Monday, July 5, 2010

Philip Haentzler

Philip Haentzler would appear to be a confirmed vicsim, based on the structure of his media identity as reveled by a Google. He is a persona derived entirely from an article in the Staten Island Advance, along with a booster shot in the New York Times victim's profiles.

Here we can see the basic process by which an identity is constructed---first out of a single regional news article, but then bolstered by the huge effort expended in credibility by the New York Times in temporarily saving these manufactured identities from an early spoil date.

His only relatives are his mother, Madeleine Debolt, formerly of Woodside Queens, and his companion of 20 years, Patricia Thompson, with whom he lived in Staten Island. Although he worked at Kidder-Peabody for 18 years, his alma mater, Haverford, describes him only as "an administrator at a brokerage firm on the 101st floor of One World Trade Center."

The two tributes from his school roommates are so heavily overwritten as to be laughable in this abbreviated context. They hadn't kept up with him over the years as they say, although one of them reads the Staten Island Advance and quotes from it!

Philip Haentzler '74
Phil was my roommate in our sophomore, junior, and senior years. Although he would not fancy himself a home decorator, he did provide our living room in Comfort with a rather unique work of art. Reflecting his French roots, he procured a ceramic statue of a rather scantily clad woman from some local “antique” store, and named her “Putain.” I’m not sure I have the spelling right, and the word doesn’t appear in my French/English dictionary (a pocket version lacking all the “interesting” words), but I do recall that its meaning involved women of somewhat less than spotless repute. I tell this story to evoke the playful perspective that Phil brought to our suite. It is one of the things I remember to this day, despite the fact that I have not remained in close touch with him. He was also a powerful and memorable presence, intellectually and ethically. He was quick to deflate that which he found pompous and pretentious, while at the same time he engaged me in some of the most stimulating discussions of philosophical and moral issues of anyone I have known. That my memories of Phil are as clear as they are despite the years it has been since I’ve seen him is a tribute to the power of his thinking and his observations on life and people. I will continue to carry with me strong memories of Phil, as will others who have known him well.
— Charles Beever ’74

I was Phil Haentzler’s roommate during our freshman and sophomore years. I vividly remember the first time I met him, which was shortly after the room assignments for freshmen had been mailed out. Phil invited me to have dinner at his home in Queens, and then to take in a Mets game at Shea Stadium. Phil’s father was a French chef, and for some reason the broccoli Hollandaise still makes my mouth water. I can’t remember whether the Mets won or lost that day, but I do remember learning something about the meaning of “friendship” and “hospitality” that day. Phil was a quiet person, with a keen but understated wit. I remember once writing a skit together for Class Night. It was a spoof on the Christian doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, with the main idea being the resentment felt by the Holy Spirit for never getting equal “air time” in Christian devotion. We never submitted the script, blasphemous as it was, for consideration. But it may bear mention that the “charismatic” movement in the churches was just then getting under way, though surely neither of us knew that at the time. But perhaps we were, in our own irreverent way, on to something. I recall being pie-eyed at Phil’s gift for languages and sophistication as a writer and literary critic. He was the first of many of my classmates to intimidate me intellectually...not that he ever TRIED to be intimidating or boastful about his attainments. In Phil's obituary, mention was made of his morning “coffee ritual.” He would rise early each day, make coffee, and then lay out the mug, the cream, the spoon, and the morning newspaper...and await his longtime companion Patricia Thompson's emergence from the bedroom. This simple but heartbreakingly beautiful scenario speaks volumes about the kind of person he was. It teaches us something about the virtue of courtesy.
—Rick Steele ’74

NCAA News Archive - Memorial run helps Haverford mourn September Jan 21, 2002 in outdoor track and field; Calvin Gooding, a 1984 graduate who played varsity basketball; and Phil Haentzler, a 1974 graduate
Since September 11, students at Haverford College have mourned the deaths of four alumni lost in the World Trade Center attacks, three of them former student-athletes.

Those who died were: Doug Gardner, a 1983 graduate who played varsity basketball; Tom Glassner, a 1982 graduate who was an NCAA Division III qualifier in outdoor track and field; Calvin Gooding, a 1984 graduate who played varsity basketball; and Phil Haentzler, a 1974 graduate.

Haentzler was an administrator at a brokerage firm on the 101st floor of One World Trade Center.
From the the Staten Island Advance:

'Philip Haentzler, 49, legal administrative officer St. George resident had coffee with wife every morning for almost 20 years,'
By Leah Karnatski
Advance staff writer
Wednesday, 09/26/2001

Every morning for nearly two decades, Philip Haentzler would get up early and make a pot of coffee. He would pour a cup, place it on the table with a spoon, and peruse the New York Times for stories relating to social work.

If he found one, he would place the story, face up, on the table next to the coffee and wait. It was a ritual, but it wasn’t for himself.

Mr. Haentzler, a resident of St. George, did this every morning for his love, Patricia Thompson, who would wake up from a peaceful slumber once the powerful and soothing aroma of morning reached her.

