SOMERVILLE, MASS. (Sept. 21, 10 a.m. EDT) — Robert A. Jalbert and Thomas E. Burnett Jr., two executives with plastics industry ties, were killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
The death of Robert J. Hayes, a Netstal Machinery Inc. salesman who was killed when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center., was reported last week.
Burnett, 38, was senior vice president and chief operating officer of Thoratec Corp. of Pleasanton, Calif. He was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
Just before the crash, Burnett had called his wife, Deena, and said: “I know we're all going to die — there's three of us who are going to do something about it,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which quoted the family's priest. He told his wife, “I love you, honey,” and the call ended.
Burnett, a former Bloomington, Minn., high school quarterback, was described as a successful athlete, an avid reader with interests in history, politics and sports, and an outdoorsman.
Burnett joined Thoratec in 1996 as vice president for sales and marketing, and was promoted to his last post in 1999, the firm said. The company develops and makes polyurethane-related medical devices for circulatory support, vascular grafts, and blood-coagulation and skin-incision applications.
Among its products is Thoralon, a proprietary biomaterial that uses BPS-215 polyurethaneurea, a high flex-life elastomer.
D. Keith Grossman, Thoratec president and chief executive officer, said Burnett's death is a professional and personal loss for the firm's staff.
“Tom made many significant contributions to our company. We are all shocked and saddened by today's senseless and ruthless acts that took from us our friend and colleague. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Grossman said.
Jalbert, 61, was a sales engineer for rubber and plastics foam converter Rogers Foam Corp. in Somerville. He was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the World Trade Center. He was headed to Los Angeles for a combined business trip and family reunion.
He was eulogized Sept. 17 at a memorial Mass attended by an estimated 600.
An employee at Rogers Foam for more than 20 years, Jalbert lived in Swampscott, Mass., and was a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He was described as a wine enthusiast and someone who liked working with his hands and creating woodworking projects. A former Marine Corps reservist, Jalbert enjoyed traveling and spoke French fluently.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Catherine, two daughters and a son.