9/11 Remembrance: David and Lynn Angell

armsofproject2996Note: This post is part of a Nationwide movement Started by Dale Challener Roe to have each victim of the terrorist attacks in New York, Shanksville and Washington DC remembered on this solemn anniversary. For more information on this project, click here.

I’m honored,but still heartbroken, as I pay tribute to two of the kindest people it was my privilege to meet. Normally, when you think “Hollywood,” you don’t expect to hear words like “selfless,” “devoted” or “humble”.  But David and Lynn Angell were cut from a different cloth from the folks normally found in that industry.

For David, it was proof positive that nice guys CAN finish first. David was one of the creators of the top-rated. long-running NBC series “Frasier” along with his two partners Peter Casey and David Lee, who described Angell as

“a kind and gentle man with a quiet exterior that masked one of the sharpest comedy minds ever to write for television. His fingerprints are all over some of the funniest moments in Cheers, Wings and Frasier.

Angell - David 1David was born and raised in West Barrington, R.I. After graduating from Providence College, he joined the Army and served at the Pentagon. Upon his discharge, he wrote insurance manuals and worked as a methods analyst in Boston before taking interest in writing for television (as a result of watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show). His career in television began as a writer for the Barney Miller show. After that, he wrote for a number of shows until signing on as a staff writer for “Cheers.”  There, he met his future partners Casey and Lee. They left Cheers to start their own production company and produced the hit series “Wings.”  When Cheers wrapped, they teamed up with Kelsey Grammar to produce the show “Frasier” which ran for 11 seasons on NBC.

But David was much more than what you would read in his biography.  His creativeness lent itself well to a number of areas outside of show business. As a devoted husband of wife Lynn, he worked with her frequently, spearheading projects with her in support of child victims of abuse and mental illness at the Hillsides School in Pasadena, CA.

In fact, David’s involvement in support of his wife’s work as well as other philanthropic activities resulted in the American Screenwriters’ Association creating an annual David Angell Humanitarian Award, in his honor. The award is presented annually to an individual in the entertainment industry who contributes to global well-being through donations of time, expertise, or other support to improve the human condition… something that David, himself, devoted a great deal of time doing.

Angell - Lynn 01Lynn Angell was no less giving. She met David when they were both working on Cape Cod during the summer. They married in the summer of 1971. When David decided to try for a writing career in the entertainment industry, they moved to Hollywood. But Lynn was not satisfied to sit around. She worked as a librarian.  After David established himself as one of the top sitcom writers in Hollywood, Lynn “retired” from her job and became a volunteer with the Hillsides Home for  abused and emotionally troubled children in nearby Pasadena. She also made numerous financial contributions to the school unbeknownst to the school’s director. She took  a personal interest in the lives of the students there and David often spent time with her developing projects for the kids.  To the students, David and Lynn were appropriately named, for they were both guardian Angells to these children who desperately needed the kind of positive energy the Angells brought when they came.

This was the couple you wanted to know. Or be. Their love and devotion to each other carried them through 30 years of the kind of marriage one dreams of. It was not long after they celebrated their 30th anniversary that they returned to Cape Cod for another family wedding on the week-end of September 8th 2001. They had already decided to move to Chatham, MA upon the completion of “Frasier.”  As the wedding week-end passed, David and Lynn had to fly back to Los Angeles in preparation for the Emmy Awards as Frasier was once again nominated (David and his partners Peter Casey and David Lee had been nominated 37 times and had won 24 Emmys plus a number of “Q” awards from Viewers for Quality Television). Their return from Cape Cod to California put them on the ill-fated Flight 11 which was the first plane to be flown into the World Trade Center towers.

Anyone whose path crossed either David’s or Lynn’s never forgot how refreshingly real and genuinely kind they were. How appropriate their last names were “Angell.”

Gerry Ashley

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26 Responses to 9/11 Remembrance: David and Lynn Angell

  1. Celebritylife.org tracking back – 9/11 Remembrance: David & Lynn Angell…

    Celebritylife.org tracking back – 9/11 Remembrance: David & Lynn Angell…

  2. EdSki says:

    Lord, hear our prayer.

