From NY Newsday Nov 20, 2001
Brendan and Kristy Ryan knew each other most of their lives. They were best friends, soulmates and, for 94 days, husband and wife.
"We knew each other when we were 12 years old, and we always knew we would end up together," said Brendan Ryan, who married Kristy on June 9. "My heart goes out to the fiancees affected by this tragedy. When I talk about it, I can say, 'Kristy is my wife.' At least we had our day. I'll always have that to hold on to."
Kristy Irvine Ryan was an equities trader for Sandler O'Neill and Partners and worked on the 104th floor of Two World Trade Center. On the morning of Sept. 11, she spoke to Brendan three times.
"She was very calm and very poised," said Brendan, 30. "She said they made an announcement that the fire was contained and the building was safe. When the second plane hit, the phone went dead. She called right back and said, 'We're going down now.'
"I said, 'I love you' and 'call me when you get down.' The more I kept seeing the replay of the second plane, I knew."
Kristy, 30, grew up in Huntington and graduated from St. Anthony's High School and the University of Dayton in Ohio. She enjoyed reading novels, writing, listening to music and taking walks in the couple's Greenwich Village neighborhood. The things most dear to her were her husband and family and the idea of helping others.
"I always looked up to her in so many ways," said her sister Michelle, 27, who lives in Tucson, Ariz. "Because we were close in age, I could tell her anything. She was a great listener, and she was such a great friend."
Kristy's gift for listening often made her the sister each sibling confided in. "She was my anchor," said her sister Wendy Toomey, 35, of Cary, N.C. "She was always there for you. She had time for everybody whether her day was busy or not. She was very involved in my children's lives. I named my daughter Kristin after her, and she's godmother to my son, Dean."
In 1999, she and friends Meredith O'Neal and Louise Rexer started a charity called Secret Smiles. They would anonymously provide families with gifts or other basic necessities during the holidays. One year, they delivered a stove to a family.
"The funny thing about Secret Smiles is that she never talked about it," Michelle said. "It really was a secret. She never wanted to show it off. It started as something small and just grew and grew."
Brendan Ryan, a keyboard player for the rock group the Bogmen, will carry on her mission with Secret Smiles. The Bogmen, who broke up in 1999, are reuniting for a benefit concert in Kristy's honor on Dec. 15 at Irving Plaza.
"My therapy is to help other people through this," Brendan said.
Kristy is also survived by sisters Tracy Janess, of Dayton, Ohio, and Kerry Irvine of Manhattan; her father, Stu Irvine of Huntington, and five nieces and nephews.