In some ways, the grief compounds over time.
There are missed birthdays and holidays. There are family trips over the past 20 years that Kathleen “Kit” Faragher couldn’t attend. There is the nephew she will never meet who is named for her.
“Every year it’s: ‘Cheers to Kit’ and ‘wish she was here,’” said William Faragher, the older brother of the Denver woman who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “It’s those lost memories — those memories that never came to fruition — that you really miss.”
Kit, a 33-year-old computer programmer, was on the 106th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when terrorists flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the building. For weeks her family wondered if she was one of the lucky few who escaped after the hulking Boeing 767 hit the building.
But Kit was one of more than 1,000 people who did not make it out before the tower collapsed 102 minutes after the impact.
Kit, who worked for Denver-based Janus Capital, was in New York City for the week to attend a conference at the World Trade Center. She was among a number of Coloradans or people connected to the state who were killed in the attacks 20 years ago.
Captain Jason Dahl, of Littleton, was flying United Airlines Flight 93 before it was hijacked and crashed into a field near Pittsburgh as passengers fought to take control of the plane. Kathryn Laborie, of Colorado Springs, was the head flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175, the plane that was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Chris Faughnan, a bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald who graduated from Arvada High School and the University of Colorado, was just a few floors below Faragher in the North Tower. He, too, died.
This weekend, Kit’s family is in New York remembering the fun-loving, free-spirited woman who could strike up a conversation with anyone.
“She had a contagious laugh and smile,” said William Faragher, who lives in Montrose. “She made everyone feel right at home.”
William was in Chicago when the attacks happened. He didn’t know that his sister was in New York City. But, eventually, word made its way to him that Kit was there and she was missing.
He drove through the night to New York City to search for his sister. He and his other siblings searched hospitals and shelters for two weeks, handing out placards and holding out hope.
“It was a pretty traumatizing two weeks for everyone involved,” he said.
They finally came to the realization that Kit was gone.
Kit worked for Janus, now Janus Henderson, for nearly a decade after moving to Denver in the early 1990s. She lived in a small house near Denver’s Washington Park, close to Carmine’s on Penn.
She loved ultimate frisbee. She loved animals. She loved her life.
“I’ve known a lot of people in my time,” her brother said, “and she’s still the best person I ever met. I wish everyone had that same personality and love of life. The world would be a better place if we had a lot more Kits.”
Kit’s family and friends set up a foundation in her name. The Kit Faragher Foundation provides college scholarships to students in Colorado and Ohio. To learn more about the foundation or to donate, visit www.kitfaragherfoundation.org.