  3. Bethe says:

    Beautiful Tribute to these 2 beautiful souls. Yours was the 1st link I click on at “2,996, curious about the 2 names coupled together for this tribute. It really was a deep loss of significant 2 people that were so giving & could have accomplished so much more. Peace.

  4. Gerry Ashley says:

    Hi Beth,

    Thank you for your comments. The thing I try to impart with a tribute like this is to show the humanity that was lost. David and Lynn did so much good with their lives. Both were bright, shining examples of what we can all be when we apply ourselves towards a dream and stay modest when those dreams come true.

    The other aspect is this: If you feel a little closer to these two people who previously may have just been statistics to you, then I would ask that you multiply that loss by nearly 3,000 and you’ll have some idea of the loss.

    But I still can’t believe they’re gone. Their presence carries on in all who knew them, but it’s just not the same. Thanks again for taking the time to remember.

    Gerry Ashley

  5. DetHelaimmali says:

    Hello.
    I am glad that was registered here.
    You saw,new

  6. Paula says:

    I love watching “Frasier” re-runs, and happened to catch the episode w/ “In Loving Memory to our friends Lynn and David Angell” listed at the end. Out of mild curiosity (and because the episode was from 2001) I Googled their names and read the many tributes. I cannot imagine having left an imprint so profound that people speak so beautifully and with such great sadness 9 whole yrs later. We should all be inspired to live our lives in such a way as this… I also noticed that at the end of that particular episode as Niles, Daphne and Martin were preparing to leave for the movies, Martin said those now-famous words, “Lets roll!” I never noticed that particular piece of dialogue before, and I’m sure I’ve seen each episode at LEAST a dozen times. Thank you for the inspiration, and for a reminder of what all I have to be thankful for this year. Sometimes I forget…

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Thank-you, Paula. Here’s the thing: All I do here is write the words. David and Lynn lived the lives worthy of these words.

      I think it’s fitting also to point out that this article was written over a year ago in remembrance of 9/11. The fact that their lives (and the article) are still inspiring people makes it all that much more of a blessing to me that I was allowed to be, perhaps, the medium that has brought their story to an additional audience that might otherwise never have known about these two special people.

      And yes, we should all strive to live our lives in a similar example. It’s not about liberals vs conservatives… it’s about people simply being decent human beings and striving to help others as a way of giving thanks for their own good fortune. We used to be a nation of people like this. We need to become one again, otherwise it’s all been for naught.

      Thanks for your comment.

  7. SML says:

    I was always a fan of Cheers and Frazier, but never knew Lynn Angell was married to David Angell until that fateful day in September of 2001.

    I remember Lynn Angell from my days as a student at Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, where Lynn Angell was the librarian. What else would a 7th grader think, but that she was a very nice lady.

    On 9-11-2002, I had the honor of participating in a reading of the names of the victims. I specifically requested the victims from Flight 11, so that I could read David and Lynn Angell’s names.

    Lynn Angell comes to mind again today, as we find out that justice was finally served on Bin Laden. May Lynn and David continue to rest in peace, while OBL meets his appropriate firey fate for the rest of eternity.

    God bless you Lynn and David.

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Thank you so much for your participation, not only here in your reply (which has certainly added a lot of value to me and is deeply appreciated), but also for participating in the reading of the names during that first anniversary.

      David and Lynn were both very special people and not at all like what you hear about with a lot of show business folks. They were kind, decent and wonderful people… the kind of people who make you feel better about yourself just for knowing them. Their kind pass through this world too seldom and often, as in this case, too briefly.

      Thank you again for your comment. It means a lot to me to have your participation.

  8. John Pluntze says:

    I think online tributes such as this one are TREMENDOUSLY important for reminding ALL of us out there just WHO and WHAT we were robbed of when all those people were murdered — and that’s the ONLY word that suitable for what happened to them — on September 11,2001. Thanks so much for creating this wonderful tribute to David & Lynn Angell…..