Now, the social worker hardly sleeps, and she’s been sipping her treasured morning coffee alone since Mr. Haentzler became one of the missing victims of the World Trade Center attacks.

Mr. Haentzler was a legal administrative officer for Kidder Peabody/UBS Paine Webber on the 101st floor of Tower 1.

“I started my day with Philip, and I ended my day with Philip,” said Ms. Thompson. “He was so supportive of me, and gave me a love so grand that it pains me to realize he’s no longer with me.”

Born in Manhattan, Mr. Haentzler was brought to Queens as a baby. His parents were born and married in France, and Philip attended Lycee Francais on the Upper East Side. All of his classes were in French.

He had an immense talent for languages, Ms. Thompson said. Already fluent in French, Latin and Spanish, he was working on his German. He was also a voracious reader and “read everything he picked up,” she said.

Mr. Haentzler earned a degree in history from Haverford (Pa.) College, and a degree in paralegal studies from New York University. After college, he spent three years in Paris trying to make it as a writer.

An aspiring playwright, he kept his work at the office, so Ms. Thompson never had a chance to read his newer, incomplete projects. He finished a one-act play about the American Revolution that was critiqued by the former Minstrel Society of New York in the 1980s.

The couple met at Kidder Peabody in 1983, when she was a legal secretary. “He had piercing eyes,” she said. “Our first date was on St. Patrick’s Day. We went out for a drink after work, and went out every night after that.”
They frequented puppet shows, off-off-Broadway theater, and often went to a film house in Greenwich Village that showed short films. The audience would sit on pillows to view the films, after which Mr. Haentzler loved to critique them for hours. “He was a walking encyclopedia,” Ms. Thompson said. “We talked all the time, and had a perfect relationship as far as communication.”

In the fall of 1983, he was transferred to a Kidder Peabody office in Houston, and Patricia followed. They remained in Texas for seven years.

After returning north, they rented an apartment in Manhattan, but moved to St. George the following year because the commute was easier. They bought a house next door to their apartment building in March 2000, where they could share their morning coffee on the balcony off the main floor.

The couple preferred outdoor vacations, and visited towns throughout Pennsylvania together. “We both preferred a rustic vacation,” said Ms. Thompson. They also traveled to Vermont, Lake Placid, N.Y., and Canada and had recently purchased a time-share condominium in the Delaware Water Gap, Pa., area. A favorite destination was a certain mountain resort in Pennsylvania, which Mr. Haentzler had visited many times as a child. When his father died, he spread his ashes there.

“This was a very sacred spot for him. He created a memorial for his father there.” Patricia said.

In addition to Ms. Thompson, Mr. Haentzler is also survived by his mother, Madeleine Debolt.

The New York Times

September 30, 2001

'Philip Haentzler: Steadfast Loyalty'
Philip Haentzler left for work early on Tuesday the 11th so he could take Wednesday off to help his 90-year-old mother, Madeleine, of Woodside, Queens, work out a winter lease for a Florida condo. "He was the kind of guy who would work two extra days so he could take off one," said his longtime companion, Patricia Thompson. "He was the most loyal person I knew."

Mr. Haentzler, 49, showed his loyalty in staying on as one of the last administrators working out the final details on dissolving the brokerage firm Kidder Peabody after its acquisition by PaineWebber Group and then, last year, PaineWebber's sale to UBS, the Swiss banking giant. And he showed it with his plants, which cluttered his office on the 101st floor of 1 World Trade Center and his home in Staten Island. Ms. Thompson stood among them in their home on Sept. 11, watching the towers burn across the harbor.

Any chance Haentzler's companion was really a waitress who enjoyed bowling?

From the Staten Island Advance, January 19, 2009

PATRICIA THOMPSON, 55, West Brighton waitress enjoyed bowling

Monday, January 19, 2009
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Patricia A. Thompson, 55, of West Brighton, a waitress who enjoyed bowling, died Saturday in Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhattan, of complications from Crohn's disease.

Born and raised Patricia Hollywood in Todt Hill, she moved to West Brighton in 1978.

A graduate of St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School, Huguenot, she was a longtime waitress in restaurants in West Brighton.

Mrs. Thompson was a fan of the New York Mets and enjoyed bowling for a league at Rab's Country Lanes in Dongan Hills. She was a former PTA board member at PS 22 and a former PTA president at St. Peter's Boys High School, New Brighton.

Her family described her as a loving and kind person who enjoyed spending time with her friend, Liz Watson, and living life to the fullest.

Mrs. Thompson was a parishioner of St. Teresa's R.C. Church, Castleton Corners.

Surviving are three sons, David, Daniel and Kevin; a brother, John Hollywood Jr.; a sister, Dr. Cathy Hollywood; one granddaughter; her father, John Hollywood, and her companion of 12 years, Jimmy Timmins. The funeral will be Thursday from the Harmon Home for Funerals, West Brighton, with a mass at 10 a.m. in St. Teresa's Church. Arrangements include cremation.

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