September 11, 2012

Jeffrey Coale - 2996 Tribute

September 11, 2012

9/11 Memorial Site Visit

In March of this year my daughter and I took a trip to NYC and visited the 9/11 Memorial Site and found Jeffrey's name. The Memorial is really beautiful and I encourage those who may be visiting New York to definitely make a trip.


September 11, 2007

I kept meaning to post up my 2996 tribute from last year, but of course forgot this morning. Then I received this comment from Jeffrey Coale's sister, Leslie, which just absolutely made my day:

I am Jeffrey's sister. Thank you so much for sharing his life with so many people. It seems that the world has forgotten the tragedy of 6 years ago. I am heartened by your blog and the comments posted in response. Thank you.


Original Post:

Intro borrowed from Kami, who said it so eloquently:

Back in July, Dale got an idea to have one blogger each cover each of the victims of 9/11. (No matter how you feel about what happened that day, these people were indeed victims.) He set out to get 2,996 bloggers to cover all of the victims, and he exceeded his goal. I am honored to be a part of his project.


Imagine having this view as your workplace.
That’s what Jeffrey Coale saw each day when he went to work as Assistant Wine Master at Windows on the World, the restaurant that occupied the 107th floor of the North Tower, One World Trade Center. A job where he had taken a huge reduction in income in order to further his dream of owning a restaurant.
He lost his life on September 11th at the age of 31.
Jeffrey’s dream to own a restaurant began in college. He took training in cooking and restaurant management. Those skills help, as does money. And so he went at it methodically: working for a number of years as a very successful government bond trader, while at night, he attended classes at the French Culinary Institute.
After some time he quit trading and took a job as an apprentice chef at the Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. Next, he returned to New York to work at the Alain Ducasse restaurant. Wanting to refine his understanding of the wine side of the business, he then took a job as an assistant wine master at Windows on the World.
"He left really good money to make $10 an hour at Windows," said Leslie Brown, his sister. "But Jeff never settled for something. He followed his passion."
On visits to his parents' home, he would sometimes cook a special meal.

"He would send me out for all these special ingredients," his mother Joan said, "and he would make fun of my old pots and pans and utensils." Her son had become such an expert chef, she said, that "I would cook family favorites for him sometimes, and I'd get nervous and burn things."
From A Tribute to my Brother by his sister Leslie Coale Brown

”He had a generous heart, a kind soul and a creative intelligence. He has friends around the world. And if you were Jeff’s friend you were special. While he was never mean, Jeff didn’t waste his time with people who weren’t genuine. Jeff rarely did anything he didn’t want to do; I think this is why he was able to experience so much in life, because he was not motivated by guilt or peer pressure. He didn’t waste time feeling bad.”

“And the only sense I can make of why Jeffrey’s life would be called so short is because of the effect it will have on so many people. He touched many lives and my hope is that now because of knowing and losing Jeff your lives will be different. Maybe someone here now won’t be afraid to dream big, maybe someone will realize how short life is and start living it differently. Maybe you will change jobs, or appreciate your family more. Each of us has a responsibility to live life with a little more passion and joy in honor of a life cut short. Try to be the person Jeff knew you were capable of being.”
His mother, Joan Coale had given her son a special gift of her own shortly before Jeffrey’s death: her mother's diamond ring. It was intended for his companion, Margaret Rosenblatt, with whom he lived in Greenwich Village. "He was waiting for a special time to give it to her."
Earlier this year, a number of former Windows on the World staff opened Colors, a co-operative restaurant in Manhattan that serves as a tribute to their fallen colleagues and whose menu reflects the diversity of the former Windows' staff.
Having Jeffrey Coale’s name assigned to me was quite moving and apropos on a number of levels. This project of researching his life reiterated my feelings to truly urge everyone to follow their passions and dreams. Oftentimes life can be short and you really must make the most of it.
Within weeks of Jeffrey’s death several surviving coworkers had followed his ‘lead’ and left unsatisfying relationships and/or jobs. I only hope that those who read this and may be in similar positions will gather some strength from this.


kimmyk said...

Such a moving tribute Lori.

It's so sad to read these, but I do..because it's the right thing. This one gave me chills. It's just so sad....

Ro said...

What a wonderful remembrance. The picture is just breathtaking. We can certainly all learn from Jeffrey Coale when it comes to following our dreams!

I hope that perhaps some people saw that beautiful view as their last in this life...and that they didn't suffer...

Thank you also for visiting my 2996 tribute.

MysteriousLady said...

A beautiful tribute. So well done. The picture so vivid.

mine is up if you would like to stop by.

MilkMaid said...