    –John Pluntze
    Ketchum, Idaho

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      Hi John,

      I apologize for the late reply to your kind note. I’m not sure how I missed it, but I have been out recovering from bypass surgery so perhaps that had something to do with it.

      At any rate, thank you for your kind comment. It’s appreciated.

  9. Annette may Aubrey says:

    Like Paula – I’ve just watched a Frasier re run and googled David and Lynn Angell’s names. I never knew them, but from the eulogies and loving expression in their eyes, I felt profoundly touched. They seem like they were a genuine inspiration and I wish I’d met them.

    • Gerry Ashley says:

      They were the “real deal” and that’s what makes their loss so tragic. But my point in writing about David and Lynn was part of a nationwide event (see the article above) to “humanize” the loss by putting a recognizable face with each and every name lost that day.

      I was, indeed, fortunate to be allowed to write about David and Lynn… two remarkable souls who left this world much too soon, and for no reason at all… as did over 3,000 others.

    • Debbie says:

      Yes, exactly what happened to me as well. Sad that after 10 years, we are still constantly living the sadness of 9/11 and we always will.

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    [...]9/11 Remembrance: David and Lynn Angell « Grand Rants[...]…

  11. gabrielle anais says:

    i’m sitting here watching ‘frasier’ again on tv….we have the dvds and all my children are great fans…they have grown up watching it and loved it from the word go. we often mention david angell and i thank you for giving us this information about two exceptional people. always remembered…gabrielle

  12. Gerry Ashley says:

    It is, indeed, a tribute to the character of David and Lynn that over 10 years later, we still feel their loss. Thank you for your comment.

  13. Debbie says:

    i just saw the dedication to this amazing couple at the end of a Frasier rerun. I never concentrated on who they were, but am glad to have found several amazing sites that speak of their beautiful lives and continuing spirits.

  14. Gerry Ashley says:

    Yes, they were the real deal… Thank you.

  15. Ellen Falkenberry says:

    Thank you. Lynn and Dave were part of my extended family by marriage. I treasure the vacations with them, the conversations, and the light they brought to the world. Rest in peace, Lynn and David.

  16. God! What a sad story I looked this up because it said in memory of Lynn and David angell I never expected such a sad story
    I’m sure Kelsey and everyone around them where in shock.
    This is just one more sad heart break that hit this country on that day.
    God is with them I’m sure.
    Judy

  17. joyce m perry says:

    During the run of Frasier I was obtaining two graduate degrees. I just found “Frasier” last spring because everywhere I tried to find a “1990′s – 2000 program, I saw “Frasier” 12 hours a day! Honestly, during its first run, or in syndication, I don’t think I tuned into “Cheers,”but once or twice, which bored me — couldn’t imagine a spin-off. But last Spring I found “Frasier.”

    This had to have been the most brilliantly written, well-acted television sitcom I’ve ever seen or has been on television to date.

    NIles “is” my most favorite character, but Daphne, Roz, Martin, and ALL the other characters were brilliantly coordinated (even the damn dog was brilliant!). As a journalist and college professor, the intelligent writing and musings had to come from graduates from “Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Swarthmore” or other educated writers.

    I’ve enjoyed the re-runs for the first time. Thank you.

    (After one of your broadcasts, the dedication to David & Lynn Angell, alerted me to the fact that you suffered their lost in the attacks of 911.)

  18. Walt Shepard says:

    Just watched all episodes of Fraisier, did not watch as a kid. It was great and these folks sound great also.

  19. Essy says:

    I love the Frasier re-runs. Sometimes it keeps me up very late for shows that I have seen many times. I still laugh my head off every time. It is 3:00am Mach 12, 2014. Before I went to bed last night I notice “in memory of” at the end of one episode, so I searched for David and Lynn. I went to bed but, about 2am, I came back and read more. Thank you for every moment of joy you have given me. I never write anything on these websites. But this, I had to do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You left us with a deep sadness so we could never forget the joys you gave the world. Sincerely, Essy.

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