Richard Klares

When the going gets tough, some men fold, some turn to the bottle and others wallow in self- pity. Not the case with Richard J. Klares, a solid and ethical man, both morally and physically upright in the manner of the old school. 'When he died in that absolute massacre, a piece of America died,' said his son, Doug Klares.

The son of a German immigrant who laid tracks for the subway system and a stenographer, Mr. Klares, 59, grew up in Harlem and the Bronx. He went to merchant marine college at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, and in the fashion of the old days, married his high school sweetheart, Veronica Bavoso.

He was a risk engineer for Marsh & McLennan, and had a meeting Sept. 11 on the 105th floor of the south tower to tell a client how to make its factories more safe.

It is easy to admire a man who is a success, his son said. It’s when a man is down that you can take his true measure.

'When I was in high school, he lost his job and was out of work for a year,' Doug Klares said. 'Every day I’d come home, and he’d be there with his head held high. He never ever gave up. He used to say, `No matter what’s in front of you, attack it, deal with it, be a man.’ '

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I met Richie when he was a teenage summer helper at The State Insurance Fund. Great kid. The following summer he was working delivering furniture. My mom told me he recognized my photo and told her of our acquaintance. I never forgot you Richie. Condolences to your family.
Virginia Oliveto, Friend
Sep 12 2022 7:44PM
An amazing man - one of the best FSJ ever had.
Chuck Walters, Colleague
Sep 12 2022 2:12PM
I worked for you starting in 1998 at Sedgwick thru the Marsh acquisition. Like everyone, we were gut-punched on 9/11. Not only for the event itself, but more importantly for our colleagues. I was at the March 2014 insurance meeting at the new tower complex (which is spectacular, btw). I wasn’t sure I could handle the assignment. At one point at the upper floors, I did need to quietly move away from the rest of the group to catch my breath and compose myself. The organizers of the insurance tour gave us big permanent markers to sign our names on the spire structure. I didn’t sign my name. I wrote yours.
former colleague, Colleague
Sep 8 2022 6:31PM
I am a friend of his son Richie Klares. I can only imagine what a great man Mr. Klares was and for sure always be remembered as by those who love him. He raised a great son in Richie. You would be proud Mister Klares. The last time I saw Richie was a little over 2 years ago. He looks just like you! Rest in peace you did good!
Steve BACHESTA, Friend
Sep 11 2021 11:35PM
I am a friend of your son Doug. As a teacher I share Richard's story with my classes on 9/11. Over 1000 kids know about him. Thank you for posting this.
Ross Bear, Friend
Sep 11 2018 9:43AM
Hi, Dick. You were in my heart when I was up at the base of the spire on the new tower yesterday during an insurance meeting. It's so unfortunate that it needs to exist at all . . . but it's truly a beautiful marvel.
former colleague, Colleague
Mar 11 2014 12:46PM
Dick, I didn't know you very long, but you were a special person. When you answered Suzanne Avena's question n Spanish during our mock OJ Simpson trial for the Environmental Practice at Marsh,s industry practice fair we were so surprised and everyone roared spontaneously. You had such a great sense of humor and you are sorely missed. Our prayers go out to your family on this special day.
Donna Sandidge, Colleague
Sep 11 2013 9:24PM
Dear Family of Richard Klares: We did not know you, but your son Dr. Scott Klares, is very dear to my family. He was instrumental in saving my mother's life when he was just a new physician and continued to be her physician until her death in 2005. His intellect, incredible sense of humor, ethics, kindness and spirit are no doubt reflections of his father, Richard. Our thoughts are with your family on the 10th anniversary of this tragic event. Virginia Mishkin-Elam and Scott Elam
Virginia Mishkin-Elam and Scott Elam, Friend
Sep 11 2011 11:29AM
I met Dick at a client meeting in 2001. I remember that I walked into the room, not knowing many people. As I'm sure was his usual way - he welcomed me and introduced me to everyone. His knowledge of his specialty, humility, great sense of humor and kindness are just a few of the things that I'll never forget about him.
Ursula Knowles, Colleague
Sep 10 2011 8:12PM
Dick...... I still remember the counsel and direction in our dealings on property loss conservation when we worked together on the Limited Brands account. Rest peacefully my friend. Your will never be forgotten....... Phil Renaud
Phil Renaud, Friend
Sep 10 2011 7:01AM
Dick: It has been 10 years yet I still think of those great discussions, jokes and banter from back then. Good Friend, you are truly missed and will always remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Nathan Crutchfield, Colleague
Sep 9 2011 4:31PM
Dick: It's ten years and your still in our hearts. We had lots of fun at Sedgwick and Marsh was to short. Just want you to know you are missed. Tony
Tony Madera, Colleague
Sep 9 2011 4:05PM
Dear Doug: Richard and I attended grammerschool(st thomas aquinas) and high school(mount st michael) together. While not close friends, we nevertheless did share many experiences many of which now we would look back at and laugh over. I learned of your dad's death at our 50-th high school reunion, googled his name and learned of his death on 9/11. You can be proud of him as i am sure you are. All any of us can do is to try live our lives with the same kind of values and dignity he had. Martin Conlon
martin conlon, Colleague
Jun 7 2009 2:04PM
