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Date of Birth: June 30, 1969
Department: Government Securities
Position: Vice President and Partner
How do you measure a life in 250 words? We remember John as a loving son to Marie and Jim; a great brother to Margaret, Jim and Kevin; a wonderful brother-in-law to Robert Paxton and Christine; a caring and compassionate grandchild to Grandpa and “Peg”, a fun-loving cousin and nephew. We remember him as Uncle John – all entertainment, but no diapers. We remember him as a generous and loyal friend.
We remember John growing up in Rockaway – the beach, the basketball hoop, “the cousins” and tons of fun. Four great years at Xavier taught him how to commute him into “the city” and even “speak” Latin. We can still see him jumping in a car to Worchester, MA as an undergraduate at the College of the Holy Cross, his “dream school”. He made great friends along the way and celebrated with his fellow Crusaders this May at their 10-year reunion.
Shortly after college, John moved to Manhattan and secured a position with Cantor Fitzgerald. He began as an assistant trader in the government bonds division. In time, John’s honesty, diligence and work with clients were rewarded and he became a Vice President and partner. John never self-identified with his job, but always took great pride in his co-workers, especially those who shared his keen sense of justice.
We remember the great friends John made at Cantor and the hysterical tales he would regale. We remember him playing golf, his “thirst” (“cocktail time”), the “workout contests”, the Mets, the Red Storm, the Shore, the bets, and being “off the desk”. When we think of his last morning, we especially remember Mike Andrews, Teddy Brennan, Tommy Cahill, Al Mallor and too many others who vibrant lives were wretched from us.
John was a gift to us all and we will always remember his ready smile, his quick wit, his generous nature. He loved life and we are heartbroken that his ended so soon and so suddenly. The adventures were numerous, the laughter was immeasurable, the void is unspeakable.
PHOTO CAPTION: John, as we remember him, hamming it up on September 9th with his niece and godchild, Cate, “the only perfect woman he ever met”.
John and I worked together on the 10 yr desk for a number of years.He was one of the most genuine and no nonsense guys I have ever met.He was always the first to put a twenty on the bar or pick up a dinner bill,at times he was almost generous to a fault.I loved the non stop banter with John throughout the day,whether it be golf,the Mets,St.John’s hoops or whatever was the topic of the day.You could always count on John for an opinion.Though John and I would butt heads every now and then as two stubborn Irishmen will do I considered him one of my closest friends at Cantor and I feel his loss every day.My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
As I sit here pondering over the words that best describe the man I was blessed to have spent the past several months with, I realize how difficult it is. Simply put, to know John was to love him. There was a certain magnetism about him. Beneath the rugged exterior was a heart of gold, a playful child who continued to find thrills in life’s little pleasures and adventures, a virtuous person who stood up for what he believed in and had no problem voicing his opinions(a real ball buster), a man who loved his friends and family more than anything else in the entire world.
I remember the day I found John sitting on my couch reading the little book 14,000 Things To Be Happy About. How appropriate it was for him to pick this book off my shelf. It was the simple things that made him happy. Happiness defined John, John defined happiness.
He and I had an unspoken connection from the beginning, we knew what the other was thinking without a single word. We joked and laughed like children until our tummy’s ached. Perhaps it was the sparkle in his eyes and the way he looked at me, his smile, his unbelievable sense of humor, his warmth, kindness, and generosity to friends and strangers alike, his LAUGHTER…that made me fall head over heals for him. Perhaps it was everything.
I miss John with every part of my being and I will forever remember him in my heart as the “knucklehead” who touched my life and moved me like no other.
John and I first met on one of KB’s golfing boondoggles to Ireland. From the moment we met we became the best of friends. Such good friends, that my wife Tracey and I were blessed to have John in our wedding party. I loved John like a brother and will always remember the golf trips,Saw Doctor concerts and his 30th birthday party where he was given boxing gloves and headgear. John you are truly missed but will never be forgotten. Love Boog
When I first started on the swap desk I sat about 5 feet from John, although I didn’t kmow him at the time I couldn’t help notice the great sense of
humor he had.He would go at it with Pete Logan and I would have to say that might have been the best times I spent at Cantor.We later became friends and John would always invite me for drinks or dinner.He was one of the most generous guys I have ever been around.John you like some many others I think about so many times during the course of a day.My prayers are with you,buddy.
