Family of Brother Booms, 9/11 Victim, Receives Composite

Sep 09, 2022 – A late '90s Alpha Upsilon Chapter Composite Is Given a New Home with Kelly Booms' Family

By Mary Miracle, Cincinnati

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

This Chinese proverb means that a person must begin their journey to reach their destination. Taken from Chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching, it is attributed to 6th Century BC Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.

This journey began with a text. It read, "Hi Mary, it 's Emma Yatzkan [Miami-Ohio]. I am moving out of my apartment, which was a pass-down, and found this huge composite photo from 1998-1999! I would hate to see it thrown out, so I was wondering if you or if the Central Office would want it?”

Truthfully, I was not interested, but thought there might be others who may appreciate having the composite. I responded, "Are Jeff Briggs or Matt Whited [both of whom are from Alpha Upsilon] in the composite?” They were not. However, Emma and I decided to get the composite to Mitchell Boice, a former Alpha Upsilon Chapter President, who remained in town for a few weeks.

Problem solved, at least temporarily.

Two nights later, I was at the Cincinnati Alumni Chapter’s monthly social event. Jeff, Miami-Ohio, and Judith Briggs, South Dakota, arrived. I told Jeff about the composite. He asked me a question that began my amazing journey.

"Is Kelly Booms in the composite?" Jeff asked.

Mitchell Boice informed me she was pictured in the composite. Jeff asked me, "You don't know who she is, do you?”

He already knew the answer by the look on my face. "I have no idea who she is," I said.

Kelly Booms, Miami (Ohio), was on American Airlines Flight 11 on 9/11/2001. The plane that hit the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. on that fateful Tuesday.

At that very moment, I was so grateful to Emma for contacting me, and to Mitch for taking possession of the composite. The next decision was how to find a home for it. Almost everyone had left Oxford for the summer, including Luke Sassano, the current Alpha Upsilon Chapter President. I contacted Luke to see what he wanted to do with the composite.

After a lengthy discussion, addressing concerns that the chapter did not have a place to keep such a large composite, Luke asked me to see if Kelly’s family might be interested in the composite.

This is where my investigative skills came into play. With some research, I found Kelly’s parents’ mailing address in the Greater Cincinnati area. So I mailed them an old-fashioned letter.

Kelly’s parents responded; they were delighted I contacted them, and yes, they would love to have the composite. They were grateful that we had taken the time and effort to find them. Kelly’s father told me, “Thank you for caring."

Mitchell had the honor of meeting with Kelly’s parents. They were beyond welcoming, appreciative, and gracious. After the visit, he told me, "This is one of the neatest things that I have ever done in my life. It gave me a greater appreciation for how vast this Delta Sigma Pi is."

This year will be the 21st anniversary of American Flight 11 and the other hijackings that created the terrorist attack on our country. This year, and every year that I have remaining, I will stop at 8:46 a.m. on September 11th and think of Kelly Booms. Kelly was a brother that I never met, but I will remember Kelly and her family.

After reading this, I hope that you will think of Kelly Booms and her family, too. My sincerest wish is that every time that Kelly’s family walks by the composite in their home, they will remember Delta Sigma Pi as the people who cared enough to bring a piece of Kelly to them.

And, to Kelly Booms: “Until we meet ... for the first time.”

I offer my sincerest thanks to all the Brothers without whose help this story would have not happened: Emma Yatzkan, Mitchell Boice, Luke Sassano, Jeff Briggs, Mat Whited, Megan Snider, Miami-Ohio; Jim Gerhardt, Depaul (IL); and Judith Briggs.

A tribute to Kelly Booms, as well as two other brothers, Sandra Teague, North Carolina-Greensboro, and Amy Toyen, Bentley (MA), who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks, were remembered in the November 2001 Deltasig edition, which is linked here


  • Brothers of Delta Sigma Pi