I never met Richard Klares, But I was fortunate enough to meet his son, Doug. They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Over my lifetime, I have come to believe it. Without exhausting too many superlatives, it suffices to say that Doug Klares examplafies what of what honesty, integrity and descency are all about. Doug has never displayed hypocracy; rare for a successful executive. All the best Doug, Tony (consumer of fine pastries)
Tony Gottlieb, Friend
Jan 28 2009 2:16PM
Hi Dick. I was thinking of you on this 7th year following that tragic day. I had a tough fire protection engineering issue in front of me and no easy solution. So what flashed into my mind were the great strategic conversations we used to have in Stamford following the Sedgewick merger, and how much I enjoyed the passion you would bring to every discussion. PS: Would you reinforce an existing sprinkler system to 0.60/2000 or retrofit with ESFR? Your kind of issue Dick! We miss you! Former Marsh Colleague, John Barghout.
John Barghout, Colleague
Sep 16 2008 11:09PM
Dear Mr. Klares, My son and I have had the pleasure of meeting your son, Rich Jr. He coaches my 12-year-old son in lacrosse, and, based on everything I have read about you, and been told by him, your wonderful legacy lives on. Just yesterday, he told me that your life and the tragedy of your death, changed his life, as it changed many of ours. In true 'New York' style, your son has taken that tragedy and turned it into something wonderful. You would be very proud to see the way your son 'gives back.' In talking to him, I could see that the emotion of that tragic day is still close beneath the surface. It is for me also -- I was there in New York, working in law enforcement, spent time down at the site and have been to many places around the world in an effort to do my small part against people like those that were responsible for that tragedy. Meeting your son, and hearing about you, reminded me of why I do what I do. Thanks for the life you led and the legacy you created. Lou Milione
Lou Milione, Friend
Jul 16 2007 5:35AM
I just learned of the tragic loss of a good man, Dick Klares. I met Dick in 1987. We worked together on the Limited Distribution Center Projects in Columbus, Ohio. Dick's knowledge, ethics, and personality left a lasting impression on me. Had we not lived and worked in different states, I'm cerain we would have become friends. He was that type of man.
RJ Lynam, Colleague
Jun 15 2007 9:37AM
Je ne sais si je suis parent lointain de Richard, mais l'annonce don départ me touceh. Nous avons vécu, en France, votre drame au plus profond de notre ame, de notre chair. Nous avons connu et connaissons encore la terreur dûe au terrorisme. Veuillez accepter toutes mes condoléances.
philippe klares, Family
Jan 15 2007 2:00PM
Dick, you taught me much my old friend and you will always be there for me Mr. Pfizer. I will keep you and your family my prayers. Jim
James Niwinski, Colleague
Sep 11 2006 7:49PM
I just learned of this memorial and wanted to add my condolences to Dick's family, friends, and colleagues. It has been five years since this horrible attack, and I can still remember the last time Dick and I shared dinner on one of his many trips to the Gilman Paper Mill in St. Mary's, GA. We enjoyed drinks and talked about all the work that needed to be done at the Mill. Dick shared his contagious sense of humor and kept me laughing throughout the meal. His family should know that he is still well remembered by those who worked with him and by those he only met briefly. Thanks Dick, for some great memories.
Joe Lynch, Colleague
Sep 11 2006 4:53PM
Even though my working relationship with Dick was very short 2 1/2 years, I learned more from him about our business and the importance of the client. Not a day goes by that I don't remember one of your tid bits of information, your humorous manner or your dedication to doing things right. I will always be in your debt both professionally and personally.
Tom Varney, Colleague
Sep 11 2006 8:54AM
Dear Pop: It has been several years now since that day that changed the course of all of our lives forever. Doug and I have a four month old daughter named Emma and everyone says she has your mouth and chin. She certainly takes to food like a true Klares. I wanted to thank you for sending us our little angel from heaven. I am sure that you picked her out especially for us. Love, Sorin
Sorin Klares, Family
May 11 2006 12:18PM
You are free from the physical contraints of your body. I look to join you one day in a part of the universal where love exists in every dimension. If there is a God, you now know the why. In the silence of the dark, long, nights, it will always seem like yesterday.
Ed Bavoso, Family
Feb 3 2005 12:46PM
My memories of Richie Klares go back over 40 years. Back then we called him 'Richie'. We were both attending Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx in the later fifties. He was one year ahead of me. He graduated in 59, I in 60. We used to meet at that little coffee shop near the 238th Street IRT station every mourning for our coffee and bagels and play Rock 'N Roll on their jukebox. Richie, Bill Stout and I. We did our homework there and since he was one year ahead of me, helped me survive, barely. The last time I talked to him was when he graduated and went on to conquer the world. My memeories are all good: all young. Richie still enters my mind at times and I am glad he got married to the girl he took the prom (maybe she remembers me or what I have written?). I am glad he had kids and grandkids (just like me). I have enough faith in God to know that he is in a better place.
Sal Criscuolo, Friend
Sep 11 2003 6:55PM