Always a nephew and over the last years, a dear friend, John was fiercely loyal to his family and friends and vocally proud of his heritage. In a life that was far too short, he touched so many with his wit and favored so many with his love. His Irish eyes would twinkle, a smile would break across his undeniably Irish face and a one liner would be launched on a moment’s notice, time and time again. John always found ways to create humor without hurt, laughter without pain and now it seems, we are all suffering that hurt and pain we never had to experience during his life. He is missed terribly and will never be forgotten.
Aunt Susan and Uncle Ed
The thing I’ll always remember about John is that when you met him, he always made you feel like you were the one who was special. He would truly be interested in whatever you had to say to him about your life. He would tilt his head, smile and his eyes would shine while he told you how great your plan was. It’s a rare and special person who could genuinely make the person he’s with feel good about himself. John had that gift and I’ll always cherish his memory for that.
I had the pleasure of meeting John through my boyfriend, Ted Brennan. John and Ted were very good friends – they shared a loyalty to their alma mater – Holy Cross, a love for golf and the ability to make everyone laugh. Having heard about “Farrell” from Ted for so long, I couldn’t wait to finally meet him. I remember the two things he told me about him – 1. He’s a genius and 2. He’s VERY proud of his Irish heritage. When I met John, I was not disappointed. He was so warm and magnetic. I loved hearing Ted talk of John – after spending the day at Cantor together they worked out together almost every day after work. Their friendship was one to be admired.
I was fortunate enough to have spent some wonderful times with John at the Jersey shore this summer. I will forever cherish those memories forever. I know that he and Ted are somewhere still enjoying wonderful times together. God bless you guys – I miss you.
I worked with John for 4 years on the 10 yr desk. Our team consisted of myself, John, Tim Coughlin and John HIckey. Together we covered some of the toughest accounts out there but we had a ball doing it. John was a genuine, brutally honest person. If you were lucky enough to count him as a a friend you had a great friend for life. I can remember so many good times together – dinner with the Lehman boys, rib night at Tennesse Mtn., Cogs’ annual golf outings, workout bets, bartending at the Town Crier, Friday afternoon cocktails (either at the Desk or WIndows – John wasn’t choosy), and the afternoon workout sessions. Leaving Cantor was the toughest decision I ever had to make. It wasn’t so much the job itself, but the camraderie of such great men like John, Tim Coughlin, Chris Colasante, Mike Andrews, Eddie Desimone, Teddy Brennan and countless others. They made what we did in that room tolerable and more imprtantly fun. We would speak often after I left and when we would get together (when John’s green genie was working) it was as though I had never left. We picked up right where we left off. I miss hearing all the funny stories, I miss getting Johnny’s taxes done every year for him sometime in June, but most of all I miss my friend Farrell. I know you’re in good company and I can picture you and Teddy still arguing over the bar tab. I miss you guys.
Johnny…my time with you on the 10 yr. desk was never boring. Whenever I “got the pass from Mama to bury 7 by 7″(for those unfamiliar with the parlance, that meant my wife allowed me to have a few with the boys if I could get home by 7 o’clock)you would drop whatever you were doing so we could kick around life. We both enjoyed sports, but we never had the inclination to discuss them. We preferred to talk about family, friends, your new apartment, how you were muddling through Ulysses (talk about ambition!)and what courses you were taking at the New School next semester. You had no tolerance for phonies, but with those you loved you could be the warmest,gentlest soul. My life is richer for having known you Johnny,and I’d really like to thank you for that.
Johnny, the man from Rockaway Beach! Where we sat on the 105th floor of Tower #1, we saw it all – what a view. When the sun was bright and the sky blue, I would tell John, what a beautiful day it is on the beach. Bam – he would turn around and acknowledge my observance. John, it has been that way all Autumn long this year. I know, you are shining down on us and we smile up to you every new day. It was great to know you. The iced beers are in the bag, on the floor – here’s to you!
John began as one of my younger cousins, as we grew older we grew closer. He pretty much became my third brother.
One thing thing I will really miss is John’s amazing and contagious smile. When Cuz found something entertaining, his eyes would get this extraordinary sparkle. He could smile without moving his mouth.
John also had a special place in his heart for the “underdogs” in the world. Cuz would much prefer to become friends with a person everyone teased, rather than befriend someone because they were popular.
Consistently loyal, John never hesitated to stand up for his friends. He quickly spoke out against any injustice he perceived. Never a politician, when asked for his opinion, Cuz was always straightforward and usually brutally honest.
John was especially adept at spotting someone with a good heart or picking out the ones with bad intentions in any group. John surrounded himself with many fun and interesting friends. Exceptionally generous, John had little patience for people he thought had “alligator arms”, ones couldn’t reach their wallets.
