Barbara Keating is honored by USCitizen at the blog Traction Control, the 1602th blogger to sign up for the 2,996 Tribute project.

2,996: A Tribute to the Victims of 9/11

Bloggers honor the innocent victims of that fateful day…

Barbara Keating

Barbara Keating, age 72.

Place killed: American Airlines Flight 11.

Resident of Palm Springs, Calif. (USA).

Special notes: Passenger.

. . .

To Barbara,

God bless you, Barbara for what you endured that day; a greater challenge the world may never witness and should never endure.
. . .

Other Tributes and Quotes:

Barbara Keeting: Receptionist, parish office, St. Theresa Catholic Church.

From NewsDay

Sept. 14, 2001

Palm Springs resident Barbara Keating, 72, a widowed grandmother and mother of five grown children, was an active member of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church.

For eight years, Keating had worked with the Altar Society–the “ladies’ guild”–and assisted the nonprofit Catholic Charities group, according to Linda Sardone, the church’s office manager.

“About six months ago, she became a volunteer in the parish office,” Sardone said. “Every morning, without fail, she would be there helping out.”

Keating was returning home after a vacation in Cape Cod and a visit with family on the New Jersey shore.

Tuesday night, about 300 parishioners at St. Theresa’s met and prayed for Keating and the other victims of the day’s violence.

“She was a kind, gentle lady. . . . She always had a smile on her face,” Sardone said. “Very religious. Not only did she go to church, but she lived her faith.

“There are not many people like that left in the world.”

–The Los Angeles Times


Sept. 17, 2001

After her husband’s death, Barbara Keating moved from Cape Cod to Palm Springs, Calif.

Every summer she returned to Massachusetts for a few months to visit. This summer, though, would be her last, she said, because her friends in Massachusetts were dwindling.

On her flight back to California, Keating died when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

“She was a wonderful woman, always had a smile on her face,” said Rev. Philip Behan, pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Palm Springs.

Keating, 72, worked as a receptionist at the parish office. She could often be seen driving around Palm Springs in a red convertible sports car, always with the top down.

“Usually, she and a few other women would be driving around, even in the winter when it gets sort of cold, she had that top down,” Behan said. “She also liked to celebrate. Her drink was always a martini with extra olives.”

— John Chase (The Chicago Tribune)

Contented Grandmother

Barbara Keating spent 25 years in public service, 10 as executive director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Middlesex, outside Boston. She was widowed almost 20 years ago and survived two occurrences of breast cancer. At 72, she split her time between Cape Cod, Mass., and Palm Springs, Calif., where she drove a red Sebring convertible and went to church every day.

She was someone you would not talk back to, said Paul Keating, one of her five children; she was smart, tough, professional and funny. “The joke was she could always find a restaurant with a good martini,” he said. She took hers dry, with two olives.

She planned her year around visits with her 12 grandchildren, in Texas, Massachusetts and California.

A longtime friend, Eunice Maloney, remembers her quiet kindnesses. “She drove people for cancer treatments,” she said. “She was always doing something for somebody, but she never said much about it.”

Ms. Maloney remembers talking to her about five days before she was killed on American Airlines Flight 11 as she was returning to California from a visit with her East Coast grandchildren.

“She told me she was very happy with her life,” Ms. Maloney said. “Later she left me a note that said she was very glad for my friendship. I thought maybe she wouldn’t be coming back to the Cape. Little did I know.”
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on June 16, 2002.

After her husband’s death, Barbara Keating moved from Cape Cod to Palm Springs, Calif.

Every summer she returned to Massachusetts for a few months to visit. This summer, though, would be her last, she said, because her friends in Massachusetts were dwindling.

On her flight back to California, Keating died when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

“She was a wonderful woman, always had a smile on her face,” said Rev. Philip Behan, pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Palm Springs.

Keating, 72, worked as a receptionist at the parish office. She could often be seen driving around Palm Springs in a red convertible sports car, always with the top down.

“Usually, she and a few other women would be driving around, even in the winter when it gets sort of cold, she had that top down,” Behan said. “She also liked to celebrate. Her drink was always a martini with extra olives.”

Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
Thursday, September 12, 2002

Thoughts about Barbara Keating, who was on American Airlines Flight 11
His thoughts turn to friend lost year ago

The News Journal, Wilmington, Delaware

At 8:46 Wednesday morning, I will join many other Americans observing a long moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent victims of foreign terrorism.

My primary thoughts will be of Barbara Keating, a friend to my wife Betty Ann and me, who was one of the first to die that day. She was a passenger on the first jet to crash into the World Trade Tower in New York City. It is impossible for us to imagine what it must have been like on American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston to Los Angeles, as the murderers took over that plane.