Mr. Klares: I met your son on the internet in the 'War On Terror' chatroom and he asked me to check out this website. You have left some very nice people behind who will never forget you. I didn't know you or anyone lost that day, but I have heard quite a few stories from co-workers and neighbors about people that were late or didn't go in to work on Tuesday September 11, 2001. I feel compelled to say a few words in your memorie and for all of those taken away by those cowards that day. Don't worry Mr. Klares, GOD is looking out for your family and they miss you but they are going to be fine. I know that your time here on earth prepared them to take care of themselves and to accept the things they can't change. You did a good job raising that family. GOD BLESS YOU and keep this thought: WE WILL GET THEM ALL! Frank Sayreville NJ
Frank Terzino, Friend
May 22 2003 8:03PM
It has been such a long time since I have felt your hug and heard your voice, but you speak to me daily and I can still feel you near.You are and will always be my Hero. Love Richie Boy
Mar 17 2003 5:47PM
I am so pleased to be able to add a few words in fond memory of Dick; a wonderful man and for too short a time a great friend while we were both at A&A; and then later at Fred S. James in Greenwich. When my son asked me who I counted amongst the many friends lost that day, I said that 'I lost the friend who was the first I told when I found out your mom and I were expecting you'. Dick was so pleased to have heard even before I told my father (a fellow co-worker of ours). I so remember the great big hug and that incredible smile. Thank you, Dick - and know that each remembrance of your warmth and wit are small prayers to you and your family. God bless you.
Chris Fletcher, Colleague
Jan 24 2003 11:40AM
Can you please correct my tribute posted on 9/12? The park I mentioned where the bench is dedicated to should be Bailey Park and not Lasdon Park. Thank you!
Monique Klares, Family
Sep 17 2002 11:51AM
Dear Pop: I can't believe it's been a year since we last saw you. We all miss you terribly. Yesterday, Mom, Scott, Doug, Sorin, Joan, Judy, Al, Jaime, Ed and I went down to the memorial to hear your name read and leave a flower in your memory. Rich, CJ, Richie III and Michael were home with Angelo and Maryann watching the ceremony on television. We all gathered again in the evening, including Denis, Gramp, Angela and Jaimelyn, in Lasdon park in Somers to take part in a ceremony where a bench was dedicated in your name. Rememberences like that are nice, but they're not what keeps your memory alive to us. Your face and features live on in your sons and grandsons, your spirit in your granddaughter and your legacy through all those you touched. I know that you are watching over us. We'll take care of ourselves and each other - don't worry, we'll even remember to rotate the tires and take out the garbage - but none of us will ever be the same without you here. Love, Monique
Monique Klares, Family
Sep 12 2002 11:57AM
Dear Dick: I've thought of you often over this past year and the times at Fred. S. James in Greenwich and Norwalk. Jim Donlon emailed me one year ago today to let me know that you were gone. My thoughts are with you, your family and your friends. Barbara Collins/Toronto/September 11th, 2002
Barbara Collins, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 10:20PM
I knew Dick for a relatively short period, perhaps five years, but he made a remarkable impression on me during that time. He was an example to us all: of always putting his clients first; of being their fierce advocate; of absolute integrity. I will always judge myself by the standards Dick set. Dick was also a great guy to have around the office. You always knew if was there - he wasn't the quietest individual I've known! And when he stopped by for a chat, he always left with a laugh. Dick, we miss you. My thoughts are with you, Ronnie and the boys today.
Andrew Carr, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 3:33PM
I worked with Dick for several years at Sedgwick. He was kind and honorable. He always had a joke up his sleeve and made us all laugh. I always admired his devotion to his family. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family on this anniversary and always. He is missed.
Angela Intelisano, Friend
Sep 11 2002 7:52AM
I had the privilege ow working and travelling with Dick for several years in the early 1980's.He impressed me with his confidence and grace, especially when differences of opinion arose. Although our paths did not cross afterwards, he remains as one of my most unforgettable people.
Charlie Dougherty, Colleague
Sep 9 2002 3:41PM
I met Dick Klares when he was working in the Greenwich (CT) office of Sedgwick James, back in 1987. I later returned to Europe and despite the distance we kept in touch. The last time I saw Dick and his wife, they were visiting Paris and we went to dinner together at a restaurant with a view on Notre Dame Cathedral. I still remember how much Richard and his wife Veronica enjoyed the scenery and the food on that evening. I am immensely saddened to learn that he too, perished in this mindless terrorist attack. All my sympathy goes to his family and especially to his wife Veronica. David Harari - France - 5/21/2002
David Harari, Colleague
May 21 2002 1:33PM
I met Dick a few years ago at Sedgwick when he stopped by to discuss a few client issues. We worked on an account with a client who knew exactly what they wanted and did not want. I remember being impressed at his professionalism and his knowledge, but at the same time, I recall him as a 'dandy' gentleman. He had a certain way he carried himself that was very collected and calm regardless of how stressful the situation was. I am sorry to hear of his loss. I know he touched the lives of quite a few people, and I send my sincerest condolences to his family and his friends.
Rei Hirasawa, Colleague
Apr 17 2002 2:07PM