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  Michele Ann Nelson

Date of Birth: December 7, 1973
Department: Human Resources
Position: Benefits Specialist

Michele graduated from Penn State University in 1995, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with emphasis in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She attended Baruch College of the City University of New York in 1998 and completed courses in Human Resource management and Employee Benefits.
She believed that to be a lady worthy of the title, young women must excel in a profession and possess general skills for effective living. Consequently, she enrolled at the New York Restaurant School for Pastry Arts. She will graduate posthumously 12/18/01.
Cantor Fitzgerald employed Michele in May 2000 where she worked as a Benefits Specialist. She was very responsible and was usually the first one to be at her desk to prepare herself for the day’s work. She cared a lot about people. She was a humanist who saw the world as her large family. She was blind to color, creed, ethnicity and class. She was a role model par excellence. She died young, perhaps it was God’s way of preventing her from contamination, hence she was called to join her maker without a stain. Her daily philosophy included three times a day, say, “This is the day the Lord had made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Lovingly submitted by,

Mrs. Winsome Nelson, Mother
  • I just don’t know where to begin. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Michele. We both shared a love of the culinary/pastry arts and I hung on to her every word about school. Even though I had been out on maternity leave I am happy that I came in to the office on Monday to share the joy of my new baby and give her a big hug. I will cherish her final e-mail to me forever. I truly feel an empty space in my heart, but there is no doubt in my mind that she sits in God’s kingdom still caring about others and still being the perfect best friend.

    I miss you so much.


    Gina Al-Saidi, co-worker/Friend
  • Michelle was a beautiful person. So friendly, considerate, funny…just all-around wonderful. I loved stopping by to visit her when I was down at HR. We’d talk, joke, laugh and she would fill me in on her culinary feats-I was so looking forward to eating at whatever future restaurant she would work her magic at. I miss her smiling face and just her overall presence. She is missed by all of the lucky people who encountered her. I think of you often Michelle and I miss you…

    Sabreena, co-worker
  • Michele was someone I’ve known as long as I can remember. I remember when she was a teeny tot. She was a great person and was always cooperative. She was a member in good standing of the Linden Ensemble for Christ…a choir which my best friend Dulcia Dwyer and I started 19 years ago. We had a reunion in August 2001 and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to hang out that one last time. I will forever be grateful that I videotaped some of our rehearsals and hanging out moments. She will forever be alive on that tape and in my heart! I really miss her.

    Reita Pierre-Louis, Church Friend
  • As I sit here reading the many tributes of all of the talented, beautiful people who died so senselessly, I can’t help but marvel at how wonderful Michele appeared to be inside and out, and her adult life had only just begun.

    May she rest in peace, and to the family, please stay strong. Chicago loves and supports you.

    Chicago Stranger

    Joyce, Chicago Stranger
  • I just found out Michele went to Penn State at Erie–so did I a few years earlier. Even though we never met, I feel some sort of tie with Michele, and after reading about her, I know she was a wonderful person. She did so much in her short life. This world was such a better place with her in it.

    Alicia from Indy, stranger
  • Well let me start off by saying michele was a good friend to me. Always on top of her class work when we were in class. Great personality and made me laugh more then anybody in school plus she had good speed with in the kitchen. I will miss you michele but I know you are in heaven along with my brother Nestor A. Cintron cause you guys worked for the same company just a few floors down from one another.As a class mate and a dear friend it was an honor to know you and stretch strudel togehter. I will never forget you and you will always stay in my heart. But what makes me feel good about this is that we will meet again someday. I will see you on the other side. My love and prayers go out to you and your family michele. I’ll be seeing you sweety….

    Christopher J. Cintron, Classmate and close friend
  • I must first say that I still can’t believe what has happened. I’m still waiting for the family to call everyone up and say that she called and she is alright. I remember how I always asked her if that was her in the movie, “House Party”. She looks exactly like that girl in the red glasses next to the DJ dancing a little. I always teased her after she said, “No, that’s not me”. I miss you Michelle. I also want to say to her family, I know that I haven’t visited, but I really did not take this too well and I don’t really know how to be. I hope you read this and know that I am feeling a great, great loss also.

    Audrey H. Pierre-Louis, Church Friend
  • Wow it’s almost six months and it still seems fresh. But in all my life I thank God that I was Blessed, Tremendously Blessed to have met and gotten to know you. You are the kind of person that I know would have impacted the world for a greater cause and would have challenged us all to do and be better people. In fact that is exactly what you did for me. It is a direct result of my interactions with you that I see Jesus in a clearer light, brighter than I did before.
    I can’t wait til Jesus returns and you come forth to be with Him in glory. This though gives me hope.

