Michael Zinzi

Family Tribute:Mike Zinzi left this world a very happy man. He had a wife who loved and adored him, a beautiful baby boy, Dean, a nice home and a career that he worked hard in and enjoyed. He was a wonderful, thoughtful, smart, ambitious man with an easygoing personality and had a smile for anyone he came in contact with.

Dyan and Mike met 11 years ago while working for the company Shulton, in Clifton. Mike was a cost account working full-time during the day and attending Montclair State University at night. Dyan was attending Montclair full time while working part time at Shulton’s Fitness Center. Mike caught Dyan’s eye and she asked a couple of her friends about him. Dyan caught Mike’s eye and he asked a couple of his friends about her. When Dyan found out that Mike only had 2-weeks left with the company she knew she had to move fast. So, she asked him out. As she always said, that was the best move she ever made! After dating Mike for one week, she told her mother, “This is the one that I’m going to marry.” Five years later, she did just that.

Mike, as mentioned earlier, worked full-time and put himself through college where he acquired a degree in accounting. He then started his career in forensic accounting at Campos and Stratis in 1990 and later got his CPA certification. In 1997, Mike, along with a few of his colleagues from C&S;, began working for the firm RGL Gallagher in Parsippany. In February, of 2001, his firm began working for Marsh & McLennan at One World Trade Center on the 100th floor. Mike worked as Vice President of the CAPS division of Marsh. It took Mike 2-hours to get to his desk each day and he never complained about it. He liked working in one of the highest spots in Manhattan. He enjoyed his job and enjoyed the people he worked with, some of whom he had worked with for over 10 years.

Mike was always nuts about motorcycles. He loved his antique 1956 K-Model Harley that he and his father re-built. He would spend hours working on it and he and Dyan, enjoyed riding it, in spite of the fact that it didn’t have any shocks. After having his name on the waiting list for 3-years, Mike finally got the call he had been waiting for. There was a 1999 Heritage Soft-Tail Classic Harley Davidson with his name on it. Mike and Dyan took lots of road trips together and sure enough, Dyan got hooked. Soon, she got a motorcycle license of her own.

One December, they decided to go to Newport, Rhode Island, to tour the Victorian mansions for Christmas. They were traveling back home through Connecticut where they did what all motorcycle enthusiasts do; they stopped at the local Harley Davidson dealership. There they spotted an 883 Sportster Hugger, the mate to Mike’s Aztec Orange Heritage and Mike had found Dyan’s Christmas gift. Little did he know at the time what a monster he created! Soon, the family they were planning for ‘one day’ became some day, in the future.

Mike and Dyan made short trips, through the winding roads near their home in West Milford, and longer trips to places like Vermont and Bike Week at Lake George. Through the years, they rode in many charity bike runs. Finally, the only thing that could stop Dyan from riding happened, she found she was expecting their first child. Although Mike rode a little bit while Dyan was expecting, he didn’t really go out as much. On September 9, 2001, Dyan and Mike rode in their last charity ride together.

Dean’s birth on July 8, 2001, was the high point of Mike’s life. He gladly took his turn changing diapers, feeding Dean and loving Dean. Fatherhood completed Mike.

The last month of Mike’s life was one of his happiest ever. In August, he had attended his grandparent’s 59th anniversary dinner where he got to see his family, including his dad, in from out of town. This was just one of the many opportunities Mike took to show off his pride and joy, Dean.

Mike’s 37th birthday was September 2nd. In the week following, Mike and Dyan were at home one evening and Dyan told Mike how perfect her life was. She had him, a wonderful man, she had Dean, her beautiful baby boy, she had a beautiful home…she had everything. The joy in Mike’s eyes was obvious.

On the morning of September 11th, Mike Zinzi woke up a little later then normal. Although Mike kissed Dyan goodbye every morning, awake or asleep, that morning she was awake feeding Dean. Mike kissed Dyan and Dean goodbye and patted his baby’s head and said, “he’s such a good boy.” Dyan remembers hearing the garage door open, then close and she remembers smelling Mike’s cologne on Dean’s forehead where he kissed him. Then Mike drove off to catch the train.

