Daniel Brandhorst and Ronald Gamboa changed their flight plans so they could return to Los Angeles from Boston on Sept. 11 with their son, David Gamboa-Brandhorst, on United Airlines Flight 175.
Mr. Brandhorst, 41, was an accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Los Angeles and Mr. Gamboa, 33, was the manager of a Gap store in Santa Monica. David, 3, who was named for Daniel’s brother, was adopted in 1998. He had, said Donato Tramuto, the friend they had visited in Maine over the weekend, “the spirit of Ron and the intellectual curiosity of Daniel.”
Mr. Brandhorst and Mr. Gamboa had been introduced at a party 13 years earlier. Mr. Gamboa was the lighter side of the two. “He could make a rainy day look happy,” Mr. Tramuto said. David Brandhorst, Daniel’s brother, said “Ron was the other side that kept Dan civil.”
In 1996, Mr. Brandhorst and Mr. Gamboa moved to Los Angeles, when Mr. Gamboa became a troubleshooting manager at the Gap and Mr. Brandhorst got on the road to his partnership at PricewaterhouseCoopers. David arrived in 1998, with Mr. Brandhorst and Mr. Gamboa there at his birth. Mr. Brandhorst, said Scott Pisani, a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Los Angeles, “was very intense and focused at work.” But with the arrival of David, “he made a tremendous amount of time for his family,” including taking his son to work with him.
Few people on the work side knew about Mr. Brandhorst’s family. “My brother led two lives,” David Brandhorst said. “A private personal life and a business life.”
Mr. Tramuto said that Mr. Brandhorst himself was “very skeptical about what this lifestyle meant.” But after years together with Mr. Gamboa and their success as parents, Mr. Tramuto said, “I told him that `you and Ron have convinced me that two men can really raise a child.’ ” The proud parents, Mr. Tramuto added, had planned to adopt another child.
PROUD ADOPTIVE PARENTS..