Magdalene Benedict / Manhattan Chapter
Elvira (Vira) Bernstein / Miami Chapter
Gail Coffee / Dallas – Ft. Worth Chapter
Roland Casavant / New Bedford, MA Resident
Harriet Cooper / Manhattan Chapter
Susanna Copeland / Republic of Ireland Resident
Bernadette Sullivan Costanzo / Manhattan Chapter
Nancee Norwicki Crawford / Faro, Portugal Resident
Jan Siung Denton / Florida Treasure Coast Chapter
Sharon Dyer / New York City Resident
Jutta Frisch / Long Island, NY, Resident
Anne Burke Goldberg / New Jersey Chapter
Mei Okubo Hartman / Oakland Resident
Anita Irene Hedvall Hildner / Portland Chapter
Bjorg Houston / Lake Tahoe Chapter
Hildegard Harlacher Johnston / San Diego Resident
Kathleen Riordan Kiel / Los Angeles Chapter
Jay Koren / Los Angeles Chapter
Inger Sorum Lafferty / Ft. Lauderdale Chapter
Bud Lake / Oakland Chapter (Honorary)
Barbro Lofvall / Marin County Resident
Christiane Magontier / Paris-Brussels Chapter
Marleane Mitchell / Arlington, VA Resident
Nick Moeller / Sun City, AZ Resident
Marilyn “Lynn” Oberle / San Francisco Chapter
Joan Pettway / Bethesda, MD Resident
Mary Riall / London Chapter
Ellen Joan Rilance-Prosser / Portland Chapter
Jane Whitworth Rankin / Phoenix Resident
Dorcie Nohara Sakuma / Hawaii Chapter
Linda Dixon Sandweiss / Portland Resident
Mary Sexauer / Long Island Chapter
Linda Fister Smith / Redmond, WA Resident
Soffie Tingle / Carefree, AZ Resident
January 9, 2018
Magdalene Benedict (nee Schaefer) of Norwood passed away on January 9, 2018. Beloved wife of Michael. Devoted sister of Barbara Peters. Magdalene was a flight attendant for both Pan American World Airways and Delta Air Lines. She was a member of the Englewood Field Club.
September 17, 1944 – January 18, 2018
Elvira “Vira” Bernstein , age 73, of Miami, FL passed away of natural causes in Jacksonville, FL January 18th. She was born in the Dominican Republic on September 17, 1944. Vira was happily married to Dr. Stuart Bernstein for 29 years and widowed recently for three years.
She had a long fulfilling career as a flight attendant with National Airlines, Pan Am Airways, and United Airlines. Her true passion in life was to serve others and make people happy. She enjoyed traveling with her husband and visiting family and friends. She also loved cooking and entertaining.
Vira is survived by her sister Victoria Phillips-Echelberger and husband Larry Echelberger, nice Cristina Echeverry and her husband Gus Echeverry, great-niece Silvia Echeverry, brother Marino Julio de la Rocha II, nephew Marino Julio de la Rocha III and nice Gina de la Rocha Goico.
December 2, 2018
New Bedford, MA Resident
Roland A. Casavant, 94, of Dartmouth died Sunday, December 2, 2018 at St. Luke’s Hospital.
Born in South Berwick, Maine, son of the late Fred and Mary Louise (Tondreault) Casavant, he lived in Greenwich Village, New York for most of his life before moving to New Bedford in 2014.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He was employed by Pan American World Airways as a flight attendant for 30 years during which he flew to 89 countries and was on the first 747 Flight from Paris to New York in 1970.
Roland is survived by 18 nieces and nephews, Robert, Suzanne, Denis, Doreen, Linda, Brian, and Marc Tetreault, Donna Martin, Bruce, David, Shawn, and Stephen Casavant, Nancy Marcotte, Cheryl Mills, Shelley Regan, Mary Beth Robles, Jo-Ann Pierce, and Terri Almeida; and over 40 great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was predeceased by his companion, Thomas L. Comiskey; and his siblings, Alfred J. and Leo C. Casavant, Lorraine T.L. Parent, and Marie E. Tetreault.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Roland’s memory may be made to CARE at www.care.org
April 20, 1944 – October 26, 2018
Dallas – Ft. Worth Chapter
Gail Coffee passed away suddenly on October 26th, 2018. Gail was glamorous, adventurous, spunky, strong willed, a believer in Christ, full of laughter and so many more things that it is impossible to sum it up. She was truly one of a kind and everyone that knew her would agree. She made all of us smile and laugh.
She was born in Fort Worth Texas on April 20th, 1944, but was raised in Galveston and La Marque Texas. Gail was full of character even at a young age. She was a very active child always busy, whether it be dancing ballet, horseback riding, cheer leading or getting into a little trouble. Gail was a college Cheerleader at TCU as well an Instructor for the National Cheerleading Association. She was also the president of her Sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Teaching.