Mike was often heard to quote something his secretary Toula, said, “A happy wife is a happy life.” Mike made Dyan a happy woman and in return, Mike Zinzi left this world a happy man.

He will be missed by everyone.

Dyan promises to keep the memory of Dean’s dad alive. She will make sure that Dean knows that his Dad did not choose to leave him, instead he wanted to be here for him every moment of his life and he wanted to be the best father in the world. Dyan tells Dean each that she loves him and…his daddy loves him, too.

Dean now has his own guardian angel watching over him.

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Although I never knew Mike, it seems in many ways, he was a lucky man. In his relatively short life, from what I've read here, he had it all; a loving wife, a beautiful son, a nice home, and a job he loved. How many of us can say the same? He also had the love and respect of many colleagues. He definitely left his mark on this world. To all who knew him, and continue to miss him, my sincerest condolences. Grief is the price we pay for love. America will never forget you.
Leslie Honcharik, Friend
Sep 11 2023 10:44PM
I found this memorial on Reddit, and I’m so glad I did. I learned about a man named Mike. That was my dad's name. Mike’s story is so beautiful. He sounded like a great man. I hope Dyan and Dean are doing amazing, and if there’s anywhere to read an update on them I’d love to know where it is. Sending love.
Kayla, Colleague
Sep 14 2022 9:59PM
I worked with Mike's mother Madeline. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Mike, I knew him through Madeline. She spoke lovingly of him and was proud of his accomplishments, most importantly his son, her grandson which she adored. On that fateful day Madeline (as we all did) turned to the internet, Madeline kept saying "I need to go, my son was in that tower", and proceeded to call Dyan. I attended Mikes' memorial service, and to this day I have the motorcycle pin and mouse pad with his picture holding his son. I will forever remember Mike.
Jill Church, Friend
Sep 11 2021 1:37PM
You were a good person in high school who became a good man. We could use more people like you today but I guess the big Guy needed you more. See you on the other side.
Mark, Friend
Sep 10 2021 1:24PM
Michael, I made your quilt block for the memorial quilt. I had a newborn daughter by my side while sewing. I just want you to know that you are not forgotten and my children are learning about you and the kids you were to the world. I hope these 20 years later your wife and son have managed to have a happy and meaningful life.
Wendy MacPherson, Friend
Sep 12 2021 7:26AM
Recently came across this a few months back and nothing has ever stayed with me more than this memorial. Sending prayers and blessings to the family. We will never forget. He was such a happy person who genuinely loved everyone around him. Taken too soon but never forgotten. Dyan and Dean I hope you’re both doing well today. Wishing you all the best on this day of remembrance.
Anais C. , Friend
Sep 11 2021 6:25PM
Think of you and your family often. Hope all is well. Regards, George Ellis
George Ellis, Colleague
Sep 11 2021 4:52PM
Just another lost internet user. This memorial is so touching. Please know that we have never forgotten. I was 21 when Michael was taken from this earth far before his time. I'm a little older than he was, now, when he lost his life. I made a promise to myself that I'd never forget, and I haven't. I never will. The individual stories behind these people are what compels me. You are not forgotten.
Nichole, Friend
Jun 3 2021 4:57AM
I was never a colleague of Mike's. Never met him, or even been in the same country he's from (I am from Ireland). I was a year and a half when he passed, so even if I'd met him, I wouldn't have remembered him. But I read this memorial after it was linked on reddit, and it's so touching. He was a good person, who was living his best life. I'm glad that he was extremely happy and content with his life and got to experience a loving marriage and fatherhood before he passed. I hope he's at peace, and that Dyan and Dean are doing well.
Sarah Ní Cearbhaill, Colleague
May 29 2021 5:01AM
I found this link through Reddit. Although it is not 9/11, I just wanted to pay my respects towards Mike & his family.
jm, Friend
Jun 1 2021 6:40AM
Gone but not forgotten. Miss you dearly. RIP, brother.
Chris Gruttemeyer, Friend
Sep 11 2015 0:00PM
Never Forgotten Mike..We finally got the bad guy..R.I.P
Rich Byrne, Friend
Sep 10 2012 8:14PM
