Susan M. Pollio
World Trade Center
A Heart for HelpingAt Thanksgivings, Susan Pollio would get up from the table and announce, "I have to go see a friend." After she died, her family learned that she had been going into Manhattan to feed the homeless in soup kitchens.Ms. Pollio, 45, a broker at Euro Brokers who lived in Beach Haven, N.J., was always offering to help out. Sometimes this benefited her, like when she was a young secretary at a brokerage firm and a broker called in sick. Ms. Pollio offered to fill in for the day and began a career.Mostly, though, Ms. Pollio, whose early marriage was annulled and who never remarried, seemed to live to help others. She organized a prayer service at a church in the financial district for a colleague's daughter who had a brain tumor. When the priest backed out at the last second, Ms. Pollio got up and led the service herself. "I used to tease her," her friend Karen Kelly said: "If she had any flaw, it was that she was too nice. If a bird was in the middle of the road, she'd stop and get it."Ms. Pollio's generous impulses outlived her. Ms. Kelly had mentioned that her husband was training for a triathlon and was having problems keeping his energy up. A few days after Sept. 11, he got a book in the mail from Ms. Pollio on dieting for athletes. Ms. Kelly's sister received a package, too — of clothes that Ms. Pollio had outgrown. "It was spooky," Ms. Kelly said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 12, 2002.
Susan Pollio, 45, attained her dream jobWhen the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993, Susan Pollio of Jersey City walked down to safety from the 84th floor of the South Tower. Although not physically injured, she was covered with soot and disoriented."She was traumatized by that," said her mother, Phyllis Pollio, also of Jersey City.So when terrorists crashed two jetliners into the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, Ms. Pollio made a quick telephone call to her mother telling her she was going to leave the building -- but then decided against retracing her steps of eight years earlier.It was that decision that sealed her fate. Ms. Pollio, 45, a bond trader with Euro Brokers, perished when the World Trade Center collapsed.Ms. Pollio, who stayed at her Jersey Shore home on Long Beach Island the weekend before the Tuesday attack, made two calls to her mother's answering machine on that morning.In the first message, she said she was planning to stay that night at her mother's house.The second message, mere seconds long and spoken in a shaky voice, came shortly after the attack. "She's telling me, 'Don't worry, I'm okay, I'm evacuating,' " her mother said.Because of mixed signals about how to respond to the attack, her daughter apparently changed her mind, Phyllis Pollio said. "She decided to stay on."After months of being reported as missing, Ms. Pollio's body was recovered Wednesday, her mother said."It's a miracle," Phyllis Pollio said. "I had mixed emotions. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad. But as time has gone on, I have closure. But in a situation like this, how are you to feel?"The job near the top of the Twin Towers was very much a dream realized, her mother said. A graduate of St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, Ms. Pollio began as a secretary at Euro Brokers about 15 years ago."One day, a broker was out sick, and they gave her that chance," her mother said, explaining how her daughter won her job as bond broker. "She proved herself well, and she remained there."The challenge, and the healthy pay, kept her excited about working there, Pollio added.When not working, Ms. Pollio enjoyed helping out at her church, St. Francis of Assisi on Long Beach Island. The church held charity runs, and Ms. Pollio was often there, handing out water to the runners.Ms. Pollio also had a passion for the environment, and a conviction against smoking."Her father was a chimney smoker," her mother said. He died when Ms. Pollio was in her 20s, and the experience of her father's death prompted her crusade against smoking.In addition to complaining in person about smoke in restaurants, Ms. Polio wrote letters to newspaper editors, her mother said.Most of all, she built relationships. "She loved her family," Pollio said. "Her treasures were her family and friends."Born in Jersey City, she resided there her entire life. She was married briefly, but the marriage was annulled, her mother said.In addition to her mother, Ms. Pollio is survived by two sisters, Joyce Oxley of Toms River and Sandra Gonzales of Indianapolis, Ind.
Profile by George Berkin published in THE STAR-LEDGER.
This is most detailed information I have found on this exceptional woman. Unfortantly, her life was tragically cut short on that horrid day. The world was a better place for having her in it, even for a short time. May she be an example to all of us, to strive for acts of kindness and unselfishness.