What a fabulous view and what a truly tragic end.

Shell said...

Even though it didn't pay well it must have been a wonderful job to have. It's so sad he never got to open his own restaurant. It probably would have been fabulous.

Kami said...

Wonderful tribute, Lori. So sad to lose such a wonderful young man.

Sassenach said...

Permalink created for 2996 database (I'm helping out as a list captain).

Thank you for writing such a moving tribute.

Carrie said...

What an amazing person. That was a very moving tribute.

The Kept Woman said...

I'm glad to hear his legacy lives on through the new restaurant. I'm sure he's smiling down on them every night.

WILLIAM said...

Very nice tribute.

Tammy said...

What a great man. I love that he wouldn't take shit from people.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful young man--who was following his dreams.

I have posted my tribute honoring Sgt. Michael Curtin, a NYPD officer who willingly walked into collapsing buildings on a rescue mission. His body was recovered several months later in the rubble of Ground Zero. So many lives lost--so many heroes.


Anonymous said...

You did a beautiful job of remembering this amazing young man.
You're right, we often settle; fear, money, safety make decisions for us.
I have often told my Sweetie that I simply don't want a life of settling...I watched my dad slip away from the stress and boredom of his safe job and safe money. Sure we might not have the biggest house in the city, but we do have the most fun in our house....I guess we are living our life. I hope that would make Jeffrey happy..his dream lives on for many...

tina said...

I have visited here a few times (Milkmaid sent me) - but have not commented. I have to comment on this moving post. You did a great job in honoring this young man. I am so sorry he was not able to accomplish his dream, but there is much to be said for the way he lived his life and the effect he made on other's lives.

So much sorrow in remembering 9/11, but so important to remember those who lost their lives and to honor them. Thank you!

truckdriver_sefl said...

Wow such a great tribute Lori. Its so wonderful to see some like him. I love it when someone follows their dream as he did. I belive if more people did that this would be a much happier world.

Again GREAT job!

sarah said...

Thank you so much for giving Jeff's life a presence. Jeff was such an important person in my family's life. I miss him everyday. His birthday was two days ago, he would have been 36. When I think of him I smile and almost laugh from my memories of him. I want everyone who reads this to know he was the most gentle, sincere, wonderul person I have ever known. It was an honor to have him in my life.

lesliebrown said...

I am Jeffrey's sister. Thank you so much for sharing his life with so many people. It seems that the world has forgotten the tragedy of 6 years ago. I am heartened by your blog and the comments posted in response. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am thankful for people like you who remind us that there were faces;lives and stories among the statistical data from September 11th.

Your words are eloquent and timely. Well said!

Lynnette Gonzalez Cauble said...

Thank you for sharing Jeff's story. Today has been an interesting day. I learned only this morning, 9/11/2009 of Jeff's passing from an old, dear friend. I am mourning his beautiful life today for the first time. It brings my heart some solace to know that Jeff was following his dreams, and found a beautiful love, Maggie. I knew Jeff for a brief time in college. He was larger than life, and boy, could he dance. :) I lit a candle today, in hopes that energy of peace could be felt by those that loved him. I always thought Jeff painted the world beautiful colors and hoped he was living a happy life. I am so sorry that the world took him at such a young age. I pray that maggie has found peace, and his loving family knows that on that dreadful day, years ago, he was surrounded by angels. Thank you for giving me a place to sound my sadness. Jeff, you were a beautiful young man.

sean said...


Mike said...

Very nice tribute to Jeff. I was fortunate to call Jeff a friend when we worked together at Westcap in Houston, TX. At the time he was on the trading desk working as an assistant, and while working around some HUGE egos, he managed to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground and was always humble. There are certain people that you meet in life that you immediately know are genuinely good people. Jeff was and will always be on top of that list.

Amy said...

I am a member of, and we register and release books "into the wild" to track where they go. In 2004, I released a book in memory of Jeffrey. I didn't know him personally, but he would have been my age and something about his story on one of the victim memorial websites just touched me about him.

Here is a link to the book I released if you would like to check it out. The person who found it seems to be inspired by Jeffs life.

frank shull said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
frank shull said...

I was thinking about Jeff today and remember recruiting him to my fraternity at Maryland. I kind of took him under my wing and got him into the Vous since I worked there. He was a true gentleman and I miss him a lot. We had a lot of fun times in college and I will never forget him.

Cathy said...

Thank you for reposting this memorial of Jeff and giving me the opportunity to remember him. 9/11/11

EstiloHunter said...

What an amazing project! so touching!
He looked like a very nice guy, I bet he is proud of how this post remembered him :)