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Place of Residence:
Norwalk, CT
Location on 9/11:
FM Global | Assistant Vice President

The son and grandson of skilled craftsmen, Paul Curioli discovered his carpentry gene only after he married. But he quickly made up for lost time.

On weekends, when he wasn't in the bleachers cheering on his teenage sons' baseball or football teams, Mr. Curioli, 53, a vice president with FM Global, a commercial insurance company, could typically be found in the garage of his home in Norwalk, Conn., knee-deep in a woodworking project. He built dressers, tables, a blanket chest, a corner cabinet for the television, a game table with an inlaid checkerboard top. His specialty, however, was birdhouses.

In the beginning, he made simple A-frame models. But over time, they became more elaborate. "Some were shingled and stuccoed by hand," said Mr. Curioli's wife, Kathi. "They're beautiful -- like Colonial homes."

A family man who grew his own tomatoes, Mr. Curioli had big plans for his birdhouses. In early September, he told his wife that he thought Martha Stewart might like to see them and asked her to write Ms. Stewart a letter.

After he was lost while attending a meeting at the World Trade Center, Mrs. Curioli decided to act on his request. Last week, she sent Ms. Stewart an e-mail message relating her husband's story and describing his birdhouses. "He had just started one," Mrs. Curioli said. "It's sitting here unfinished."