Michigan Remembers 9‑11

Elaine Myra Greenberg, 56; her sister, Karen Rappleye, lives in Birmingham, Michigan. Elaine was a financial services consultant for Compaq, and was attending a conference on the 106th floor of tower one, World Trade Center, on the morning of September 11, 2001. Elaine lived in New York City.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 29, 2002

Elaine Myra Greenberg loved sending people postcards.

“She would call you up to tell you she had sent you one,” said her sister, Karen Rappleye. “Then she would call you up when you got it. She wanted to see if you were enjoying it.”

The cards were often funny, her sister said. “She sent my husband a birthday card that said, ‘Don’t worry about getting older, I’ll come over and dust you.'”

Ms. Greenberg, 56, was known as the “cool aunt” in her family. And why not? How many aunts teach their nieces and nephews to drink and gamble? Her sister did not mind. “She was doing it so she could keep an eye on them,” she said.

While she enjoyed some vices, Ms. Greenberg also loved New York City’s cultural offerings. She had season tickets to the Metropolitan Opera, often went to the theater and spent many hours at her favorite museum, the American Museum of Natural History.

A financial services consultant for Compaq, she was attending a technology conference on the 106th floor of 1 World Trade Center on Sept. 11 when it was attacked.

Mrs. Rappleye remembers one card in particular that her sister sent. One day, Ms. Greenberg played hooky from work and went to Atlantic City with her roommate, Susan Price. She sent her sister a card. It read: “Having a wonderful day. Ferris Bueller.”