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Mildred Naiman was an 81 year-old great grandmother from Andover, Massachusetts. She was killed in the jihadist terrorist attack on 9/11 as part of American Airlines Flight #11 that was used by the terrorists as a weapon to crash into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 AM, killing the 76 passengers and the 11 crew members. Millie and her late husband, Otto, had three sons, Richard, William, and Russell, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. At the time of Millie’s death, another great-grandchild was on the way.
Before retirement, Millie, who was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, had worked as a tester at Western Electric Company (later Lucent Technologies) in North Andover. A remembrance of her in the New York Times was titled, “Thumbed Her Nose at Age.” – kind of like a New England version of The Golden Girls. She was a widow who referred to her retirement apartment as her “bachelorette pad,” and organized shopping trips, restaurant excursions, and other days out for her friends in the retirement community.
The Boston Herald on September 15, 2001 recounted that Millie, “swam daily, drove her elderly neighbors around – often too fast, according to relatives – and insisted on flying alone to visit her sons on the West Coast twice yearly.” The Herald spoke to her granddaughter, Heather Naiman. For years Millie had lived next door to her granddaughters, Heather and Hope, in Methuen. Heather said that Millie “drove like she was 25 . . . like a NASCAR driver. She thought she was Terry Labonte or something.” Heather added that she “always spoke exactly what she thought at that exact time.” Like a good New Englander.
Even though she had knee replacement surgery shortly before her trip, Millie was determined to fly to California to visit two of her sons and their families, so she was pushed through Boston’s Logan Airport in a wheelchair. Family was everything to Millie. That is easy to see by the tributes from her family on the various websites, and even by strangers, who recognized their own beloved grandmother in the description of the feisty woman who was so full of life.
On September 10, 2008, Hope Naiman-Kea, wrote in the memory book for Mildred Naiman, telling her grandmother that she was now married and had a beautiful little boy. “I tell him about you all the time,” she writes. “I tell him what a wonderful grandmother you were.”