Those who knew him best remember his smile, his laugh, his joy in life. His daughters and their friends knew him as the “cool dad” down the street who was always throwing parties and dressing up in silly outfits. Anyone who was around him for any length of time, such as the manager at Sears the time he went with his brother to buy paint, knew that an Adventure (or was it Mischief?) was right around the corner when he was in the lead. The Sears trip to buy spray paint had Tim climbing “into a trash can in the tool department, pulled the lid over him, and started calling out to the kids.” Can you picture it? The trash can’s moving, the lid’s going up and down, and it’s surrounded by laughing people. Although the manager threw them out of the store, he might well have been laughing himself after they were gone.

Says brother Don, “He always tried to get a laugh and do something that no one would expect. He could pretty much turn anything into a positive experience.” (2) One of his daughters, asked by Tim’s mother what she liked best about her dad, replied, “He makes me laugh.” (3)

Tim Betterly was a graduate of Wissahickon High School in Montogomery County, and a resident of Little Silver, New Jersey. He was a bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. (2) As straightforward as that looks, there is a colorful family story about how Tim became a bond trader. At age six, he slipped away from the babysitter and disappeared into the Pennsylvania suburb neighborhood. Six hours later, his mother found him in the yard of a retired couple, raking their leaves and making ten cents an hour. (1)

It wasn’t long after graduation that he earned his broker’s license and started applying with firms in New York. He was turned down repeatedly, but did not lose hope, and finally landed a job and worked his way through the ranks. (1)

But what’s important in life is often not just how we spend our professional lives, and these excerpts from some of the guest books I found paint a picture of a man I would have welcomed into my home, had he lived down the street from me.

God may have taken Tim but his memory will live on in each of us. We will see his face in the triumphs of his children and hear his voice in each breaking wave at the shore. We’ll picture him in the 3rd base coach’s box waving in the runners; making each one believe they can score. We’ll taste his zest for life in each cold beer and fine cigar. His heart will beat with each boom of the 4th of July fireworks. And his belief in impossible odds will endure with every long shot who finishes first at Monmouth Park. So although our loss is deep and forever, so is our capacity to hold on to the gifts he gave us. When our last tear is shed, we will remember with a smile as warm and huge as his own – The Great Tim Betterly. love forever, Joanne
Joanne Betterly (Little Silver, NJ)

I knew Sprout the younger brother.I knew 14 year old Sprout who took the family car.I knew his smile.I knew Sprout the football player.I knew Sprout the fraternity brother and roomate at Gettysburg.I knew Sprout who had a tarantula. He was my friend.He was a good man.
Sal Paparone (Manlius, NY )

I never laughed with anyone harder … or more often. I miss you every day, pal.
Jerry Roache (Little Silver, NJ )

He was funny, down to earth and always had a smile on is face. He was there for you when you needed a friend. Timmy was a shining light and will be remembered always.
Joanna Roth (Rutherford, NJ )

Tim and I have not worked together for many years but I still remember (and always with a big grin) his tremendous wit, his brilliant smile and his infectious laugh. Tim made the world a better place and he is missed.
Diana Schauer (Staten Island, NY )

Tim was one of the funniest man to have walked this earth. He knew how to have a great time and we shared many laughs. My heart goes out to wife Joanne and two daughters who were the apple of his eye. Tim, I will miss you and you will never be forgotten.
Matt Siracuse (Short Hills, NJ )

We pray for those who were victims of September 11, 2001, and today, especially, I pray for those who feel so keenly the loss of Timothy Betterly in their lives.

Sources and places to find more information, to read the guest books, and more: