Colleen Fraser
Born with a form of dwarfism, Colleen Fraser stood less than 4 feet tall. She walked with a cane, which she would shake wildly to make a point. Often that point was making the world friendlier to people with disabilities. Fraser clearly had a flair for it. "She was a firebrand," said longtime friend Ethan Ellis, executive director of the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council. Fraser, 51, of Elizabeth, N.J., was vice chair of the council and served in other organizations for the disabled. She was aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. In 1989, when she heard that New Jersey's U.S. senators were undecided about supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act, she loaded about a dozen disabled individuals aboard a bus and rode to both senators' offices to get their support. Fraser fashioned her flaming red hair into spikes like a punk rocker and wore numerous earrings. She wore open-toed sandals with orthopedic lifts. She liked gothic novels and horror movies. She was a wood carver and loved to bake. She was also a passionate and tireless advocate. In fact, Fraser was flying to a grant-writing seminar when she died. "I think there's a certain delicious irony that a small person like Colleen has given a small state such a big voice," Ellis said.
Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

Colleen Fraser, 51, advocate for disabled

Born with a condition that made her legs grow deformed, Colleen Fraser endured seemingly endless months in hospitals undergoing more than 30 painful operations to straighten them.

In casts from the waist down and confined to bed for much of her childhood, Ms. Fraser, vice chairwoman of the New Jersey Disabilities Council, later drew on those experiences to become the top advocate in New Jersey for people with disabilities.

"She had always been a strong voice for the proposition that people with disabilities should speak for themselves and not be spoken for," said Ethan Ellis, director of the council.

Ms. Fraser, who was employed as director of the Progressive Center for Independent Living Inc., a nonprofit advocacy group, was one of the 38 passengers killed on United Airlines Flight 93 in a terrorist hijacking last Tuesday. She was 51.

The lifelong Elizabeth resident was on her way to a five-day grant-writing conference in Reno, Nev., when her plane was hijacked in mid-air and crashed in a grassy field in Somerset County, Pa., said her sister, Christine Fraser.

"She certainly made the state look at how we treat disabled people," her sister said. "We tend to house them in institutions. Colleen showed them those types of things don't work."

After graduating from Rutgers University, where she studied English literature, Ms. Fraser took a job as a case manager with Community Access Unlimited, an advocacy group in Elizabeth for people with disabilities. She served as director of DIAL Inc., a center for independent living in Clifton. She also was director of Union County's Office of the Disabled.

Besides her sister, Christine, also of Elizabeth, Ms. Fraser is survived by a brother, Bruce Fraser of Ohio, and her stepmother, Gladys Fraser of Keansburg; two step-sisters, Barbara Williams of Elizabeth and Kay Roy of Schnecksville, Pa.; five step-brothers, Luke and Michael Boyle, both of San Diego, Calif.; Mark Boyle of Wyoming; Thomas Boyle of Dothan, Ala., and John Boyle of Keansburg, and several nieces and nephews.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Progressive Center for Independent Living in Ewing Township.

A memorial service will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at Mount Teman AME Church, 160 Madison Ave., Elizabeth, for family and friends. A second service will be held at the church on Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m. for those in the disabled community who supported Ms. Fraser.
Published by Newsday on Sep. 13, 2001.
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84 Entries
Remembering Colleen on the 20th anniversary of 9/11...
Cindy Roe
September 13, 2021
Remembering Colleen on the 20th anniversary. We will never forget.
September 13, 2021
You have not been forgotten. A moment of silence last night, specifically mentioned your name, and the rest who perished, at our VFW member meeting.
Patricia Fraser
September 12, 2019
Colleen Fraser: Blessings to you and yours! Your leadership , friendship, and joy is missed!
September 11, 2019
Hey Colleen,
We are a month away from the annual commemoration of 9-11. But over 30 people passed away in Ohio & Texas in two tragedies last weekend. You probably got to meet them and told your incredible story aboard flight 93...
August 8, 2019
Your light still shines on, Colleen. Thank you for taking action against the enemies on Flight 93!
June 18, 2019