    Pastor R. Willie Seneque, Friend
  • I first heard about the loss of Michele through a bulletin from the GC on Sept 20th. Oh, how I hoped news would come that a mistake had been made. Now, all I can do is wait. Wait till I see Michelle come forth at the sound of her Savior’s voice and rise ahead of the living to the clouds to live forever with her Lord. And oh, what a dark place this world is without her! Rest in peace, Michele, till the Master calls you forth. The beauty of her short visit to this earth has produced much that will never be known in this life. Revelation 21:4

    Lee, Church family
  • Michele was such a nice person. Michele was in charge of dealing with the medical insurance companies. In January of 2001, Cantor switched insurance companies. This often causes much confusion. I had so many issues. We had a young child, and I was in the very early stage of pregnancy. We knew early on that we were expecting twins, so we required special doctors. Michele was extremely conscientious. She was truly concerned that we receive the correct assistance. On several occasions, rather than just directing me, she took the next step and made the necessary calls. Subsequently, she called me with approval numbers and told me “everything was all set”. She even told me dates she was expecting to be out of the office. She had told me that she was planning to help at a bible camp for children. She really helped my family make a good situation out of a potential bureaucratic maze. Thank you Michele, and best wishes to your family.

    Andrea Russin, wife of Steven Russin, trader 104th Fl
  • I just read on Friday that you were found. I know that you are in heaven, but for some reason I just wanted to know that you would be. I’ve been searching the paper daily to see your name. You truly are a great person and someone who will be missed. I enjoyed working with you at Seligman and you are one of the most honest and caring people I have met here. I just hope that you know how much you meant to me. I hope to see you again.

    Linda Creighton, co-worker
  • Gosh I MISS Michele soo much. I did not get to KNOW her…only if I had visit her in August 2001, when I should! Met Michele at my sister’s wedding in March 2001(Ja.)- and that was the last time! I still have all her emails whilst we communicated- and I will save them as long as I can… and read them intermittently. I have now learnt that her’remains’ have been found.I knew she would have been a ‘sister’to me-as she made me aware of reality around me. Disappointed of not seeing you alive again.

    Julie Ann-Marie Roberts, 'Recent' Family-Friend
  • I enrolled Michelle in the Pastry Arts program at the New York Restaurant School, now known as the Art Institute of New York City. She was a great student. She was always very cheerful and always had a big smile on her face. She would visit my office regularly to tell me how she was doing at school and at work. I miss her very much. My prayers are with her and her family. God bless her soul.
    Anthony Jukich
    Assistant Director of Admissions
    The Art Institute of New York City
    (Formerly known as the New York Restaurant School)

    Anthony Jukich, His Admission Representative
  • One of the hardest thing for me to do is to forget Michele. I catch myself still waiting for her to walk through the door.But I anticipate seeing her again, when Jesus calls us home. But in the meantime, I will cherish our last summer together where we laughed, exchanged stories and confided in each other.I even miss tricks she used to play on me before she left for work every morning. Bye Myshell…see you soon

    Hashina, cousin
  • Dearest Michele, you were a combination of so many special things. You had a smile that warmth like sunshine,and gave our troubles wings. Your heart was full of gentleness and love beyond compare. Your hands soothed and comforted all those you came in contact with even when their hurts were hard to bear. Your eyes saw the good in everyone and overlooked the bad. Your lips spoke warm words of praise and made each heart felt glad.
    Cousin Michele, you were a combination of the gifts we all possess that spread real happiness.
    Michele, you were a special gift from God to your parents, family members and friends and you are back with thy father in heaven resting in peace. You are loved and will always be loved, missed and will always be missed. You will always linger our thoughts.
    Your loving cousins Alethia(Lulu) & daughter Alana

    Alethia Gordon-Cox & Alana Cunningham, Cousin
  • Michele has blessed my life. She and I were extremely close at Penn State. I did not learn of her passing until another friend of ours informed me. I was devastated. I live in Brooklyn and I always told myself I should give Michele a call one of these days but the hustle and bustle of life took priority. Michele is probably smiling at that because she always told me I procrastinated. Michele taught me to listen, she stopped me from dropping out of college and she told me to major in psychology since I had the talent. It only made sense that she went into Human resources. Michele was never late, and back then Michele was only 19 and she had integrity. We teased her about always doing the right thing but that was the type of person she was. She was very spiritual and I have no doubt she is in heaven because I remembered how she conducted her life and from the tributes I have read Michele stayed consistent. I know I am speaking from experience of 8 years ago but she never changed. I admire her for that. This world did not taint who she was. I remember Michele was especially close to her family especially her father and spoke highly of them. I even remember teasing her for having the initials MAN but if you knew Michele you would know she too had a great sense of humor. I have a tape of her dancing and singing karaoke and I will always treasure that tape of her and I together. I will never forget you dear friend. Thank you for coming into my life and trully blessing me as a friend when I needed one. You were my God sent angel for the period of 1992-1994. Your life was not lost in vain. Rest in Peace.

