|Cranston, RI||July 20, 2020|
Retired librarian Lynn Angell and her husband — television writer/producer David Angell — unsuspectingly boarded American Airlines Flight 11 at Logan International Airport on the ordinary-seeming morning of September 11, 2001. Of the 92 total people aboard the aircraft, five were members of the extremist organization al Qa’ida. One of the terrorists sat in aisle seat 8D, next to the Angells. Within the hour, the five men hijacked the Boeing 767 and crashed it into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan’s Financial District. A memorial service for Lynn and David Angell was held six days later at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Providence, Rhode Island. It was not until 2008 that their remains were buried with David’s parents in the neighboring city of Cranston.
Lynn Edwards was an Alabamian who graduated from Auburn University and earned a master’s degree in library science at the University of Rhode Island. It was in the Ocean State that she met her future spouse, David Angell. While David tried to break into the entertainment business over a five-year period, Lynn supported the couple financially through her library work. After the Angells’ deaths, friend Sally Reeder reminisced that “[t]hey used to say they had one suitcase packed and were ready to return to New England when he finally caught on.” David eventually did, having been recommended to work on the NBC sitcom Cheers after he received positive reviews for a script he submitted to The Bob Newhart Show. That set David on the path to 14 Emmy Award nominations. Lynn retired from her job at Campbell Hall School, and the Angells became owners of multiple properties. They were in the process of having their “dream retirement home” constructed in Chatham, Massachusetts, when they were murdered.
In the early 1990s, Angell became involved with an organization named Hillsides in Pasadena, California. Hillsides’s website describes the entity as “a premier provider dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families, and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy.” Angell was the dominant force in the establishment of Hillsides’s library, and she volunteered as head librarian from 1992 until she was killed on 9/11. Hillsides’s assistant librarian, Candy Puchta, remembered Angell as “the life of the library, a vital source.” Her largesse was displayed not through just her time, but the gifts she bestowed to the children of Hillside. Angell’s presents included maple sugared candies from Vermont, chocolate shaped lobsters from Cape Cod, the book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, and handwritten, individualized postcards. This allowed her to stay connected with the children when she was on the east coast.
"I was also so impressed with not only the relationship David and Lynn had with each other but how unassuming and humble they were, so down to earth and willing to give credit to others at the expense of recognition to themselves."
- John Hitchcock
executive director of Hillsides, a children-focused organization of which Lynn Angell was a benefactor and head librarian
Sources Consulted and Further Reading
Hillsides. “Lynn and David Angell Remembered at Hillsides.” September 14, 2001. From Eunice’s Frasier Page. Accessed February 4, 2023. https://frasierzone.tripod.com/Angells.html.
Legacy. “Lynn Edwards Angell.” Accessed February 4, 2023. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/legacy/obituary.aspx?n=lynn-edwards-angell&pid=91768.
Summers, Anthony and Robbyn Swan. The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11. New York: Ballantine Books, 2012.
Television Academy. “David Angell.” Accessed January 28, 2023. https://www.emmys.com/bios/david-angell.
Uhrich, Kevin. “Pasadenans David and Lynn Angell, Killed in the Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks, Remembered As A Kind, Loving and Generous Couple.” Pasadena Now. September 10, 2022. https://www.pasadenanow.com/main/pasadenans-david-and-lynn-angell-killed-in-the-sept-11-terrorist-attacks-remembered-as-a-kind-loving-and-generous-couple.