He heals the brokenhearted & binds up their wounds.
~Psalms 147~
Descanse En Paz.(Rest in Peace) You're still livin' daily through tu familia, through each happy memory that makes your loved ones, each minute smile with such a beautiful moment, happy time and through such happy rememberance they have been blessed to share with you...
Too young. and may you continue rip, colleen fraser. You're some 1 who i wish i had met in life, as i am a civil rights advocate for children rights/parental rights/grandparent, and human rights."You're a true inspiration."

I didn't know you, but, you're from a city i know well, and it's also where FLIGHT ATTENDANT who was helping you all on the day you're going to heaven on 9/11, MS.WANDA GREEN,FLIGHT ATTENDANT from a nearby suburban residential nice town called LINDEN,NJ and both of you are from the same county of UNION NEW JERSEY.Sad, both of you met your early fate, and are rip however, living still through ALL who respect, and truly care/love you, ms.fraser. You're an inspiration to many worldwide, who are learnin about you#RIPCOLLEENFRASER #colleenfraser and i pray for you." Descanse En Paz.(Rest in Peace)

You're still livin' daily through tu familia, through each happy memory that makes your loved ones, each minute smile with such a beautiful moment, happy time and through such happy rememberance they have been blessed to share with you.... RIP chica...adios... #ColleenFraserRIP

Shaii Bella M.
September 20, 2018
Never Forgotten!
September 11, 2018
Randy Tetzner
September 11, 2017
Colleen Fraser: Thinking of you as 9/11 nears. Thank you for fightingfor the civil rights of of those of us with disabilities during your lifetime.
September 6, 2017
This information I learned about Colleen Fraser has been very inspirational. It's so inspiring that she helped so many people with disabilities like hers.
Shani Niyonzima
September 5, 2017
Thankyou for all the work you put into your foundation. It really touched me that you took your dissability as an opportunity to give back to others and help others. I did not know you, yet reading about you makes me wish i could have had the honor of speaking with you. I know you
are in a better place now and i will send prayers your way. Thank you for all that you did and may you rest in peace.
Maria Sornsin
September 14, 2016
God bless Colleen's family and friends. Her life surely made a difference for so many. She was a lovely example to us all. Even now our hearts break for you all.
Susan McCauley
September 6, 2016
Thanks for spending your life working for people with disabilities including your own sister.
Jacqueline Clipsham
September 17, 2015
Colleen Fraser, thinking of you today !
September 11, 2015
I'm lifting prayers today for Colleen's friends and family. From what I have read, she is the kind of person I would have liked to have known! May we all continue our legacy on earth, by doing as she did. We can all do small things in a big way! With love from Texas.
Del Newberry
April 8, 2015
tiffany boyle
September 12, 2013
Hello Colleen, only days before the flight crashed, you were talking or visiting been so long now. To my step dad Mark Boyle, as I read your story tonight you are and always will be amazing person. I know that Mark loved you very much. I read about you and I love you already. I have disabilities and you fought for rights. You are an amazing woman. I am sorry I did not write something sooner. God bless you. I know God is keeping you safe.
Nicole Coalter
September 12, 2013
To The Family,
I never had the pleasure of meeting this remarkable woman, but I am so sorry that I had to learn of her due to my reading her obituary. 9/11 was and will always be a painful memory because so many innocent people died. When the Lord Jesus awakens Ms. Fraser, she will literally see Bible prophecies fulfilled concerning the disabled, " the eyes of the blind will be opened, the very hears of the deaf ones will be unstopped, and the lame one will climb up as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness. " Everything that Ms. Fraser fought and died for will be a reality. Like her, we all look forward to this time.

Mr. Terry of NC
January 19, 2013
An Annual Holiday Tribute to Someone I Never Met.

