I was in a great mood until about 10 minutes ago… now I am filled with sorrow, and anger. I am filled with empathy and compassion, and with a burning desire for vengeance…
I am part of an international blog movement to remember each and every innocent life lost during the attack on September 11, 2001. Each of us volunteered to be paired with one of the names of the victims and write a tribute for them. The intent of this tribute is so that their name will live on – not only in the memories and scrapbooks of their family members, but also in the minds, and hearts of those of us that choose to Never Forget.
The individual that I was given to research was John G. Ueltzhoeffer. One of his colleagues and friends wrote this last year as he remembered John:
It has been seven years since I last saw John on September 10, 2001 at the Marsh office at WTC1 95th floor. Myself and John were hired by Craig Hayashi in June 1998 and we were part of an unique team called the Enterprise Architecture Group.
Our job was to be thought leaders in our respective technology domain of expertise and to help Marsh’s (and MMC companies) senior level executives, business leaders and technology group understand how new technology solutions could be leveraged to support the business tactical and strategy goals.
As a software architect, John led the team’s initiative to exploit JAVA and was instrumental in establishing J2EE as the software architecure framework standard at Marsh.
I can remember when John worked on the initiative to select an application server standard for Marsh. He was proactive in his efforts and had recommended the IONA application server (www.iona.com). Although his recommendation was turn down by senior management due to IBM’s Websphere application server having greater marketshare, John led the efforts to establishing development standards leverage IBM’s Websphere at Marsh.
John had a strong commitment to his religion faith and family – his office was full of family photos and artwork drawn by his kids. In terms a colleague, John was always supportive of my initatives as Marsh’s Data Warehouse Architect.
John’s family and friends should be proud to know that he made an impact on his colleagues at Marsh and always had a positive attitude and humble demeanor.
John is always in my thoughts and he his missed.
James L. Smith
Another aspect that I learned about John is that his little sister, Helen, thought the world of him. She still misses him and often expresses the depth of this void in comments to other tribute entries that mention her brother. He was also a devoted member of the Christian group called Promise Keepers. The mission of a Promise Keeper is to ignite and unite men to become warriors who will change their world through living out the Seven Promises. Promise Keepers’ vision is simply put in three words: “Men Transformed Worldwide.”
When people met and got to know John, I learned from my research, three important aspects to his life quickly came across – the pride he took in doing his job, his deep religious convictions, and his love for his family. John was a technical architect in the Marsh technology department so therefore had to have in-depth knowledge about the latest computer technologies. John was very knowledgeable in this subject area so quickly built up a high level of respect with his peers. During meetings and discussions with John on various technology issues he was often described as always speaking with such enthusiasm and be so up to date with the latest technology developments that it made others make sure they were up to date with their readings just so they could keep up.
Another aspect of John’s life was his strong religious beliefs. It did not take long in talking with him for his faith in God to come across. Whenever he went out to lunch together with friends, he would always take time to say a prayer before having lunch. In the time following John’s passing, it has become more evident about this side of him and how involved he was with his church group and friends. This has gone further to impress friends that knew John in that he lived his life which such conviction.
Most importantly, was John’s love for his family. Two instances that typify this in John. The first was when he was on a business trip overseas in Europe. He had been gone for about a week and a friend remembers him talking on the Friday when he was set to come home. He mentioned how he had switched his flight to an earlier flight so he could get home earlier. He then said something to the effect of how hard it was for him to be away from his family. It was not the words that he said that his friend remembers, but the way he said it just underlined how much he missed them. The second was when a few of them were at lunch. Somehow the conversation turned to their families and John took a picture out of his wallet of him and his wife on their wedding day. One of the guys at lunch remarked how beautiful his wife was and how he thought she looked like a movie star. Upon hearing this John’s face just lit up and you could see the happiness and love he felt. This is the way that friend remembers John G. Ueltzhoeffer – and I think the way that we all should as well. A devoted Christian, father, brother, husband, and son…
A few paragraphs of words obviously cannot do justice to capture all that John meant to his family and friends. In my own memories I’ll remember John for the unassuming way in which he lived his life and how much of an impact he had on people around him. Even though I never met John in person, I feel like I know him and know that this world is less without him in it…
Tears are flowing easily now, and I’m remembering re-experiencing the rage and indignation that I felt “That Day”. I would imagine that That Day will remain with me all the days of my life – seared into my memory, much like scarification sears a design into skin.
John, to you – and to all the victims of That Day: