Meet David & Lynn Angell
Angell Foundation is the living legacy of David and Lynn Angell, a bighearted couple who shared an authentic joy for life and an endearing love of people. Firm in their belief that every individual deserves an equal opportunity to reach his or her potential, David and Lynn committed themselves to sharing their prosperity. They brought humility and compassion to every interaction they had. For David and Lynn, helping others was more than a pastime; it was a calling.
Angell Foundation & Their Legacy
True to their values, David and Lynn relentlessly found new ways to give back to their communities. David gave advice and counsel to Providence College alumni interested in pursuing careers in the entertainment industry, while Lynn exchanged her paid position for a volunteer role as the head librarian at Hillsides, a Pasadena residential facility and school for foster children. At Hillsides, Lynn was known to engage the children with love and compassion, knowing all 66 children by name. This personal touch was a hallmark of her work.
In 1996, David and Lynn created a family foundation to administer their philanthropic efforts. David’s sister, Claire Miller, remembers that as the couple became more successful, they often talked about the best way to help other people. They didn’t believe in just giving out money–they endeavored to offer a helping hand to put anyone in need on a path to success. Empowerment would become a core value of their newly formed Foundation.
On September 11, 2001, David and Lynn were returning home to Los Angeles from a family wedding in Cape Cod when their hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center.
Angell Foundation embodies the compassion and dedication to helping others that David and Lynn exhibited throughout their lives. We strive to honor their legacy through our grantmaking.
“On the most basic level, men and women are the same. We both need to love and be loved, to have someone we feel we matter to, and who matters to us.”
David’s Catholicism formed the core of his service. Raised in a Catholic home and educated in Catholic schools in New England, he and his family were active participants in their church’s spiritual mission to serve under-resourced local communities.
Lynn came of age in Birmingham, Alabama and saw the evils of segregation firsthand. Her brother Tom recalls a time when she stood outside the family church and watched an African American family being turned away from attending services. After recounting this story to Lynn many decades later, Tom remembers that she wept with the same sadness and rage she felt back then.
David met Lynn at a country club on Cape Cod, where they both worked for a time: she as a waitress and he in the club’s pro shop. David had recently graduated from Providence College and Lynn was an undergraduate at Auburn University. He was immediately smitten and in the summer of 1971, they married. By all accounts, they adored one another.
After marrying, David applied his craft as a technical writer at an insurance company and Lynn pursued a Master’s in Library Science at the University of Rhode Island. After several years, they decided to move to California so that David could chase his lifelong ambition of becoming a television comedy writer. They gave themselves five years to turn his dreams into reality.
Their lives were grounded in values of hard work, integrity, and community. David took whatever day job he could find while continuing to hone his comedic craft at night. Lynn often typed his scripts in the evenings after returning home from a full day’s work at the library.
After five years, David had achieved only nominal success, so the couple began packing a U-Haul for their return to New England. That very week, David was approached to write the script for a new sitcom, “Archie Bunker’s Place.” In the wake of that show’s success, David went on to write for “Cheers,” and co-developed and co-produced “Wings,” and “Frasier.”
Colleagues often described David’s contributions as human, true, quirky, warm, and hilarious. One went on to note that David’s writing had elevated the moral level and quality of television. In addition to his many Emmy Awards, David’s work was formally recognized when the Writer’s Guild of America posthumously awarded him its Humanitas Prize, for writing stories that “affirm the dignity of the human person, probe the meaning of life, and enlighten the use of human freedom.”