Each year, since 9/11, we have hung this ornament on our tree. An ornament bearing the name of one of the victims of the 9/11 tradegy. They were being sold by a little girl, here in Los Angeles shortly after the disaster, as a remembrance to these victims. We didn't know who Collen Fraser was, but each year we hang this ornament as our silent tribute. As research would reveal, Collen was an incredible woman. She was a nationally-known advocate for the disabled and helped draft the "Americans with Disabilities Act." She was a hero. We would love her family to know that she touched our hearts and and her spirit lives on, each and every year with our tiny little remembrance.
Jim Huppenthal
December 23, 2012
Jacki Clipsham
September 13, 2012
September 12, 2012
Ihinkingof you on this day abd always
September 10, 2012
Ms. Fraser I'm not sure if I ever had the honor of meeting you, although I've lived in Elizabeth myself and known several of your nieces for decades. What I want to say is this: Ma'am, you were an American hero; Not so much because of the way you were taken from us, but because of the tireless way you moved among us. You overcame great difficulty and in turn helped countless others do the same. Our loss is the Kingdom of Heaven's gain. May God bless and keep you and your family always.
Richard Aman
September 9, 2012
Visited World Trade Centre memorial site which happened to be on her birthday on July 29th. Extremely touched.
Ian Chandler
August 17, 2012
You are in my thoughts today as you will be on every September 11. I have shared the story of our friendship and your accomplishments with my third grade students. I think it has helped them form a more personal connection to that terrible day in our history. I can't help but find it ironic that you were on your way to California, the same destination you and Chrissy took on your first plane flight to attend my wedding in 1977. To Colleen's surviving family members: stay strong and rejoice in the good that Colleen was able to do in her tragically shortened life. She was definitely one of Livingston College's distinguished alumni.
Phyllis (Mucks) Tuttle
September 11, 2011
Remembering you on this 10th Anniversary. Please know that you and the Fraser Clan were represented in Operation Enduring Freedom. "Always Ready"
Patricia Fraser
September 11, 2011
I met Colleen only a few times at disabilitiy conferences. I admired what she said and what she did for our community of disabled people. Artist and fellow activist,
Jacki C. Califon, NJ
Jacki Clipsham
September 10, 2011
I never met Colleen, but am a dwarf like her. I never knew that a little person was on one of the planes. To her family, Im sorry for your loss. Please know, she is being remembered, along with other passengers.
Renee H
September 10, 2011
So sorry! Sounds as if we lost a fighter and wonderful person, one of many that day!
Summer Nelson
September 9, 2011
To all of my loved ones that i have lost over the years. I miss you badly Mike,Mom, Poppy and Colleen
Linda Jones
February 16, 2011
to my auntie an heaven we miss u and love you and dad and grandma
tiffany boyle
February 16, 2011
My name is Greg, I lost my friend Deora on Flight 93 along with Colleen. Like her, I advocate for the developmentally disabled. I also organize and perform at FLight 93 Benefit shows in my (and Deora's)town of San Diego. Our next event is Friday Sept. 11. in Ocean Beach. I visit Deora's legacy page often and recently posted the flier with info for the next event. If family in San Diego is interested (I saw Colleen had family in San Diego), please feel free to contact me. Thanks & God Bless
Greg Keiling
August 7, 2009
my 4 year old daughter has autsim, and trying to obtain the proper services for her is a full time job. i am eternally greatfull to people like colleen who have paved the road for disabled people. you were an angel on earth. thank you.
February 26, 2009
what an inspiration! colleen fraser made such a difference in the world and will be truly missed by everyone. God has such loving concern for those who have lost dear loved ones (Psalm 146:5). may her family be comforted.
September 19, 2008
To the family of Colleen Fraser:
Colleen gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. My deepest sympathy to you. We must never forget!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
September 11, 2008
Thank You
September 11, 2008
I learned only yesterday of your passing through a phone call from Tony. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, so I had to check the Internet this morning. I guess bad news doesn't always travel fast. I has been many years since we roomed together at Livingston College. We had some great times together there. Your positve attitude in spite of the pain and physical challenges you endured were inspirational to your classmates. Time and distance separated us after graduation so I was unaware of your considerable accomplishments. The seeds of those accomplishments were already there in college where your intelligence, compassion, resilience and sense of humor were evident. Your loss is a great tragedy for your family and those who advocate for the disabled. My heart goes out to Chrissie, who I had the pleasure to know. I hope there are Jack-in-the-Box tacos and White Castle burgers in heaven. Rest in peace,you did very well.
Phyllis (Mucks) Tuttle
September 6, 2008
Dear Colleen, thank you for telling the world that people with disabilities matter each and every day. May we all keep your spirit alive now and forever!
August 29, 2008
You were a great person and a great sister-in-law. I will miss you just as much as i do your brother Mike who has been in heaven with you for 3 yrs.
Linda Jones
October 12, 2007
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Debbie , Kenny COFFEY
September 8, 2007
In remembrance....
P Tabbernor
September 1, 2007
You will never be forgotten! Thank you for devoting your life to people with disabilities! RIP
Darren Hopkins
May 25, 2007
I am 6 ft. tall & I havent accomplished half of what Colleen did. What a crying shame. God must have wanted her in heaven to see all the disabled people that she helped along the way. Now, none of them are disabled in heaven!(including Colleen!)
Great life you had, Colleen.
You are truly an inspiration.
Wish I could have known you.
So sorry for your loss Fraser family, friends & co-workers. You really did lose the best!
God Bless,
Leigh Ann Allred
April 28, 2007
Wow - If I had half of Colleen's talent and brains I could change the world. So sorry that you are not on this planet - God bless your loved ones. You will never be forgotton.
Raylene Kruger
April 25, 2007
From Chris Bassoo and family...I just saw the A & E movie and our hearts go out to your family (we wanted to send our prayers to every family from this flight)...Our prayers and thoughts are with you...we will never forget..warmest of regards Chris Bassoo (your northern friends)
Chris Bassoo
January 8, 2007
I often think of you at Aunt Mary's house in Roselle as a young lady, with your now deceased father, Walter, and your sister, you went on to make a difference in the lives of many people. We will always remember the good times.
B Mooney
November 1, 2006
As I cross-stitched your name on the memorial that I am doing for all of the victims, I prayed for you and your family. Please know that your death was not in vain. We will always remember. God Bless.
October 30, 2006
Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.
Joe Rotter
September 14, 2006
September 12, 2006

