Kelly, Thomas R.
Thomas R. Kelly, Lad.15 Everything about Thomas R. Kelly’s life springs from his summers in Riverhead on Long Island. He spent all his vacations in a family bungalow there, riding his bike to the beach and swimming. Eventually he followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Fire Department, but his world continued to revolve around water and bike trails. He swam in the shark tank of a nearby aquarium. He went deep sea diving in Belize. After his divorce last year, he moved into a house around the corner from where his family had summered, and where his parents, Sue and Emmet, now live year-round. When he was not swimming, he was biking, and on a 400-mile charity ride from New York to Boston last June he met Kate Zellner. The couple planned to pedal through Europe next summer to raise money for AIDS research. But instead their last bike ride was on Sept. 9, through all five New York boroughs. Because Ms. Zellner’s pace was slower, Mr. Kelly waited for her at a bar, where he sat down next to another man named Thomas Kelly — also a firefighter — and they marveled that two Tom Kellys happened to be in the same place at the same time. Two days later, both Tom Kellys died at the World Trade Center. Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 2, 2001.