After College, she took a job with Pan Am and spent twelve remarkable years flying the world. She has a story from almost every country and managed to get herself into some interesting situations; which many may have heard a story or two. One that stands out in memory is her being so excited on her flight that she ran out of the hotel room to explore the city and never took note of her hotel. She never got back to the hotel and has the key until today. Hard to imagine, but a great reflection of how Gail took advantage of every moment to live life to the fullest.
She married Stan Coffee in 1974 and was happily married until he passed last year. They had two children and two grandchildren. They moved a few times and spent their married lives in Houston, the Bay Area in California, Austin, Dallas area, New Braunfels and Fort Worth. Gail was a dedicated and involved mom. She was at every school and extra-curricular function. She taught her children about the world and took them on many trips to share the experiences. She loved being a mom and provided her children with an amazing childhood, full of joy laughs. In her last years she lived near her children and grandchildren and enjoyed regular get-togethers and outings.
She also was a part of the World Wings group and enjoyed sharing time with the other lovely ladies of Pan Am. Gail lived life with passion and love, all of those that knew her were blessed to have known someone as special. She was a strong Christian lady that would have done anything for her friends and family.
She is survived by her children Lee and Cara, her brother Bill Kennard, her son-in-law Matthew Kulik, as well as her granddaughters that loved their Gigi to the moon, Charlee and Qwinn. If you are looking to remember Gail, donations can be made to: https://ccahelps.org/give/ or https://trinitygalv.org/donatelogin-2/
July 3, 2018
Harriet Carlisle Cooper, 74, of Largo, The Villages, FL died on July 3, 2018 after a battle with cancer. She was the beloved sister of Sarah Crane, Christopher Cooper, John Cooper (deceased), sisters-in-law Gina Cooper and Patricia Cooper; the fabulous aunt of Robert Crane, Allison Crane, Patrick Crane, Natasha Cooper Rhodes and Samuel Cooper.
After being born in St. Louis and growing up in Baltimore and graduating from Towson High School, Class of 1962, and The University of Maryland, Class of 1966, she settled in New York City. She was a flight attendant for 43 years, 25 of them with Pan Am and 18 with Delta. During 30 years of that time she traveled the world with her sweetheart, Dick, until his premature death.
After a liver transplant and retirement she moved to The Villages, FL to take care of her parents. Upon their deaths she bought a little house that she dearly loved. She came to be known by her neighbors, who all became her friends, as the kindest, most thoughtful of women. She was beautiful and funny, and generous – a lady in the truest sense of the word. She will be sorely missed by everyone whose life she touched.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date.
Condolences may be sent to:
751 Turbeville Terrace, The Villages, FL 32162
December 4, 2018
Republic of Ireland Resident
Susanna Copeland (Friarsfield, Wicklow Town, and formerly Chicago, Illinois, USA) ex Pan Am and Delta Airlines, 4th December 2018 after a long illness bravely borne, peacefully at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. Loving daughter of the late Myles and Olive Copeland, sister of the late Eddie. Sadly missed by her loving brothers Harry, Myles, Brendan, Eugene, and Francis, sisters Jill and Marian, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, extended family, relatives and friends.
Rest In Peace.
April 17, 1945 – September 25, 2018
Bernadette Sullivan Costanzo of Montauk, the owner of the former Montauk Beach Store on Main Street, died of a stroke on Sept. 25 at Stony Brook University Hospital, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks. She was 73.
Ms. Costanzo was diagnosed in 2000 with hemochromatosis, a condition that causes the body to absorb too much iron. She was hoping that Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan would put her on a waiting list for a liver transplant and the Montauk community rallied in her support. More than 50 residents attended a hearing of the hospital’s medical board and more than 100 faxed letters. A transplant was approved; it was said to have given her an additional 18 years of life.
Born on April 17, 1945, in Jersey City to the former Sara McCarthy and Edward Thomas Sullivan, she spent her childhood in the towns of Union and Maplewood in New Jersey. She first attended Marymount University and then Boston University, from which she received a Bachelor of Arts degree. She also earned a master’s in early childhood special education from the Bank Street College of Education in New York. She became a Montessori schoolteacher and taught English as a second language in Mexico.
In 1970, she married Conrad J. Costanzo, who introduced her to Montauk. The couple, who got engaged in the hamlet, bought an oceanfront summer house on Surfside Avenue in 1972. Ms. Costanzo had been a Pan American Airlines flight attendant in the 1960s and ’70s, based in Miami and New York, and the chief purser for her crew. She retired upon the arrival of her first child, but retained a fondness for travel. She especially enjoyed spending winters in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica.
