Michigan Remembers 9‑11

James Gartenberg 34; member of Julien J. Studley, Inc., World Trade Center. He served as president of the University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York for 12 years prior to serving on the National Advisory Committee for the University Library and Task Force. He is survived by his wife, who is also a University of Michigan graduate, and two daughters, his youngest born after his death.   

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 23, 2001

“When I first met him, he was running the University of Michigan Alumni Club meeting. He was president of the New York City chapter. I was impressed with his leadership skills, how well he was organized, his intelligence, his presence, his ability to negotiate in difficult situations when there was conflict. I said to myself, ‘I want to marry him.’ “

That was in 1989. James M. Gartenberg, a man who would be hugely thrilled to know that Coach Lloyd Carr and the entire Michigan football squad signed a condolence card to his family, took a long time to come to the same conclusion about Jill Freeberg that she had about him.

But figure it out he surely did. Married six years ago, happily ensconced on the Upper East Side, father of Nicole, 2, with another child on the way, Mr. Gartenberg, 35, was moving out of his office at 1 World Trade Center on Sept. 11. His employer, Julien J. Studley Inc., the commercial real estate firm, was shifting him to Midtown.

Mr. Gartenberg spent some of his last minutes on ABC-TV, calmly describing the situation on the 86th floor.

He was making plans to take his family to next month’s Michigan-Wisconsin game. He had taught Nicole “his heart and soul” to yell “Go Blue!” when Michigan was on television. He secretly fantasized about wearing navy pants embossed with little maize M’s when he was suitably old.