We got to know Barbara more than 50 years ago when she worked alongside Betty Ann as a medical technologist in the Memorial Hospital, a facility long since gone from Lovering Avenue and Van Buren Street in Wilmington. She was then Barbara Kinsey, a south Jersey gal and a histologist in the hospital lab. We attended her wedding to Bill Keating, visited them and their eventual five children at their home in Framingham, Mass., and kept in touch through the years.

We shared another common interest besides our children. We loved Cape Cod, where we used to summer and where Barbara settled after the death of her husband in 1983.

She eventually began to feel isolated there, particularly in the winter. She fell in love with Palm Springs, Calif., after a 1996 visit. So she bought a condo there in Canyon Springs as her new home and sold her place on the Cape. She continued to summer in a rental at the Cape but decided that 2001 would be the last time. Barbara was on her way home to California on Sept. 11 when she took Flight 11 out of Logan Airport.

Her last summer

A friend who took her to the airport said she brought a photo album chronicling her summer to share during planned visits to her four sons, her daughter and 13 grandchildren around the country.

Barbara Keating was family-minded and civic-minded, as one of her sons summed up in one of the many Internet postings and newspaper articles that were filled with love and sorrow following her death. Another son described her as “smart, tough, professional and funny, someone you would not talk back to.”

For 10 years she was executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Middlesex, outside Boston. Upon her 1991 retirement, the Massachusetts Senate honored her. She had served as the regional representative for all of New England at national meetings, including one in Philadelphia. That was where we last saw her. An official of the organization said after her death, “She was very passionate about our role of trying to provide a missing link in kids’ lives.”

After she moved to California, she attended Mass daily at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Palm Springs, where she served as receptionist and did other volunteer work. A two-time survivor of breast cancer, she drove women to cancer treatments in her red Sebring convertible.

On Wednesday morning, a tree will be planted in her memory at the development where she lived. Her church will have a service in her memory and that of the other victims. Palm Springs also will have a community-wide observance.

Perhaps the ultimate tragedy of this wonderful woman’s death was described in a letter we received from her daughter, Pat. “Ironically, her next planned adventure, a trip to the Holy Land, was cancelled earlier [in July] for fear of terrorism.”

Harry F. Themal has been writing for The News Journal since 1959.

Barbara Keating, 72, of Palm Springs, Calif., devoted her life to social service, first through Big Brothers, Big Sisters in Massachusetts and later in Palm Springs through St. Theresa’s Catholic Church. She survived two bouts of breast cancer and the loss in 1983 of her husband, daughter Joann Anderson says. “She got rejuvenated the more time she put into St. Theresa. She really started to get back into the swing of things. I think she was proud of the accomplishments of her children. And of herself for living a full life.” She leaves five children.

— Jay Dooling ()
07 Nov 2001

Activist, part-time Dennis resident Keating mourned


Barbara Ann Keating, a civic activist who divided her time between Dennis and California, died Tuesday when American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the World Trade Center.

After retiring from Big Brothers/Big Sisters of South Middlesex, where she was executive director, Keating, 72, served on the United Way of Cape Cod Citizens Review Committee.

Several people with Cape connections – both year-round and seasonal residents – were killed in Tuesday’s acts of terrorism.

“I thought a lot of Barbara. She was a real neat person,” said Stuart Peoples, executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cape Cod.

“She was very dedicated to her agency, developing the services for children of single-parent families,” Peoples said.

“She was very passionate about our role of trying to provide a missing link in kids’ lives. She had raised children. She was a widow and had taken over the Framingham agency as executive director.”

When Peoples served as president of a Big Brothers/Big Sisters professional organization, Keating served as its New England representative – one of just 12 representatives nationwide.

Peoples said he flew with Keating to meetings of their agency’s National Professional Staff Council in Philadelphia and on the West Coast.

A longtime summer resident of the Cape, Keating lived year-round in Dennisport from 1991 to 1996, according to her son, Michael Keating of Worcester.

She sold the house and moved to Palm Springs, Calif. A daughter, Patricia Keating, lives in Los Angeles. But Keating continued to rent a place in Dennis every summer.

According to Michael Keating, she was on her way back to California from her Cape summer when she boarded the American Airlines plane, bound for Los Angeles.

Michael Keating said his mother fell in love with the warm, dry weather in Palm Springs after a vacation trip there in 1996.

“Winters on the Cape can be especially depressing – not only the weather, but the loneliness, because it’s so isolated that time of year,” he said.