Ms. Costanzo and her husband moved to Montauk full time in 1993, and she bought the Montauk Beach Store from her friend Paulette Ehrenberg three years later. Her son, Kai, who worked with her, launched the Kai-Kai sandal brand, for which the store is now named.
In Montauk, Ms. Costanzo was the scholarship director of the Montauk Village Association, an active officer of the Surfside Estates Association, and a parishioner of St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church. She also was an inaugural member of the Friends of Montauk Library. In her free time, she loved to cook, do needlepoint, and read.
She is survived by her husband and son, who both live in Montauk, and her daughter, Gabrielle Costanzo Long of East Hampton as well as two grandchildren. Her son, J. Kai Costanzo, also lives on Block Island.
Faro, Portugal Resident
Former NAL, PAA, and DL flight attendant passed away recently in Faro, Portugal. She is survived by her husband, Sherman Crawford.
Florida Treasure Coast Chapter
Former Pan Am flight attendant Jan Denton passed away recently in Roseland, Florida. She is survived by her husband, Robert Denton, and daughter.
October 16, 2018
New York City Resident
Sharon Dyer passed away on October 16th, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She started flying with Pan Am in the mid 1960’s and was based in New York, often flying to Africa. Later, she worked for Amtrak.
Sharon was a survivor of the terrorist firebombing of Pan Am flight 110, parked at the gate at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in preparation for departure to Beirut, on December 17, 1973.
December 8, 2018
Long Island, New York, Resident
Jutta Fritsch, a former member of the Long Island Chapter, passed away on December 8th after a brief illness.
August 6, 2018
New Jersey Chapter
Anne Burke Goldberg passed away on August 6, 2018, after a long illness. She lived with her
husband, Bob, in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and would have turned 75 in November.
Anne was hired by Pan Am in March 1965 and retired in October, 2008. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Anne
had a wonderful zest for life, laughter, and living every minute to the fullest. Never at a loss of subjects to talk about, she had a knack for telling hilarious stories. Anne was truly a sophisticated lady. She was a wonderful problem solver and a person who always had the most generous heart.
Anne, we bid you adieu and may you be carried on the angel wings you deserve. Rest in peace, dear friend.
July 9, 2018
Following a brief battle with a brain tumor, our beloved mother and flight attendant, Mei Okubo Hartman, of Oakland, California, passed away peacefully at the age of 84 on July 9, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada.
Born in Eatonville, Washington in 1934 to Tsurukichi Okubo and Isami Tsubota Okubo, Mei’s early youth was spent in Washington until the age of 7 when her family returned to their ancestral home of Hiroshima, Japan. Mei spent her formative years as Japanese-American girl living in World War II Japan. On August 6, 1945 her family lost nearly everything in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, but miraculously she, her sister and their parents survived. Mei went on to graduate high school from Hiroshima Jogakuin. She returned to the United States to attend college and graduated from University of Washington in 1958 with a bachelor of science in home economics.
Immediately after college, Mei began her career as an international “stewardess” with Pan American Airways based in Honolulu, Hawaii. This was the beginning of a lifelong love of travel, for work and pleasure.
Mei married and hung up her wings temporarily to focus on family. She celebrated the birth of her first child, Kentah Burke Hartman in 1965 in Oakland, California, and her second child, Lee (nee Lia) Kimberley Hartman in 1968 in Portland, Oregon.
Mei continued with her career as an international flight attendant for Pan Am based in San Francisco. In 1986, she transferred to United Airlines where she became well-known and well-loved for her long career in flying. In total, she worked for 47 years as a flight attendant.
Surviving and left to honor her life are: her son, Kentah Hartman, his wife, Dianna Hartman, and their children, Zayden Kai and Aylah Kay, of Tigard, Oregon; her daughter, Lee Hartman Bateman, her husband, Bennair Bateman, and their sons Linus Samuel, Milo Nathaniel and Maximus Daniel, of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mei will be interred at the Japanese Cemetery in Coma, California. She will always be remembered as a hard-working, energetic, and sociable flight attendant and as a loving and thoughtful mother and grandmother.
October 16, 1942 – January 1, 2018
Anita died at Kaiser Sunnyside Hospital on January 1, 2018 of complications with pneumonia and COPD. She was 75.