The most important thing to John was his family. Cuz truly enjoyed visiting Rockaway and spending time with his brothers, sister, nieces, and especially Ma and Dad. John always made everyone laugh at our family get togethers.
Cuz, thanks for all the great times, the million laughs and all the wonderful memories. I miss you very much.
I met John through another friend of mine Kevin Gilligan…John was a great guy who loved hanging with his friends for a beer and a good sports game…we would always joke with each other how bad we were at picking football games…John was a man’s man…I didn’t meet him every day or even every week…in fact I would only see him about once every two months…I write this tribute because John in meeting him so few times was just a great guy who I thoroughly enjoyed being with…God bless him…
Our loss is indescribable. I think of you and miss you every minute of the day. While we will never be the same I am thankful for all that you have done, especially in such a short time. You are, were and always will be a wonderful older brother. Know that when I finish school, it is because we went togther. And know that some day we will be ok, knowing that you are looking out for us. The kids will never forget you and how much you loved them. I will make sure of that, especially Cate. I love you and miss you.
“Family, cuz. That’s what it all comes down to. Everything else, it comes and goes. But we always have family.”
It was last Thanksgiving Eve when Cousin John said that to me. I was pretty stressed out at the time. Work and all. But John and I had gotten fairly deep into our cups by this point, and he made a lot of sense. We put our arms around each others’ shoulders (John stooped; I stood on tiptoes), and talked about each generation of our family — what each person had accomplished, and what each meant to us. He told me how proud he was of his brothers and sister for all they had done. He told me how much he had learned from his parents and grandparents. He told me how much he thought of each of his cousins. He said we were lucky to be born into such strong and loving people.
We talked for an easy half hour. John did most of the talking, and I just listened and agreed. John was on a roll, and he spoke the truth. He was real. For the last three months, this conversation has replayed over and over in my head.
Cousin John taught me many other things. He taught me to favor the weak over the strong. He taught me (unintentionally) why you never split tens. And he taught me that life is about living. But John’s words on family taught me the most.
You are right, John. Family is all we have. And family is what no one can take away.
I miss you, Cuz, but I know you are with us always.
I worked with John for five years in the ten year room. He was one of the most aggressive guys in the room. He was always willing to go to battle for his group and I respected that about him. He was definitely a hard worker, always one of the first guys in the office. John never beat around the bush, always telling people how he felt. At times that got him in trouble but he was always man enough to live with the consequences.
John loved to live life to the fullest. Give him a few beers and a chance to catch a METS game or a Johnnies game and he was thrilled. He had a wonderful laugh and that is what I will remember most about him. Brother, you will be missed.
There was a chill in the air on that Easter morning. John and I walked down Marine Avenue in Brooklyn, chatting. John was talking on about how much he loved the city, but how he thought it must be exciting to live in New Hampshire for outdoor adventure. We seemed to develop a country mouse/city mouse illusion where we each thought the other led the more exciting lifestyle. As he talked, (and I looked up at him) the Verrazano Bridge hung behind his head, like a backdrop in a movie. It’s a snapshot of him that I have etched in my memory, John surrounded by the city he loved.
I thank God for the time that I was able to spend with John. On our late night crusades in the city with “the cousins,” John always reminded me of the fun that there was to be had. I’ll always think of him as smiling, gentle, generous and as someone who did a lot of living. You will always have a special place in my heart. I miss you!
I remember the day Dad pulled the “black cherry car” up the driveway of Beach Channel Drive with my Mom and new baby brother inside. I never imagined that the last time I would see him; John would be jumping into Dad’s red car and heading down the driveway on Sunday, September 9th. Like so many of his friends, I find myself laughing at funny memories, but also recalling the kindness, thoughtfulness and decency that so personified my 6’3″ little brother.
I always had great hopes that we would get along — I still can picture him sleeping in his crib peacefully and me poking him with my pudgy fingers so he would wake up and see me there. There were numerous variations on that theme over the past 32 years.
We enjoyed a markedly happy childhood filled with love and a sense of belonging, faith, and purpose. We shared two wonderful parents, two great brothers and three decades of ordinary family life. We did not take things for granted as our grandmother and mother always reminded us that with these gifts came responsibilities. In our own ways, the four of us sought out different ways of becoming “men and women for others”.
It is nearly impossible to accept the suffering John’s horrific death has wrought. Yet I know that in addition to the physical pain he endured, John suffered terribly knowing how his death would break our hearts, inasmuch as leaving us would break his. What a tragedy it would be if our family story ended there.