We didn't know each other, but we shared a common bond. Our lives have both been touched by a developmental disability. I have a young son with autism. I have seen how the Americans with Disabilities Act has been tossed around the political playground. Five years ago today, you were one of the many heroes that we tragically lost. We also lost a strong voice for the disabled. When I saw the tragedy unfold on TV, I held tight to my then not-yet diagnosed baby boy and just wondered why. My son is 6 now and I wish you could see the progress he has made. God Bless You and all those we lost that terrible day. Thank you for your strength.
Audrey Castillo
September 11, 2006
Colleen is a true American Hero & will always be remembered on this day & forever by so many of us who will never forget. May God Bless Her Family!!! Denise, Deanna, Angie & Cristina
Denise Christian
September 11, 2006
god bless you .you will be in my heart forever.....sincerly darlene bobczyk
darlene bobczyk
April 27, 2006
As a mother of a 17 year old son with severe/profound autism and as a long-time member of Ohio's Developmental Disabilities Council, I have grieved the death of this vivacious advocate, Colleen Fraser, since I learned she was aboard Flight 93 the day after September 11. May we all do all we can with the life we have left to live. Surely Colleen lived in the moment and impacted so many.
Denise Kissel
February 4, 2006
Everyone on this flight was, and IS my hero.
Pam Beers
January 13, 2006
I sponsored Colleen to have her name included in a 9/11 memorial in Tewksbury MA.Her name is now inscribed forever on a brick in that memorial.That memorial was dedicated on 9/11/05.I wanted to know more about her and I find that she was a remarkable woman.God bless her
Robert Berndt
September 14, 2005
Wow I am deeply touched by Colleen's story. May God be with the family. God needed his PRECIOUS ANGEL back home!!!
Stephanie Acaldo
February 1, 2004
May God Keep You and your Family you are in my Prayers
Lakia Hedgepeth
January 21, 2004
On behalf of the residents and staff of Laurel Bay Nursing & Rehab, where Colleen's mother Gladys resides, our deepest sympathy to the Fraser family. We continue to keep you in our prayers and take good care of Gladys. She has told many wonderful stories of Colleen's life and continues to mourn each day. God Bless all the hero's of 9/11
Laurel Bay Health & Rehab
September 18, 2003
I will always remember Her, when we were Kids sitting on the window in Her hallway. Colleen, Her sister and I. We would hang out there for hour's. Thay may have taken Her from this earth, but thay could never take Her from my HEART. She was a very sweet kid back then, and I know she was still just as sweet when this happened. I send to Her Family all my Prayers & Love.
Charles Herman
September 30, 2002
To the family and freinds of Miss Colleen Fraser.
I read through the entries
and tributes to this woman you all
loved and all I can think is what a
loss her death was for us all,I had not heard of her until after her death and yet I know she made a difference in my life through her work and determination - I was born with a seizure disorder that puts
me on the same list as many others-
disabled. What she fought for so hard DID make a difference . You don,t have to worry about her, she left her mark on this Earth , God
had special plans when he made her
and he made her perfect.
Thank you for shareing her with us.
Dan Porter
Daniel Porter
September 16, 2002
Dear Family of Colleen Fraser,
I know you have lost a loved one and this will be a hard time for you. You are in my prayers! Your loved one lost their life bravly! You should be proud of them! You have my thoughts and prayers!

