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Cantor Fitzgerald
Where Died
World Trade Center

The Lakewood High School Class of 1986 had a casual 25-year reunion recently and one student, John R. Cruz, who perished in Sept. 11 terrorist attack was sorely missed, said Jill (Shelkowsky) Caputo, 43, now of Toms River. Jill was Cruz's senior prom date.

At the reunion, one classmate wore a T-shirt that had been signed by classmates on the last day of high school, Caputo said.

Front and center on the shirt was the trademark "Cruz" surrounded by the other signatures, she said. The group reflected on his amazing presence in high school, Caputo said.

She remembered Cruz as "very smart," Caputo said.

John Cruz's life changed after high school and college and she lost touch with her friend. But she would always hear through friends about how successful and wonderful his life had become. She was very happy for him.

Cruz had recently changed jobs and became engaged to his fiance Susan Fereira just prior to the attacks, she said.

After learning that he had been listed as missing the sadness of the attacks intensified for her, Caputo said.

She attended the service for Cruz that was held nearly two years after the towers fell.

"I was at his memorial," Caputo said. "He had a lot of friends and they all came."

"He was a really great guy, really smart," she said. "We think about him all the time, even though he has not been in our lives he is always brought up somehow."

- Margaret F. Bonafide

John Cruz had become engaged to his fiance was Susan Fereira two weeks before the attacks.

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