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|Frank Thomas “F.T.” Aquilino
Date of Birth: October 16, 1974
Following is the eulogy read by F.T.’s sisters, Tara and Jill, at his Memorial Service:
The other day I happened upon a journal that our brother began keeping in 1997. It is a record of the many ideas that were constantly swimming in FT’s head. Throughout his 26 and 11/12th years F was very inventive and ahead of his time. We would like to share with you his very first entry as it captures the essence of who he strived to be. It reads as follows:
“These are ideas, inventions, and thoughts that I have and live everyday. My goal is to become the most successful person, first and always with my family and secondly financially.”
In a little under 27 years FT had already accomplished what we all hope to achieve in a lifetime. FT has had more adventures and experiences then most of us will ever encounter. He has also managed to maintain numerous close and wonderful friendships. All of these guys and their wives and girlfriends have been by our side these past two weeks – holding our hands, hugging us, and making us laugh with memories of FT. Each of you are mirrors of FT. We love that when we look at you we see our brother in your eyes.
FT has managed to keep long-term brotherly friendships from when he was a young boy with guys like Scunge and Palumbo, who could sit here and tell you a lifetime worth of laughter and fun. He has also been an amazing, influential, and inspirational brother who we both have always looked up to. He paved the road for his little sister by helping to extend her curfew night after night while pushing his older sister to do things she wouldn’t normally do, like encouraging her to slide down the basement steps on a toboggan.
Beyond his family and friends, FT rapidly excelled in his career at Cantor Fitzgerald. As Mike LaRocca, or Roc as F liked to call him, will tell you, this young rising star walked through the halls at the Trade Center and received the utmost respect from everyone in the firm. You always felt you could do anything with FT by your side. Everyone felt confident being with FT. You knew you could get out of any sticky situation with him. As all his friends can tell you, FT was the only one who somehow always managed to come out on top.
Our brother was never afraid to try or do anything. Never lazy, he constantly kept himself busy – a talent he inherited from Poppy. Our brother was family carpenter, electrician, plumber, maintenance-man, closet organizer, interior decorator, and most memorably the one who told the best stories at family dinners. No matter what our brother did, he always tried to make a positive difference.
FT’s creative juices were constantly flowing. He could be making a million-dollar deal at work, planning a night out with friends and still find time on the side to develop his online gambling website Ubetwhat.com. This was his most passionate entrepreneurial endeavor. He was going to see this to completion and of course, like everything else in his life, it would be a huge success because nothing FT did was on a small scale.
Not only did FT do things big, but he also did them fast, smart, and with precision. Our brother loved to live life in the fast lane and to be where ever the action was. He received more speeding tickets than most of us in this room combined but thanks to his connection with the police department, and good friend Lenny, he also managed to argue his way out of many. You could never argue with FT and win. He would argue his point until either he was blue in the face or you would just give in out of exhaustion. FT could convince you the sky was green.
In addition to speeding, FT unfortunately wrecked more family cars then our father cares to remember. It began with the Toyota Camry, or as F liked to call, the V6. Then went Tara’s Subaru followed by the lovely Beretta with the attached PA system that he used for harassing nearby pedestrians and toll operators. Last but not least, in FT’s final hour he managed to take our mother’s brand new 2002 Acura TL down with him. While we would gladly trade in every car in the world to have our brother back, this is all a part of who FT was and how we remember his incredible spirit.
FT loved surrounding himself with the best of everything, from great friends and amazing family to stylish clothes and trendy clubs. I wish I could have lived just one day of FT’s life. When in his company you knew you would be in for a fun ride, whether at the local bar or in the hottest restaurant.
When we think of FT our eyes fill with tears but our heart fills with a smile. We all feel a tremendous void that can never be filled because FT is irreplaceable and unforgettable. It seems as though he was taken from us too young but he truly lived a lifetime. FT left his mark with each of us and it is important that we always reflect upon his spirit. It seems senseless that he had to leave us in such a tragic way. But as those who knew him say, FT would only go out with a big bang. It took both towers of the World Trade Center crumbling to take our brother down. We have to accept and try to find comfort in the fact that for some reason unknown to us, God needs our brother in heaven. In those painful moments when we feel completely overwhelmed with grief, we find solace knowing that our brother is now an angel watching over us. We will use all the love in our hearts to make sure that the spirit of our brother lives on.