Husband, father of 9/11 victims dies of metastatic melanoma

July 14, 2013 at 4:13 PM

BRANFORD, Conn., July 14 (UPI) -- A Connecticut man, whose wife and daughter died aboard one of the planes that crashed into New York's World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, has died.

David McCourt, who lost his wife, Ruth, and daughter Juliana, 4, died Thursday in Branford of metastatic melanoma, theday.com of New London reported.

Ruth and Juliana were on Flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles to meet Ruth's friend Paige Farley Hackel. The two women planned to surprise the little girl with a trip to Disneyland. The McCourts' plane hit the World Trade Center's south tower while Hackel's plane struck the north tower. Ruth's brother was in the north tower but escaped, theday.com reported.

McCourt, who worked in his family business, ABCO Welding Supply, before retiring to Florida in 2011, started speaking publicly about tolerance, the meaning of life and other subjects.

He said his wife and daughter died because some countries teach their children hatred.

"What we have do is to start with the children in this country and teach them tolerance, compassion and understanding," he said in a speech he made at Temple Emanu-El in Waterford in 2002.

McCourt was a founder of B.R.A.V.E. Juliana, a program of HELP USA, that teaches conflict resolution and non-violence to children.

McCourt remarried in 2011, and he and his current wife, Mary Bryant McCourt, founded the Juliana Valentine McCourt Children's Education Fund. The McCourt Memorial Garden was also created at the Lyman Allen Museum in New London.

McCourt leaves his wife, twin sons, Tavis and Stephen McCourt; two daughters, Elizabeth Smith and Kathy Paine; nine grandchildren; and his sister, Mary (McCourt) Sheffield, theday.com reported.

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