Most children wouldn’t choose to spend their afternoons among slabs of beef, sides of lamb and sausages. But that’s generally where Bill Dimmling, as a child growing up in Floral Park, could be found after school - in his dad’s butcher shop in Queens, carving and chopping, weighing and wrapping, handing the packages across the counter with a smile.
'He was used to working hard, even as a kid,' said Leslie Dimmling, his wife. 'I think this is where his workethic started, the idea that you pull your own weight.'
At 18, when his father died, Dimmling started pulling more than his own weight. As the oldest son of the family, it was Dimmling who arranged the funeral, Dimmling who sold the shop and Dimmling who taught his mother to drive.
He went on to Queens College, where he met his future wife, and, she said, graduated after 3 1/2 years with a double major in economics and accounting and a 4.0 grade point average.
'I didn’t know him to do anything in a slipshod manner,' his wife said. 'He always said, ’Whatever you do, give it your best effort.’'
As the senior vice president of financial systems with Marsh Inc., Dimmling, 47, of Garden City, demanded this of himself.
Indeed, the weekend before the terrorists attacks, in which he was lost from his office on the 98th floor of Tower One, he finally pronounced himself satisfied with a financial accounting system he had been working on for some time. His wife heard later from his boss that, after the collapse of all the systems on Sept. 11, 'the next day, it was Bill’s system that was the first one to come back.'
'He was very, very good at what he did,' she said.
And the energy he put intohis family, into being a father to Gregory, 15, and Nicholas, 6, was no less. He coached their soccer and baseball teams, he took them on vacations, and, his wife recalled, 'When he came home at the end of the day, they would rush the door, the two of them, for a big hello.'
Losing his father as a teenager made being a father particularly special for Dimmling, his wife said.
'He always had the biggest smile, like he was having the best time,' she said. 'I think he worked hard for everything he had. And he had everything he wanted.'
(c) 2002 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission. www.newsday.com