Michael Keating knew his mother was on her way back to her Palm Springs condo Tuesday morning, with a photo album of pictures taken this summer.

He didn’t know which airline or flight she was on.

Another family member had dropped her off at the shuttle bus.

He heard about the disaster but “it didn’t register right away,” Keating said. “As time went on and she didn’t get word to us, reality had sunk in.”

“Family-minded and civic-minded would best describe her,” he said.

Even after Barbara Keating retired from Big Brothers/Big Sisters, she talked agency business with Peoples over dinner a couple of times during her Cape summers.

“Our agencies were very similar in size,” Peoples said. When she retired from Big Brothers/Big Sisters in 1991, the Massachusetts Senate recognized Keating with a lifetime achievement award.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters is a nonprofit agency that matches children from single-parent families with adult mentors and also arranges activities and summer camp for them.

Barbara Ann Keating was the wife of William H. Keating III, who died in 1983.

Barbara Keating (December 23, 1928September 11, 2001),

worked as a homemaker and later in youth services. The former Barbara Kinsey grew up in Salem, New Jersey and married her high school sweetheart William Keating.

The couple moved to Framingham, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, where they raised five children. (Mr. Keating, an engineer who worked on gyroscopes, died in 1983.) After her children were grown, Mrs. Keating worked as executive director of the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, an organization for helping youth. Around 1995 she permanently moved to Palm Springs, California where she was an active volunteer at St. Theresa’s, her local Catholic church.

Mrs. Keating died at 72 in the crash of American Airlines flight 11 in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. She is survived by five children, ten grandchildren, and her brother.

Barbara Keating, 72

Dennis, Mass. and Palm Springs, Calif, retired executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of South Middlesex. The long-time summer visitor was on her way home after another summer on the Cape with a photo album of summer pictures. After she retired, she had lived year-round in Dennisport from 1991 to 1996 before moving to Palm Springs, but she still rented every summer in Dennis. Story | Obituary

Sept. 12, 2001, 10:38PM
Mom’s terror aboard plane difficult for daughter

Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle

A Baytown woman who lost her 72-year-old mother on American Airlines Flight 11 said Wednesday the most difficult aspect of dealing with her death is knowing the violence that occurred on the plane before it crashed into the World Trade Center.

“There was panic and terror on the flight,” said Joann Anderson, whose mother, Barbara Keating, was among 92 people on the plane, the first of two to crash into the New York skyscrapers.

Two flight attendants were stabbed during the takeover of the airliner, according to another flight attendant’s cell phone account before the crash.

Anderson said her mother’s death was confirmed late Tuesday.

“When the flags were flying this morning at half-staff it made me feel like they were flying for her,” said Anderson, 46, a teacher at Baytown Christian Academy.

Her mother had spent the summer in the Boston area and was flying to Los Angeles to return home to Palm Springs, Calif., where she had moved five years ago.

Keating, a retired director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Framingham, Mass., did volunteer work with AIDS and cancer patients and the homeless in Palm Springs, her daughter said.

She had survived two bouts of breast cancer.

“She was extremely generous. She lived a full life. She was a wonderful person who lived life to the fullest. She knew the Lord and so I know she’s in heaven. I’m not worried about her in that way. I’m not sad for her. It’s that 20 minutes of terror and panic that are the hardest to think about.”

A memorial service is planned for Tuesday in Framingham. Anderson said she, her husband, Ross, her five sons and her four siblings will attend.

She said she thinks attending the service will somehow make her mother’s death more real than it seems at the moment.

“It’s not so real yet, even though you know that it’s true,” she said. “At this point, it’s definitely difficult but it’s not like we’re just totally changed. It will really feel different when we go to the memorial service.”




From No End But Victory (Originally posted 8/21/2006, posted here in its entirety):


Yes, We HAVE Forgotten

The movie (World Trade Center – ed.), in and of itself, is no blockbuster as movies go. I would actually be quite surprised, especially given the way so many people recoil now at those images and any attempts at graphically reminding us of the events and aftermath of that day, that any mention of Oscars would be forthcoming. During the movie, and since I have had a chance to sleep on it though, it has occurred to me that there is much we have forgotten.

I have watched this country go through an amazing metamorphosis in the months and years since 9/11. Recall with me, if you will, all the experts that have come across the screen to tell us it hurt too much; that we needed to get those images out of public purview for fear that the continued traumatization it would render would be too much for us to withstand.

nullI find the dramatic lack of images, stories, books, movies, and the like utterly dumbfounding. Remember, the first “real” theatrical recollections of 9/11 just barely came back to haunt us with the release of the movie “Flight 93? – 5 years hence. While there have been documentaries here and there, we have for the most part been spared any “real”, “in your face” reminders since November or December 2001. Consider this for a moment:


And ask yourself if you remember how you felt when you saw it as it happened. Did you feel anger, disgust, horror, or shock? Did you find yourself teary-eyed, or outright weeping as you sat in front of the television screen as this unfolded? Do you remember at this very moment how you felt that day; what you thought, who was with you, or where you were?

