United Hero:  Lauren Grandcolas

Lauren Grandcolas

Lauren Grandcolas Lauren Grandcolas
38 years old
San Rafael, CA

Lauren Grandcolas was a saleswoman for Good Housekeeping magazine. She was returning from her grandmother's funeral in New Jersey.

Neighbors say Lauren was often seen racing through the hills of her neighborhood on inline skates. "She was just a very, very kind and loving person who enjoyed life," said Mark Grandcolas, her brother-in-law who lives in Burlingame.

A friend of Lauren and Jack Grandcolas, Steve Anderson, gave us some details about Lauren's brief cell phone call from the plane:

What Jack authorized me to pass along to you is that it was a brief message to him and her family expressing her love for them and "that there was a little problem on the plane, that she said she was fine for now, that she just wanted us to know how much she loved us."

She was brave and calm given what she was going through. Jack and Lauren's family have not released the tape or any transcript to anybody to keep it private and unsensational.

The following is excerpted from a notice in the Los Angeles Times on September 18, 2001.

Lauren Grandcolas was born in Bloomington, Indiana on August 31, 1963. She was the daughter of Lawrence and Barbara Catuzzi of Houston, TX and Lake Toxaway, NC; the cherished and adored wife of Jack Grandcolas of San Rafael, CA; the loving sister of Dara Ann Near of Short Hills, NJ and Vaughn Catuzzi Lohec of Chatham, NJ.

Lauren was a graduate of Stratford High School in Houston, TX and the University of Texas in Austin, where she was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. Lauren and Jack were members of the Marin Country Club in Novato, CA.

While residing in San Francisco, she worked for the law firm of Thelin, Marlin, Johnson, and Bridges as a marketing executive, followed by positions at Price Waterhouse and Good Housekeeping Magazine. Most recently, Lauren was collaborating with a publisher on a boo related to women's life-style achievements aimed at boosting the self-confidence of women specifically, and adult behavior in general. This nonfiction work was a long-term goal and source of great pride to her.

Lauren so appreciated the outdoors that, in her spare time, she participated in hiking, jogging, roller blading, and kayaking amongst many other activities. Lauren was a strong and caring friend to everyone she knew; she will be dearly missed by all.

Lauren left us the way she lived her life, strong, determined, courageous and our heroine.

Contributions may be made to:

The Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation
600 Travis, Suite 4200
Houston, TX 77002

For the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's biography of Lauren Grandcolas, click here.