Debra Lynn Gibbon (November 27, 1957 – September 11, 2001

Debra Lynn Gibbon, 43 years old, was a senior vice president at Aon Risk Services. She worked on the 105th floor of the south tower.

Aon Exec Stayed Active With 3 Teens
Nov. 9, 2001
Debra Lynn Gibbon had found that elusive balance in her life.

A mother of three teen-agers, the 43-year-old Long Valley, N.J., woman was a senior vice president at Aon Risk Services. She worked on the 105th floor of the south tower.

Despite a busy career, Gibbon was active in the day-to-day activities of her children: Zachary, 18, Heather,16, and Adam, 13.

She loved sailing and spending time with her kids at a beach home.

Born in Orange, she was raised in Maplewood and Basking Ridge, N.J.

Gibbon also was a registered nurse with a certification in occupational health nursing and safety. She had worked at Aon for more than two years.

Kathleen Kernicky (The Sun-Sentinel)

A Dream of the Sea

Debra Lynn Fischer Gibbon was the kind of person who inspired confidence, even in strangers. Meeting her for the first time, Warren J. Mura, an executive vice president at Aon Corporation, immediately wanted to hire her. Months later, he succeeded in luring her from Wausau Insurance Companies, where — a registered nurse — she had worked for 17 years in the area of occupational health.

At Aon, Ms. Gibbon, a senior vice president, coordinated services for the company’s top clients. “She was one of those people who would walk into a room, and you would listen to what they had to say,” Mr. Mura said.

Divorced and the mother of three teenagers, Ms. Gibbon, 43, had a punishing schedule that included a 90-minute commute from Washington Township in Morris County, N.J. But she managed to attend her children’s soccer and basketball games and sew her own curtains, said her sister, Karen Zaccaria-Cockrell. As a girl, Ms. Gibbon spent two weeks sailing on Lake Saranac in the Adirondacks, and had longed ever since to live by the sea, her sister said. “That was her dream,” Ms. Zaccaria-Cockrell said. “To be on the water.”

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on April 7, 2002.


At the hour of her death, Debra Lynn Fischer Gibbon’s thoughts were on the people around whom she had built her life — her three teenage children, her parents, her brother and her sister.

Mrs. Gibbon, 43, of Long Valley, a senior vice president at AON Risk Services Inc., was leading a business meeting on the 105th floor of Two World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11. When the first tower burst into flames after being hit by a hijacked airplane, she called her brother, Adam Fischer III, and asked him to let the rest of the family know she was OK.

“God bless you,” Adam Fischer remembers telling his sister. “Please get out of there.”
The second plane struck her building before she could.

“She loved her children with all her heart, and she loved her job,” Mr. Fischer said. “She loved her parents and her sister and brother and their families. Her life was dedicated to her family and her career.”

Mrs. Gibbon was born in Orange and raised in Maplewood and Basking Ridge. She graduated from Ridge High School in 1975. Four years later, she earned a nursing degree from West Virginia’s Wesleyan College.

She was a registered nurse with a certification in occupational health nursing and safety. She was accredited by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
Mrs. Gibbon spent 17 years at Wassau Insurance before going to work at AON 21/2 years ago.

“Debra was a true professional, well-respected by her colleagues and clients,” said Warren Mula, managing director and executive vice president of AON. “She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.”

Mrs. Gibbon always balanced the demands of her work and home lives. She worked full-time as she raised her three children. Nonetheless, she was always involved with their soccer teams and their many other activities, her brother said.

When she wasn’t working, Mrs. Gibbon enjoyed sailing. She spent as much time as she could with her children and extended family at a beach home in Lavallette, Mr. Fischer said. Mrs. Gibbon was a member of Long Valley Presbyterian Church.

Surviving, in addition to her brother, are her three children, Zachary, 18; Heather, 16, and Adam, 13; her parents, Joan and Adam Fischer Jr.; her sister, Karen Zaccaria-Cockrell; and five nephews.

A memorial service was held on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations to the Debra Lynn Fischer Gibbon Memorial Fund, c/o Merrill Lynch, 172 Main St., Chester, N.J. 07930.

Profile by Tom Feeney published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

Debra Gibbon is my mother she is the best mother a family could ask for my life feels so empty without her, i am still waiting for that one day that one moment when she walks through the door and makes our family whole again. and till that day comes i will never forget you mom i love you with all my heart Debra’s daughter, submitted on her tribute site 2/22/2003

As the mother of two my heart goes out to Debra and her children. Once you’re a mother the only reason you’re ever concerned about your own safety is in terms of how it will affect your children. As much as you can you want to protect them from all the horrors of life. But on September 11th Debra couldn’t protect them anymore.

Debra Lynn Gibbon isn’t just a name or a number associated with 9/11. She was a mother, a sister, a daughter and a friend. Although we didn’t know her personally, we here at Hooah Wife are proud to join in this tribute to the victims of 9/11. God bless you all!

This was originally posted by Silke in 2006 and is cross posted on Hooah Wife & Friends. This tribute is part of the 2,996 Project.