glad I was able to get to know that side of you considering the fact that we worked together and that the workplace isn't where one expects to make such great friends. A few weeks before 9/11, I reflected with great pride at how I had so many great friends. Lifelong friends! I hope you knew that you were one of them. I tried to make you aware of that when I bought you that case or Rice Krispy Treats from Costco. For a health nut, you sure had a sweet tooth! But like so, so many of my great friends, you are gone now. And you have left a void behind you that no one can fill. I have a real hard time getting my mind to believe that someone so strong and energetic as you is really gone. I always expect to see you rounding the corner or showing up for work in the morning. I can still see you walking past my desk at Word Trade and stopping in front of me just long enough to twist your spine and make it crack loud enough for me to hear. I've been lucky enough to not only meet your wife, Suzanne, but also your mom. They were two lucky ladies for having had you in their lives. When I speak with your mom in person, I cant help but notice that you got your eyes from her. Talking with her makes me feel that part of you is still alive. If only that were true. So do me a favor? You and Greg, save a seat for me next to the two of you in heaven. It will be nice to be able to laugh that way again. Someday. Love, your friend, Michael
Michael Cantatore, Friend
Oct 2 2003 3:56PM
Joe was a trully a wonderful person that brought out the best in you. I have never been more honored and priveledged to have had the opportuinity to have worked with anyone of his caliber. He was a great leader that stood behind his people. He did not back down when things needed to get done. What ever resources he had available, he made available, and put into action when the call came for it. He really knew his stuff at both the buisness and technical aspect of managing technology, which is trully rare in the technology services field. Joe had a way of making you want to do your job better, even though you felt you did your best. You wanted to strive for new heights. Thats the effect he had on people. A Senior Vice President at age 34 says it all about intelligence,dedication, and ability. He was great with words, and his way communicating with people. You would learn from his words and his direction. But perhaps I thinks one of his stongest points was that even though he had achieved so much reached the level that he did, he still acted like an everyday guy. He would stop by my desk and tell a joke, or speak of a concert that he had gone to or was planning on going to. We had a common interest in music. We both loved heavy metal from the 80's. But what got to me on a personal level most of all was the phone calls of support for me and my family when I had fallen ill and landed in the hospital. .I dont think anyone could honestly say they know of an SVP of any type who cares that much about his people. The Technology services field has trully lost a great one. Joe was a great leader,collegue, and friend to me. His loss will never be forgotton, and his memory will never die. God allows things like this to happen for a reason. Times like these we call into question our faith because of his motives for losses such as these. What gives me some comfort is that I know Joe has moved on from us now to manage a bigger organization for a greater cause..... We will miss him greatly, Thank you for everything, good bye my friend and collegue, rest in peace.... Patrick Kidney (Lindenhurst, NY )
Patrick Kidney, Colleague
Jul 28 2003 11:47AM
I never personally knew Mr. Sisolak. Today I received in the mail a silver bracelet with the engraved name Joseph M Sisolak. It came from Skip and Lenya Heitzig of Calvary Connection (http://www.calvaryabq.org/connection.html) and is called a Mercy B.A.N.D. The bracelet is to serve as a living memorial to those whose lives were so tragically taken. It is also a reminder to pray for the families of someone who died in the terrorist attacks. I did not order the bracelet but I am glad it was sent. It prompted me to find out who Mr. Sisolak was. I found this page and met a man whose life touched many even if they never really did meet. I met a man taken in his prime. My age. Taken from his wife and family. Dear Lord, I pray for continued strength for Joseph’s wife Suzanne, his family and friends. I do not know if he knew You so I pray for mercy. Thank you for the bracelet. It will be a daily reminder to pray for Joseph’s loved ones. Although, a year has passed, their pain is still great. I pray for comfort for Joseph’s family. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Michelle Melton, Friend
Sep 19 2002 7:31PM
Joe, I kept reminding myself all summer before that fateful day that I needed to call you. We hadn't talked in about a year and even though I left J&H;/Marsh in '97, I tried to keep in touch. All I could think of when it became apparent you had perished was 'I meant to call you Joe, I really did.' I hope you understand. I remember when J&H; decided to centralize the administration of Notes, you and I had some heated debates on the pros and cons, you taking the centralized Corporate point of view and me taking the decentralized branch perspective. But even with our different views, I truly enjoyed your company. I remember when I left the firm and went to work elsewhere as a regional IT manager how you gave me a bad time about now being 'coporate scum' like you and having joined the dark side. I also fondly remember going to dinner when you were out in Seattle. We talked about many things, none having to do with work, and it was such a pleasant evening. I was impressed with how much you loved your wife. Your world rotated around her. I think of her often and pray for her to find peace with your passing. Take care Joe. I miss you.
Neal Steik, Colleague
Sep 16 2002 3:31PM
I met Joe several years ago when J&H; was going to an e-mail system called Lotus Notes. Training was held in several different locations. He later came to our office for our network installation so he could also see his Dad, who lived in a nearby community, and also to install our Notes Server. I always enjoyed his wit and his smile. Whenever I was in NY, I would stop by to see him. I am grateful for the chance to know him and I miss him.