    Foluso Oguntoyinbo Otuyelu, Old College Friend
  • Michelle,
    there isn’t a day that goes by that I haven’t thought about you. You made me a better person just knowing you. I will never forget our lunch outing and how you touched my heart. They say that it is a small worl, who would have known that our Mothers worked together and that was friends with your cousins. Please know that you will forever be in my heart

    One Love


    Mike Smith, co-worker, Friend
  • I could not visit and had no strength to call you Monique and Mrs.Nelson . Please forgive me I did not know how .As I write I am still choked up and with a knot in my throat ,I must tell you that I enjoyed Michelle’s life and would always remember ,the choir rehersals and LEC parties.I felt a loss when your father departed this life, then it was double when you left us. To the Nelson family ,please know that she would always be in our hearts,and you are not alone.

    marsha, friend
  • My dear cousin Michelle
    Sorry we never met in this life,however I feel a close connection(blood related). Your grangfather and my dad are brothers.He partially raised my dad, as he was the eldest of nine children.
    I heard of your tragic death and for some unkown reason I thought about you on this the sixth year since that tragedy.I visited the site for the first time. From the many Emails which I have read, you were beautiful both inside and out.You were sent to touch lives and to teach mankind how to live exemplary lives.
    You have now moved on to GLORY, I hope to meet you by and by.
    I pray GOD’S blessings on the rest of the family!
    I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

    Karlene Nelson, Cousin
  • Hey Michele,

    I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since that entire event. I work in downtown Manhattan now and always think of you when I pass the site. I searched for your name on the wall over there and took pictures of it.

    I will never forget you or your birthday which is 7 days before mine. I remember the birthday cards we used to all sign (the entire choir) for each other’s birthdays. I think I still have at least one of them.

    I miss you much!
    (Hi Monique and Sister Nelson)

    Reita Pierre-Louis, Church Friend
  • 10 years – 10 years. It still seems like yesterday. I have been asked to be a keynote speaker for a 9-11 remembrance service this evening and Michele comes back to my mind. As I speak tonight to these college students – many too young to remember, many foreign – I want to convey to them that we honor those who have passed on in to God’s hands, but that we have to make peace with our own inner terror. I re-read her mother’s words – Michele was “blind to color, creed, ethnicity and class”. I want to honor her by conveying that to the students who will be listening to me this evening. She was and continues to be in God’s grace.

    Gigi Koller (Al-Saidi), Former co-worker (Payroll) & Friend
  • 11 years ago today I heard the bad news. So many odd things happened that morning before I even knew of the event, although I was only 20 blocks away from where it happened. I couldn’t and still can’t believe this…even after 11 years. I miss your happiness, humor and your kindness. Still at a loss for words. Monique and Sister Nelson, I love and miss you! Just know that when the Lord returns to take us home, we will see her again.

    Audrey H. Pierre-Louis, Church Friend
  • Oh my dear cousin. 20 years and it feels like yesterday. Mom,Eddie and I miss you, but we will meet again.

    Rosalind M Brinson-Cousin
  • I stay quiet, usually, because I want to respect the profound loss that the Nelson family experienced. Twenty years later, however, I still mourn on the sidelines.

    Michele was funny, talented, and poised. She was the big sister of one of my best friends, and so I looked up to her because I had no sisters. Even when M.N. was away at school, Michele would still meet up with me in Manhattan. We went to concerts with discount tickets I got from my medical school, we ate god food, and she shared her excitement about the culinary arts. She had a passion for pastry and we talked about whether we should do the practical and expected thing as first generation Americans (conventional careers), or follow our hearts. I ache when I reflect on those conversations with her. I’m happy she found her artistic outlet. Her loss made me vow to always follow my heart. Twenty years later, though, I admit that I have not always kept that promise. But I always have Michele’s memory to keep me in check. The curl of her lip and side eye play vividly in my mind, chastising me to do better.

    Let us all remember to be better, our very best, because that is what Michele would want for us.

    Sleep in peace, sweet Michele. I miss you, sis.

    Family friend
  • I can’t believe it’s been 20 years, I miss you and all our roommate talks we had! If only I could share with you the last 20 years! I can tell you, I know I will see you again, we may not have before but we do now share the same savior, Jesus Christ! Until we meet again, I take heart that we will share eternal life together! Love you My friend, our friendship was a true blessing! Tanya

    Tanya Bartholomew/freshman college roommate PSU Behrend

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NOTE: All submissions will be reviewed by our administrator prior to being posted. Please limit your tribute to 100 words and be sure to check your spelling as tributes are posted as submitted. Also, please avoid pasting Microsoft Word documents, which can cause character problems.