My hope lies in believing that John will live on in our hearts, in our stories, and in our lives. In quiet moments I hear him speak through his godchild who he loved to distraction (“Cheers, big ears”). I see him often in my other daughter who shares his impish smile, full-bodied laugh, penchant for disarray and “late night thirst”. We look forward in hope to the ways his lively presence will resonate in our unfolding family narrative. As his goddaughter says, “Uncle John is a BIG angel!”
To the Farrell Family:
The Quinn Family shares your loss. We are grateful to Kevin for his words about Jimmy and his brothers. I am sorry that I never met John, either through Jimmy at Cantor, or during my days at Holy Cross. I feel comforted knowing that Jimmy was keeping company with a fellow “Crusader.” Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
“Hey Cuz!”; the familiar, now absent greeting that echoes in my head & chokes my heart. It was always accompanied by a broad smile that would seem to generate a twinkle in his eyes.
Growing up, John was a mere rival for the boogie board or for 1st dibs on the shower after the beach. But as adults I would actually seek out his company. We futilely cheered on the Mets at Shea, stood knee deep in mud at the Fleadh Festival and would almost dance to Black 47’s Irish rock tunes. When I lived upstate, John would trek up to Saratoga to visit…always in August. And at our annual family trip to Vegas he showed me the ropes & the ATM. “A sure jackpot”, he’d say. My husband & I enjoyed going to Town Crier when John was guest bartender. We’d order a MaiTai & he’d reply “Tap or bottle, Cuz?”. And of course insist on buying the round. Two kids at heart, we shared a love of amusement parks stemming from when his parents used to cart us all to Great Adventure. We’d keep each other updated on the latest roller coasters & thrill rides.
Along with good times & good friends John loved his family. He aspired to his ever expanding role as uncle. But he told me that he was too hip to be called ‘uncle’. We decided that ‘Cuncle’ was more appropriate for “cool-uncle”.
John was a big guy, with a big heart who has left a big void in all our lives. I miss you, Cuz.
There was never a dull moment in the two year room during the early 90’s. You dealt with the pressure easily and always managed to interject humor when things got tense. I am returning to Holy Cross for the first time in many, many years on March 11th to honor you and the other fallen Crusaders. Heaven is certainly a richer place with all of you there. Until will tailgate again, keep smiling.
John was my older cousin, number seven out of a dozen cousins. The twelve of us cousins made for very lively holidays when we were young and great parties as we grew up.
I will forever hold John’s huge smile in my heart. I believe that his smile was reflective of his big heart. After all of the jokes or ribbing that would go on at a family occasion, he would always pull me aside to ask me how my son and I were doing and that he was thinking of us. I will also always remember how good he was to my son, as he was to all of the “cuz”s kids.
My favorite memory of John was at his brother Jim’s wedding. He gave the most incredible toast that was the true essence of John. It was funny, sincere, and full of heart.
John loved his family, and as a member of that family I am truly blessed to have had John in my life and will keep him in my heart always.
John, as I recall, ‘wigger’ was the first word that was spoken in our friendship. There I was, at the Cantor fantasy football draft, thinking to myself … who is this guy. Little did I know, that over time, you would turn out to be a true friend of mine.
‘Kramer’, as you were known by some, was an apt nickname. Disheveled on the outside but highly complex and intelligent on the inside. While it may have appeared to some that you were not on the ball, due to your own personal dress code and hairstyle, I knew for a fact that you were. You were smarter that most and at the same time unassuming. You could smell an imposter a mile away and felt that that was a safe distance to keep. I sensed it was part of your plan and once your frienship was given it was not taken lightly nor was it taken away. I appreciated the fact that you made time for me. ‘Mini outings’ for drinks or dinner, I called them, before you caught up with the late night crew. I felt that you understood about the importance of family and responsibility and did not frown on the fact that I wanted to leave earlier than most.
I will look back at the St. John’s games with KB and Woodsy, the Met games with Hickey, the golf outings with Teddy and PJ, the boxing gloves that you received at your surprise birthday party and other assorted memories and smile. Thanks.
I just wanted to say Happy Birthday. June 30th
I told Cate that it was your birthday and she said ” Hes a big angel “. Shes a smart 3 yrs old.