God Bless,
Betsy Banks
September 12, 2002
I want you to know the courage of your loved one and all the others on that plane will never be forgotten. I am forever in awe of their selfless act.
Diane Hendricks
September 11, 2002
My Condolence to the family on this the anniversary of her honored death. May God bless you all
Carol Davis
September 11, 2002
September 11, 2002
The field of advocacy for people with disabilities is poorer for the loss of Colleen Fraser. I was fortunate that I knew Colleen and her incredible open mind and spirit. She would be missed no matter how the field lost her, but this tragedy is especially poignant. G-d bless you Colleen and my deepest respects to the Fraser family.
Brenda Claveloux
September 10, 2002
She died a Hero and will always be remembered. Our condolences to the family. Sincerely, The Frazier Family
Kim Frazier
September 6, 2002
I first met Colleen in 1964 in jr. high school here in Elizabeth. Over the years, we became good friends. She was a hero in the disabled community. She feared flying, but braved her fear to board that tragic flight. She died a hero among heroes that terrible day. May she now and forever know peace and happiness in Heaven.
Thomas Klem
July 17, 2002
please accept our condolences.
May Jehovah the GOD of all comfort
be with you and your family.[John17:3]
Grena Bowers sr
April 4, 2002
What an inspiring story. The world needs more people like Colleen, not fewer. As an advocate for the disabled myself, I am moved to tears in learning that this remarkable woman was lost to us all that horrific day. May she rest in peace and may God bless all those whose lives she touch.