In the immediate political aftermath, members of both parties of Congress stood together, arm in arm at the steps of the Capitol and sang God Bless America. Tom Daschle hugged George W. Bush; kissed him on the cheek in fact. The members of both parties talked openly and frequently about being at war; about having been attacked and about coming together, showing our resolve, and facing, fighting, and defeating this enemy who had brought death and destruction to our soil. Many an orator was heard railing against this affront; against the idea that America had somehow lost her innocence and had been drawn into a conflict that she had not initiated but that she would not shrink from. Our defining moment, like it was on December 7, 1941, had been borne on this generation.


The patriotism, the call to duty, the rush from around the country to go to these scenes of death and devastation were like no other in our history. People from all walks of life and manner of ability found their way to New York, and to Washington, and even the fields of Pennsylvania, to do what they could. In honoring the sacrifice of the fallen passengers, innocents at the Pentagon and the Trade Centers, the firefighters and police officers, this country had an outpouring of grief, and sadness, and renewed courage and conviction like at no other time in our history. We had been galvanized by a fundamental truth; we had been attacked, and from the ashes we would rise to seek vengeance and justice from those responsible. We stood together and prayed as a Nation.


I remember, vividly, the scenes and images of those first few days after the attacks. I remember it as clearly now as I did then.

I remember how full to the brim I was with both sadness and anger, but I also remember the pride I felt in my country and her people as I watched the re-forming community that had been so lost among us. I felt a renewed hope that perhaps, from the ashes, a better more whole country would arise; independent of the calls for vengeance, I had seen for the first time in my life a country that truly felt as “one”, and I was comforted by what I saw. While a war was in the making, we took time out to recover those we could, bury those who had died, help the ones who had survived, and honor the memory of the people, the victims, and the strength and courage of our people and our country.


AND, we took time out to remember who we were as a country, what being an American meant, and how fortunate we all were by the grace of God to be able to pick up the pieces and move ahead with what lay ahead for us as individuals and as a country.

As I left the movie theater though, I was brought painfully back to our 2006 reality. We HAVE forgotten 9/11. I don’t suggest, as some, that we have forgotten the day or the events of the day. Those political shots are just that; attempts to “own” 9/11 for political gain, and divide us again amongst the left versus right, liberal versus conservative, anti-war versus pro-war dimensions of America and her oft-times senseless and crazy political wrangling for power and party supremacy.


What we have forgotten is something more subtle than that.

We have forgotten how it feels to be American, and be proud of it. We have forgotten our neighbors and their children, forgotten our churches and our religions, forgotten our community, forgotten the feeling of pulling together in a crisis for the better good of us all; forgotten the lessons learned on 9/11. In our rush to heal and move on, we have pushed aside what effects 9/11 had on our sense of humanity, of right and wrong, of the value of human life and the importance of realizing that there are those in the world that would see every day be a 9/11 in America if only we continue to relax and forget, and pretend. We have forgotten we have an enemy, and this enemy wants our America punished and destroyed for the very reasons that make us the nation we are; freedom, liberty, diversity of peoples and religions and beliefs and causes.

What lies ahead for us remains unclear. We continue to fight a war half-heartedly. We continue to capitulate to those who visited this death and destruction upon us. We continue to seek ways to “get along” with an enemy we can’t see, rather than destroy the ones we can’t seem to be convinced are there. We will continue to fall short of victory in any confrontations with our enemy as long as we debate amongst ourselves whether WE created the enemy or whether the enemy really exists but in our imagination. And while we debate, and re-define, and capitulate, and cajole, our enemy grows stronger, and people around the world continue to die senseless deaths.


This, the greatest nation on earth deserves better. Those who fell on 9/11 deserve better. Those who have fought and died since 9/11 deserve better. You and I, and the rest of the world that wants to live in peace to raise their children and grow old with their children’s children deserve better.

Today (8/21/2006) 1:04 PM | haystack |

We remember Barbara, we have not forgotten.

We can all be a stronger and prouder nation when we recognize and conquer the threat from ideas of hatred and destruction.

We honor Barbara Keating and all of the 2,996 victims by standing up to say Never Again. We will Never Forget.

Vigilance. Courage. Fortitude. Firepower.

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