Dianne Beam, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 1:20PM
You could never meet a friendlier guy then Joe. Always a smile. Always quick witted. I only got to know Joe better after our transfer to WTC about 9 months prior to Sept. 11th. I never really worked closely with him on projects. I recognized him as someone I just had to introduce myself too. He had that aura about him. Enjoyable and fun to be around. His presence is greatly missed. I will remember him forever.
Mark Konzelman, Colleague
Jul 25 2002 3:52PM
I cannot believe that today (5/28/02) I have just discovered that some of my former colleagues at M&M; (previously from J&H;) were victims of the devastating attack on 9/11. I left J&H; almost 7 years ago & never really kept in touch with anyone there. I had known that J&H; was acquired by M&M; & that M&M; had some offices in the WTC, but I never really gave it much thought. Today, I stumbled upon a website that listed all victims, sortable by employer. Out of curiousity, I decided to check the impact on M&M; and was STUNNED to see so many of my former co-workers listed. I worked for Joe & learned so much from him. He had a very unique sense of humor that made going to work a little easier. I remember having him & his wife at my wedding & watching them dance on our video, you could see the true love that they had for each other. I am in real shock over the loss of such a caring person. I send my deepest sympathies to his family & friends. I am very sorry to hear of this news. -Michael Goldberg 5/28/02
Michael Goldberg, Colleague
May 28 2002 2:15PM
Eulogy delivered at Joe's Memorial Service in Endicott, NY - September 29, 2001 My first recollection of Joseph was, my wife, Patty telling me about her buddy, Joe shortly after Patty & I first met. Then, I finally met Joe not long after we got engaged. The same day we got engaged, I think. Joe thought he had to give me some advice about marriage, told me this on the phone without having met me - when he met me he realized how much older I was than he, that I was divorced, and had a grown son. We both laughed about it, even then, at our first meeting.. I laughed a lot with Joe. He made me laugh at my own foibles. We joked about his anal retentive nature (look it up in the dictionary and there's the proverbial picture of Joe). I would call Joe at the office, and through the technology of Caller ID, Joe would invariably answer 'Domino's Pizza' or when he would leave Patty or me a message at home, it would be Movie Phone recording voice. Always gave us a smile. Joe was so much more than laughter, but we can't forget the laughter. We miss that laughter Joe was loyal. Joe demonstrated immense loyalty to his friends. My wife and Tom Nesterak and he were the 3 Musketeers at work, virtually inseparable, and no one dare take on one without taking on the others. We miss that loyalty. No matter what the problem, if Joe felt he could help, he would give you whatever he could. Whether it be taking time to help us set up our new computer, help Tom Nesterak move to Chicago, or just spend time talking, you could count on Joe. He might sometimes question one's approach to things and point out alternatives in words and phrases that you might have to go home and look up in the dictionary, but his loyalty would never waiver. His use of the english language was excellent. His wit could be biting, but always with a wry smile. We miss that smile. He loved in a big way. He loved working in the World Trade Center. He took great pride in it. Joe exhibited great pride in everything he did. He so relished his family's trips to New York. He loved showing off his city to Teresa and Tom and their families during their visits from upstate - especially the nephews, oh how he loved having them in New York. He always spoke of the wonderful times he had with Suzanne's mother and many aunts during their visits to NY. He was a New Yorker. He loved his cats, his home, Brooklyn and, of course, he loved Suzanne. They were a complete team. We all miss Joe's love. Whether it was work, running (and the log of every day's weight, route, time and distance run, and weather), recently found love of golf (his pride in his clubs and the rounds he meticulously recorded), or the work he did, he did nothing half-way. He always wanted to excel, and would accept nothing less that the very best from himself. Joe and I became good golfing buddies - certainly no one could call either of us good golfers, but we had fun. We enjoyed the mutual frustration the game brought, and we would always discuss rules. Joe always wanted to play by the rules - in everything. He was one of the fairest people I have ever met. We went to Myrtle Beach together last October, with another friend of mine, and we were joking and laughing continually. Joe had to play 36 holes a day with two guys (me and John) older and much less fit, but he endured it well. We loved it when Joe and Suzanne would come to our house first in Brooklyn Heights, then in Philadelphia. A couple of times a year, we would have wonderful rounds of golf, and Joe would enjoy it regardless of the weather or the course conditions. He would enjoy the camaraderie, and the time spent with Patty. Suzanne and I had similarities and always respected Joe's and Patty's need for their time. We would jointly cook meals and spent several New Year's Eves falling asleep before the ball ever dropped - having eaten well, having had some champagne, and having watched some portion of a movie. Joe, we will miss you. My mother sent me a card which had the following thought which captures where I am. 'Little by little, as we grieve for lost loved ones, we begin to remember not just that they died, but that they lived.' Let's remember Joe's wonderful life
Glenn Camp, Friend
Apr 4 2002 8:42AM