Michigan Remembers 9‑11

Brock J. Safronoff, 26; raised in Traverse City, Michigan. Brock was living in New York City and working as a computer programmer at Marsh & McLennan in the World Trade Center. He was an avid athlete and Detroit Lions fan. He is survived by his wife, Tara, whom he met while attending Amherst College.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 30, 2001

Tara Neelakantappa introduced Brock J. Safronoff to classical music; his compact disc collection quickly surpassed hers. She turned him on to reading on the loftier side of Stephen King, and he packed Kafka in their honeymoon suitcase.

“I would introduce him to something and before I knew it he was telling me everything about it,” said the woman who on Aug. 4 became Mrs. Safronoff.

There was one passion that consumed Mr. Safronoff, 26, long before his freshman year at Amherst College, when he and his future wife were physics lab partners. It was his devotion to the Detroit Lions, which stemmed from his upbringing in Traverse City, Mich., and which required the strength to withstand continual heartbreak, said Michael A. Cohen, a friend and fellow fan.

Their friendship was based on a shared fantasy that the Lions would one day make it to the Super Bowl. When they met to watch games at an Upper East Side bar, they rarely discussed work.

Mr. Cohen, in fact, had forgotten Mr. Safronoff worked as a computer programmer at Marsh & McLennan. “I had to look up on his wedding announcement where it was that he worked,” Mr. Cohen said. “I remember now that he told me he had this great view.”