Allan Shwartzstein, 37, who grew up in Roslyn and lived in Chappaqua, joined Cantor Fitzgerald six months before 9/11 as a managing director trading foreign stocks for institutional clients. No remains were recovered.
A brother and sister remember
Michael Shwartzstein, a chiropractor in Port Washington, said his older brother Allan “was the one who always gave a damn. He was always the one who would stay in touch with people and bring people together. He was a very caring, generous, loving soul.”
Known as Swarty, Allan Shwartzstein loved music and guitar while also shining as a high school lacrosse and soccer player. Even as he found success at Bear Stearns, then Cantor Fitzgerald, his favorite look was torn jeans, denim shirts and unlaced high-top sneakers.
“He definitely didn’t look the part,” his brother said. “He was a family guy and did his own thing.”
Shwartzstein’s wife, Amy, and children Jessica and Matthew, who were 5 and 3 when he died, now live in Florida, his brother said.
Shwartzstein’s death has brought his brother closer to their older sister, Orly Shwartzstein Small, 51, and made him appreciate life “while you’ve got it because it might not be there in an hour.” It also left years of disrupted sleep and a sense of paranoia. “Going into the subway was always fun,” he said. “You’re always looking around.”
Small, of Jericho, said she thought of her brother every day: “When I wake up I say good morning , and every night I say good night and tell him I love him . . . It’s still hard to talk about it. He was my rock. He was always there when anyone needed him.”
On 9/11 this year, he put a photo of his brother, age 11 with a big ’fro hairstyle, as his Facebook profile picture. “But I never changed it,” he said. “I like seeing his face when I go on to Facebook.”
The friend who emailed him the photo wrote in the subject line, ‘Laugh, Cry,’ he said. “And that’s exactly what the picture does. It makes you laugh and then it makes you cry.” — Carol Polsky