We love you and miss you. Hope you, and the rest of the guys from Cantor did something special for your birthday. Things arent the same but we know you are looking out for us. Behave yourself
June 30th. Happy Birthday. We love you and miss you. Words will never capture what we need to say. I hope you are ok, please continue to keep an eye out for us. Things aren’t the same since you have been gone, but I know you are with Grandpa and “Peg”. I Really miss you. Be good bro
I grew up with John. We lived on the same street in Belle Harbor. We went to St. Francis de Sales grammar school, and Xavier High School together. John and I were not best friends, but he was a friend. We always liked and respected each other very much. We hung out a bit in the summers between college and every few months either on the beach or around the holidays as adults. We were always genuinely glad to see each other, especially when it had been a while. We would get away from the group and the two of us would talk half the night…catching up, BSing, having some laughs. Let’s face it, John was a GREAT guy to party with.
I work 1 block North of the WTC, and John was the first person I thought of on 9/11. I just knew. Many, many people ran through my mind after John, but his was the first loss that I truly felt in my heart that day.
But, I know that he is not truly lost from his family, friends, and all of the people who know and love him. He’s watching us all…most likely making fun of us. I raise a glass to you my friend. You lived your life to the fullest. May God keep your family strong as they remember their good times with you…you provided many for them. God Bless.
John, We grew up together in Rockaway Beach and were in the same classes at St. Francis de Sales Grammar School. Your mom, god bless her, was our den mother in Cub Scouts. We didn’t see that much of each other during high school and college, but were always friends. When we both started at different brokerage houses, we started to run into each other more frequently at many different establishments in the city…because we shared the same “thirst”. When we did see each other it was like our lives never skipped a beat. The stories and the laughs we shared were timeless, just like our friendship…
John, I really miss you. I hope you know how much I love you. And I am so glad we got to spend so many good times together in college and beyond. Holy Cross wouldn’t have been the same for me without my big cousin looking out for me. I have a wonderful black and white photo of us at an HC tailgate, possibly our first one together. We both look so happy. That’s how I remember you.
On December 7, 2002, your family and a lot of your friends got together to celebrate your life. First, a mass at Xavier to put the day into perspective. Then we watched as SJU ripped past Fordham at MSG….sharing remembrances of you and just being together in your memory. Then to the Towm Crier….where Gumby can attest you spent a good amount of time and $$$. It was a hard day….I still couldn’t believe we were remembering your life cut short. But, it was also a great day because I know you will never be forgotten. Tim McGovern, John Ryan and Rory Keenan were instumental in putting that day together. Hopefully, there will be many more to come.
Nothing too profound to write except that I still miss you everyday, still think about you all the time, still wish we could have one more good laugh together.
A big hug and smooch to you up in heaven, Johnny.
Hey, just wanted to say congrats on being an uncle again. Two more special nieces. Thanks for always keep an eye on us, we will make sure the new additions know all about their “big angel”. Take care bro, we all love and miss you. Be well
It’s your birthday today. Not that we don’t think about you everyday, it’s just more poignant on a day when we celebrate your birth. It only seems like yesterday that it was your surprise 30th party at Barrow’s, and yet it seems like a lifetime ago. All the new blessings that enter our lives are bittersweet. But you’re a quotable guy and we can always remember a sagacious appropriate(or inappropriate)comment to fit the occasion and undoubtedly bring a smile to our lips or an outright laugh. Miss you lots cuz. Noreen Seeley,cousin
we made fast friends and we always had a great time….you by far told the greatest stories ever…..I think of you often and you always make me laugh……….Ryno
I was so blessed to meet Margaret this year at the memorial service…my daughter read my brother Tommy Cahill’s name ..I can not get over the qualities you named about John as they match Tommmy’s almost exactly…I am sure they are having fun together in heaven..I am so so sorry for your unspeakable loss ..it doesnt get easier…I am so blessed and grateful to have met you Margaret….xo Kathy Tommy Cahill’s sister….keep in touch…
Hey John! thinking of you on this 11th anniversary of 9/11. I thought you would be happy with my annual ritual. It started on the first anniversary of this date – 9/11/02… I drive into Boston with my family. We meet Mikey Boyle and Corrine at the Boston Children’s Museum. My daughter Molly plays hard and we all try to keep up with her. Mikey and Corrine are so great with her… they follow her around and tend to her every need. The afternoon is always punctuated with tons of laughs about our memories of you and our adventures. I am always so happy to be in the presence of someone who loved you as I did. Then, we go to lunch at the barking crab and always have a “cheers” to you. It’s a ritual that I have come to take some comfort in… but this day is never any easier. Please know how much you are missed and thank you for always watching out for me. I know that you do. wished upon a star on this 11th anniversary of 9/11 and i know that you heard! XOXO
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