Remembering Mike and hoping all is well with Dyan and Dean & Family.
Steve Ianuale, Friend
Sep 11 2011 10:09PM
Mike, You are Never Forgotten!! You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers....
Rich Byrne, Friend
Sep 11 2011 11:14AM
Hi Dyan- I was a friend and classmate of Mike (Buddy)'s in Ridgefield Park. I often think of him. He was a sweet guy back then too--kind, thoughtful, shy. Anyway, I just wanted to say hi to you and tell you I thought a great deal of him. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I am sure that your son is growing up to be a wonderful boy, just like his dad. Best, Virginia Lamb
Virginia Lamb, Friend
Dec 30 2010 12:04PM
Never Forgotten Mike. God blees you, your boy and your family. Well they finally fixed your memorial outside of R.P.H.S. I bitched to everyone and kept on checking on it--well last week i was there and it's about time R.I.P.
Rich Byrne, Friend
Sep 9 2010 11:09PM
I was a schoolmate of Mike's back in White Rock Elementary School. While revisiting White Rock yesterday with some old childhood friends, we drove down one of the streets and I commented that 'Mike Zinzi lived here.' I think we all used to walk home from school in a bunch! It was then I learned from one of my friends that Mike was gone. I am so sorry. I remember him as a very smiling, red-headed boy. Very personable and likeable. He ALWAYS had a smile on his face. It is so sad to have lost him, but in reading his story, very sweet to know that he found the loves of his life in his wife and child. My deepest sympathies.
Anne Magill Ostrowski, Friend
Nov 9 2009 1:05PM
Diane, I think about you during this time each year and wonder how you are. I remember you as a very strong indivdual and know that you are OK. I hope your son is well and IAM sure your an GREAT MOM! What, I remember about Mike the few times I met him {Dannetes wedding,your wedding, a date we had, me, Donna C, you and Mike and ran in to him at chilis on RT 10} that he loved you and you made him happy and I remember how your face would light up when you spoke of him a the fittness center at Novartis. I hope your well and wish you the best in life! I keep the program hand out from Mikes memorial on my frige so I dont forget how prescious life is and that what a wondeful life we have1
anthony campana, Friend
Sep 12 2009 6:46PM
Dear Mike, I didn't know you really, but I knew your wife. I did meet you on your wedding day for a brief moment, but I have never forgotten the kindness and love I felt that day. I was very sad for Dyan and your family 7 years ago on 9/11 . . . I still find my self sad today. I pray that Dyan and your family rely on their faith and their fond memories of you to get them through another day. Marlene
Marlene, Friend
Sep 11 2008 5:52PM
Dyan and Dean, My thoughts are with the both of you and of Mike on this day. Steve
Steve Ianuale, Friend
Sep 11 2008 4:39PM
Mike, I often share stories about the different dimension that you added to our awesome track team back in the day. You were truly a unique guy that left me with such fond memories of those seasons. I remember vividly, the conversations that we shared while we were both out in Texas, in 1982. You truly left a lasting impression on me as well as others. I will openly admit I shed some tears for you and your family today. Now if I can only get them to fix your memorial in front of R.P.H.S. I keep talking to people but nothing gets done. Tony Gonzales, promised me to 'Bust some balls' over there! to get it resolved. Rest in peace my friend--we'll see other again someday. Rich Byrne
Rich byrne, Friend
Sep 11 2007 12:35PM
Dyan I am a friend of Susan Andrews Mikes cousin I live in Australia Susan sent me this site I have been writting to Susan through Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) for many years she will fill you in My heart love and prayers are with you and your son may God bless you both every day you have had a one in a million man that we all dream of having It was a sad day for the world on this day my son dreampt about this fateful day two nights before it happen he was crying about the dream that he had when he told us and he kept saying to us something really bad is going to happen we tried to console him but all he could say was something really bad is going to happen through his tears When he saw the news that day he saw the part where there was a man near a car covered with ash sheltering himself he called me and told me that that was exactly what happened in his dream mum we were praying all the time for all of the people and the families involved and now I will pray for Dyan and Dean personally sincerely Lorraine