Peace and blessings
Donna Reynolds
February 12, 2002
Lisa G
January 31, 2002
Many of our Fraser family members are in Texas and Louisiana. When I saw the Fraser name in the list, I was very saddened. We pray for peace in this troubled time, and wish all of Colleen's family God's blessing and comfort.
Jim Fraser
January 14, 2002
We are deeply sorry for our nation's loss of Colleen. May her enjoyment of wood carving, her passionate advocacy abilities, her life and love live on in all who love her. May the sorrow in your hearts be lightened by the precious memories of time shared with her. I believe God cried when He saw the evil that took the lives of His innocent children before their time. In the shadows of the darkness they cried out His name. They found shelter and protection from human pain as He lovingly pulled them into His embrace. Cradled in His arms earthly cries became heavenly songs as angels were born. Our hearts cry deeply with you in America's loss of a hero.
America Cries
We see your sorrow-
and our hearts cry....
We can not erase your pain
but you do not have to face the anguish alone-for we-
-the American people-
are beside you.
We so desperately want to have the touch that brings you comfort,
the strength that gives you courage,
and the words to lighten your spirits.
And when we are left speechless
may the silence of our nation weave love into your hearts
to ease your sorrow.
May you find healing through our nation's strength as we-
-the American people-
face this difficult time together. Our hearts are with you. Teresa Jahn
Dixon, IL
Teresa Jahn
January 12, 2002
I also wear her name on my Mercy B.A.N.D. She will always be remembered because of the accomplishments she bravely tackled.
Pete Little
January 1, 2002
We as the international students are terribly sorry for what happened on that day. We wish you and your family endurance, everything will be ok. This war against terror is about to be won. your soul be rest in peace.
Musser Hall @ Ursinus College
December 5, 2001
Colleen's good heart, wise words and undying advocacy in support of independence for people with disabilities; these are her great legacies. Her kindness, ready smile and impatience with fools; these were her great strengths. God bless Colleen.
Terry Duffy
November 27, 2001
I am honored to wear a bracelet daily with Colleen's name on it. Calvary Church in Albuquerque has honored each person who lost their life on September 11 by selling bracelets and the proceeds have been sent to the relief center. Each day as I put on the bracelet, I say a prayer for Colleen, her family and the large network who were her friends. She must have been very special!
Peace and love,
Margaret Garrison
November 25, 2001
COlleen was a wonderful person.She changed lives.She is truly a great loss.Please remember Christ is with you.with love Stephenie Pridgen
stephenie pridgen
November 21, 2001
Trinity Episcopal Church
410 North Pine Street
Florence, Alabama 35630

To the Family of Colleen Fraser,

On All Saints Sunday, November 4th, Trinity Episcopal Church held a Blood Drive in memory of all who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Each person who donated chose a name to memorialize by his or her gift. Colleen Fraser was chosen by John Lane, a member of our church. Although we cannot lessen your personal pain and grief over this terrible tragedy, please know that you and your loved one are not forgotten and that we keep you in our hearts and prayers. May God bless you!

Mary White
Chairman, Outreach
Mary White for Trinity Episcopal Church
November 4, 2001
You are remembered!
God Bless You!

Michelle Butcher, Albuquerque, NM
Michelle Butcher
October 29, 2001
Colleens tribute is wonderful, she sounds like a spirited lady. To her family and friends this must be an incredible loss, she and the others on this flight are national heroes, my cousin was on the same flight, and I take comfort in knowing he had people who fought with him to save many countless lives, Pleae accept my condolences for your loss. sincerely, debbie
October 22, 2001
October 2, 2001
Colleen was a selfless,kind, and truly compassionate woman,a tireless advocate who brought dignity and self worth to the lives of the disabled community she served. Colleen enriched my life and inspired me, both as a disabled woman and a co-worker.America is poorer without Colleen.To all her family,friends and co-workers,I pray that God will grant you peace.
Kathleen Collado
September 19, 2001
I found a quote of Colleen's from a past conference:

"... If we can see a better place,
we can go there. We ought to go there."
Colleen Fraser as told
to Mark Mercer

We honor your bravery and mission in
this lifetime. We will carry on your work.
L. C. Curtis
September 17, 2001
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