Lorraine Schultz, Friend
Aug 8 2007 10:14PM
Dyan & Dean I recently visited the World Trade Centers with my family. I knew he had been the victim of the 9-11 attacks. Dyan, I can't begin to understand how you must feel each and every waking day. How you push on just to survive. But as I read this beautiful tribute to Mike I began to see the love you two had for one another, the happiness you two shared. Although he was taken from this earth, his love for you and Dean shall live eternally in your hearts. Dyan I was not directly realted to Mike, but I knew him through his father and my brother's sister Melissa. I just want to thank you so very much for posting this web-page. May God Bless You and Dean Always, A Military Spouse Theodora Stuart-Bollinger
Theodora Stuart-Bollinger, Friend
Sep 17 2006 9:31AM
Mike, it's been 5 years today, we miss you so much, we will hold you in our hearts forever. Until we meet again..... Shane & Leonor
Leonor & Shane, Family
Sep 11 2006 9:42PM
Mike, Although I don't have very many memories of high school, I do remember you. I remember what a nice guy you were then to everyone including those of us who were not good friends to anyone and did not really fit in anywhere in life. Many times I have thought, 'If I could do it over again...'. I know I would certainly want to be your friend. Though I live in Florida now, my family still lives in NJ. I remember how I felt when my mother told me about your passing on 9-11. I had a real big knot in my stomach and lump in my throat. It was hard for me to grasp. The whole event was hard to grasp. What made it more real was when I first saw your name on a list of 9-11 victims. I don't know what made me search for you today. Maybe it is because the fifth anniversary of the attack is approaching. When I found this page and saw your picture the knot in my stomach and lump in my throat came back. Only this time it was followed by tears in my eyes. I am sure your family and friends miss you dearly. The one consolation to this is that it sounds like you had a wonderful life. I am so happy to hear that. I know you deserved all the good things life has to offer. Yet I am still so saddened that you did not get to enjoy more of the wonderful things you had. I am also saddened that you didn't get to touch more peoples' lives. The world has certainly suffered a great loss. I have faith that you are with our Lord now and in eternal peace. I know you are watching over your family and friends and I know that one day you will be with them again. May God Bless you Mike, Hank Barca
Hank Barca, Friend
Aug 29 2006 2:56PM
Dyan & Dean~ Thinking of you on this day..... Cheri
Cheri Spoerry, Friend
Sep 11 2005 4:22PM
Mike, I just found this wed page today. I know you are with our Loving Father. I remember your smile and how you loved your sister Melissa. You helped me so much when I wasn't able to take care of Melissa. You are a good man. I miss you. I saw your mother and your anut Terri in Jan. You effected so many people lives. Love, Debbie
Debbie Pena-Smiley, Family
Mar 28 2005 9:45AM
Dyan, My name is Angelo and I worked for a company that Ken Kievit worked at. I know that Ken and Mike were very close. I remember how destroyed Ken was the days after 9/11. Although I never met Mike, the way Ken talked about him allowed me to develop a sort of kinship with him as well as you and your son. We are a few years removed from that day but Mike continues to be in my mind as well as you and your son. I still have the memorial card that was given out at Mike's funural. Ken was good enough to give one to me. I look at it often and read the words of his favorite song 'What a wonderful world'. When ever I read it, I am reminded of his his dedication to his family and appreciation for life. It makes me be a better father and husband. I wish I knew him. Ken and his other friends are so blessed to have known him for even a moment. I will periodically check back with this site in the hopes that you will get on that bike and ride. I can't think of a better way to carry on the priceless spirit of Mike Zinzi. God bless you, Just a guy who wished he knew Mike
Angelo Giambattista, Friend
Feb 18 2005 9:35AM
I didn't quite know what to put under 'relationship'. My father is a cousin of Madeline Placek, Mike's mother. I guess that makes us family; my mother says that when Mike and Sam were young, Madeline used to bring them to our house in Hasbrouck Heights and the three of us would play together. I have no memories of that, although I wish I did. Mike's been on my mind a lot lately; I know someone who is getting married on Sept. 11th, and when I found out she chose that date I was so horrified and disturbed, and for some reason, all I could think of was Mike. I wish I had known him, I wish this whole horrific event hadn't happened, I wish his wife and son didn't lose someone who from all accounts sounds like a wonderful person. One of my daughter's Brownie troop leaders went to school with Mike; she said he was one of her closest friends, and the nicest guy you'd ever meet. I'd like Dyan and Dean to know that I'm so terribly sorry for their loss, and also want them to know that Mike will never be forgotten, even by those of us who weren't fortunate enough to actually know him. With love and prayers, Maria Kulnis Sandberg
Maria Sandberg, Family
Aug 27 2004 11:06AM
Mike and Dyan - I want you to know that we think of you both very often. Lately, there have been many reminders of you, Mike. We'll hear a song in the background that reminds us of you, and Steven and I will instantly catch each other's eye and smile. Or we'll be telling a story about the past, and you will be in that memory. As a matter of fact, we were visiting Johnny & Julie last weekend, and I think I overheard Steven telling Johnny a story about you playing the trumpet when you were little? I forgot to ask him about that. Anyway, like I said, we have been thinking about you alot lately and I want you to know that we miss you so much. We saw Dyan and Dean just before the summer. Dyan looks wonderful; she always has a special smile and twinkle in her eyes when she speaks of you--a very proud smile. Dean is a well-mannered, adorable little boy. Both Dyan and you have done a beatiful job with him. Love, Jill
Jill Herr, Friend
Aug 19 2004 12:09AM
Mike, Today would have been your 3rd Father's Day. Dean is doing great. He asks about you and I tell him that you love him very much. I share memories of you with him daily and he is beginning to understand what 'past away' means. I hope that you can see your beautiful son thrive. He is so much fun and I'm so thankful for him. I miss you very much and love you. You will always be in my heart. Love, Dyan PS...I haven't been about to ride, yet. I don't have the desire anymore but I hope that I will someday. Whenever I see a Harley, I cherish the memories of all our trips together, with friends, and charity rides.
Dyan Zinzi, Family
Jun 20 2004 11:36PM
Mike, I really, really miss the weekend rides, even the annoying pre-ride indecision about where to go, where to meet, etc. You know it and I know it: We will all ride again a little later on. Peace, Fred (and Renee)
Fred Aun, Friend
Jun 10 2004 9:02PM
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Arnie
arnold korotkin, Friend
Dec 4 2003 9:03PM
Dyan and I were classmates growing up in Clifton. I never had the oppotunity to meet Michael. I recently saw Dyan for the first time since High School, and I also met Dean. What a great little kid (adorable too)! He and my son Benjamin (born 9/5/01) were playing contentedly together. Whoever coined the term 'terrible twos' anyway? It's painful to contemplate how Michael's life was unjustly ended when it was, along with so many other people. But there must be some sweetness in knowing how well he obviously lived and loved. Make the most of every day...that's what I will take from him. Thanks...
Francis Khoury, Friend
Oct 1 2003 2:33PM
Dear Dyan and Dean, although we have never met, I have known the Zinzi family since approximately 1955. Although I could never begin to know the pain of your loss, may it give you some comfort to know that along with your many friends and family members, I, too, have kept you all in my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis. God Bless you and your son and may he bring you peace and comfort in your heart.
Lucille Marianiello, Friend
Sep 10 2003 9:04PM
Mike, you and I never met. All that I knew of you was through chats with Dyan at Novartis. On 9/11, as everything flashed before the world's eyes, a friend of mine told me that you worked in the World Trade Center. It wasn't until October 4 that I was able to talk to Dyan. Between that time and the memorial on the 20th, I felt that I was getting to know you even more through Dyan. I met your son at the memorial service, and somehow knew that I would know him later in life as well, as would everyone in the church. Dyan and I have spoken a few times since then. Between the speakers at the memorial service, and the phone calls with Dyan, I almost feel as though I do know you, in a way. What that tells me more than anything is that you touched so many people's lives, in ways that perhaps you didn't even realize at the time, and their lives were and are better for having known you. When I hear your favorite song on the radio, or on days such as today, which must have been very special for you, I remember the life that you and Dyan shared. I remember the life that you brought into this world as well. Mike, I speak for a host of other people when I say that Dyan and Dean will have every measure of our devotion, our help and our prayers throughout their lives. You have taught me that the cliche' of living life to the fullest is not a cliche' at all. It is a way of life. I hope it brings some measure of comfort to you and yours that even after 9/11, you have touched my life and the lives of others through the way you lived on this Earth. Blessed is the match that is consumed in kindling a flame. Blessed is the flame that burns the secret fastness of the heart - a flame that will burn within Dyan's heart, and Dean's for all tiime. May the Lord bless you and keep you, Mike. Thank you for having lived. Steven
Steven Charnick, Friend
Apr 2 2003 7:11PM
I was laying in bed sick yesterday and saw your wife Dyan on the today show and started to cry as I saw just your picture and the way that Dyan described your lives together and I could tell you are a caring man. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I work in the Sacramento office and your family has touched me all the way across the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Sheri, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 5:38PM
Mike, It's hard to believe that it's been a year since you died. I look at your pictures, especially the one that Dyan keeps in the kitchen, and it seems like yesterday that I saw you. You would be so proud of Dean, he is such a good boy and very smart (just like his Dad!). Dyan has been amazing, Mike, in spite of everything. You were always so supportive of her, I know you would be proud of the way she has gotten through the last year. Dyan will make sure you are a part of Dean's life, and the rest of us will help however we can. We miss you Mike. Love, Donna
Donna Carluccio, Friend
Sep 11 2002 10:05AM
Mike, Hey it's your sister. I know that we didn't see each other often, but when we did it was like I spoke to you everyday. I wish we could have been closer. It is funny how you and Shane bonded and Sam and I bonded. I keep the family picture we took at Shane and Leonor's wedding right beside my bed. I will also hold you in my heart. I know you will look over Dean and keep Dyan strong. remembering you always your sister Kellie
Kellie Foster, Family
Jul 8 2002 4:15PM
Mike, Steven and I sincerely promise to forever stay a part of Dyan's and Dean's lives. Forever, Jill
Jill Herr, Friend
Jun 10 2002 12:25PM
Michael, What an important part of my life you were at Shulton!! We all had such great times together. I remember like it was yesterday the first time you saw Dyan. We walked through that fitness center a million times--it was well worth it!! You are and will always be a great human being and a wonderful friend. God Bless you Dyan and Dean. Love you, Cheryl
Cheryl McCabe, Friend
May 28 2002 9:02PM
Mike, Sincere, down to earth, good people are not that easy to come by these days. I was glad to have known one of them, you, during my 'Shulton years' as a colleague and friend. You never had a bad word to say about anyone during work or even afterwards at happy hours or reunion events. And if someone got out of line with their remarks one could always count on you to stop them before they might regret what they said with your infamous 'Be nice...' comment. You definitely touched the lives of many as evidenced by the amount of people who came to say their good-bye's at your memorial service. It is people like you who truly make it (as Satchmo would say) 'A Wonderful World'. God Bless You and Dyan & Dean Michael as well. Peace. Steve
Steve Ianuale, Colleague
May 22 2002 3:02PM
Mike, I have your wedding band that was found by firefighter, John Holfester, on 5/9/02 just about 8-months later,in the debris at ground zero. Thank you, Mike, for sending it back to me. I will treasure it and all of our memories together. Dean Michael is now 10-months old and certainly has your blue eyes, reddish hair and your easy-going, happy personality. He still is 'Such a good boy,' just like you said to him the morning of 9/11 after you kissed him good-bye. Love you and miss you always, Dyan
Dyan Zinzi, Family
May 17 2002 5:03PM