Anita was born on October 16, 1942 in Malmö, Sweden to her parents Gösta & Ingeborg Hedvall. As a child, she enjoyed summers in Skåne with her siblings and grandparents. She was a nanny, tour guide in the Canary Islands, and worked at the Malmö airport before joining Pan Am as a flight attendant in 1968. She moved to Chicago and met Jono Hildner, whom she married in 1970 in Malmö. Together, they moved to Oregon in 1971, and in 1973 welcomed their first son, Jason Hedvall. In 1977 their second son, Benjamin Truxtun was born, and Anita retired from Pan Am to raise her boys. While she was a dedicated mother, she also fostered a passion for travel and exotic beadwork. This led her to begin working at The Eye of Ra, a shop specializing in clothing and jewelry from around the world at John’s Landing in Portland. She and Jono divorced in 1989. Her passion for travel and her work at the store helped her visit many countries. In her life, she traveled to Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Tahiti, Tonga, New Zealand, Fiji, Guam, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea Thailand, Burma, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Turkey, Kenya, Uganda, Cote D’ Ivoire, Liberia, Western Sahara, Morocco, and nearly all of Western Europe.
Anita is survived by her sister Kerstin and brother Claes in Sweden and her son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Traci Hildner; her son and daughter-in-law, Ben Hildner and Tatiana Hernández de Hildner; and her two grandsons, Lucas and Martín Hildner Hernández.
February 10, 1940 – May 8, 2018
Lake Tahoe Chapter
Charles Robert “Bob” Houston peacefully departed us on May 5th, 2018. His wife of 49 years, 5 months and 4 days, Bjorg R. “BJ” Houston later joined him in heaven in the early morning hours of May 8th, 2018, with both of her sons by her side, everyone hand in hand.
Bob was born in Kenora, Ontario Canada on October 1st, 1934. Growing up an only child in a modest household during the Great Depression motivated him to yearn for more. Following graduation from Queens University, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force flying the F-86 Sabre in Marville, France. Later, he left the RCAF service and embarked on a 30-year career as a Captain with Trans World Airlines piloting the Boeing 707, 727, 747, 757, and 767 aircraft, as well as the Lockheed L-1011.
Bjorg was born in the small Norwegian town of Dokka on February 10th, 1940, as the eldest of three sisters. She recalled watching German Wehrmacht troops march down her street during World War II as she and her sisters grew up in the quaint town. Following graduation from university with a language degree in four languages, Bjorg was also yearning for adventure and travel in her life. She briefly toured Europe from the saddle of a Vespa scooter, and then pursued her dream of becoming a proud stewardess with Pan American Airlines in the early 1960’s aboard the Lockheed Constellation.
Now, enter fate with these two beautiful souls… With their shared love of travel and aviation (and a little help from double blind date gone awry) they were finally able to meet and inevitably begin sharing their beautiful lives together. After a few years of jet setting their long-distance relationship, they wed on December 2nd, 1968 and celebrated their first son within that following year. A handful of years on the east coast passed, and they eventually stumbled on what was (according to Bjorg) “the most beautiful place on planet earth” – Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
They settled down in the small town of Incline Village in 1972, and celebrated the arrival of their second son a little over a year later. They were soon enjoying the fruits of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Bjorg started ski instructing at Ski Incline (now, Diamond Peak) in 1974, teaching her boys how to ski before they could properly walk, and Bob would join them on the mountain when he returned from his airline trips. In the summer, Bob couldn’t be happier sailing his sailboat on the Tahoe water, while Bjorg would enjoy soaking up the sun at Incline beach. They both truly loved everything about the mountains, Lake Tahoe, and this most unique place to raise their loving family.
They selflessly devoted their lives to raising their two sons; Bob having to commute across the country, during every holiday and special occasion for his demanding airline job; Bjorg tackling the single most difficult job of stay-at-home mother, through every snowstorm, power outage, calls from the principal and sporting event her two sons were consistently involved in.
Their endearing love for their family is reciprocated today: Bob and Bjorg are survived by their sons, Bobby and Erik; Erik’s wife Tami, their grandchildren Brandon and Connor, and Bjorg’s sisters Lise and Jorunn.
November 29, 1941 – December 18, 2018
San Diego Resident
Los Angeles Chapter
August 6, 1938 – December 12, 2018
Kathleen Riordan Kiel died on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at her home of roughly 35 years in Redondo Beach. She was 84. She moved to California from Iowa in 1943 and loved California so much she became Miss Santa Barbara in 1954, while attending UC Santa Barbara. After college, she became one of the early Pan Am flight attendants and during her time there she married Bud Kiel who sadly passed away only a couple years after their marriage. She is survived by her brother Thomas; sister-in-law, Mary Anne, five daughters, three nieces and one nephew.
Elsa was born in Suriname of Dutch parents. She was based in NYC since 1971, flying for Pan Am for twenty-one years and another twenty-one years with Delta. Elsa’s grace, style, generosity and sense of humor, both on and off the airplane, was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her.
A memorial service is planned for late June. For more information, please contact Elsa’s husband, former Pan Amer Joel Jacobs.
It is not expected, but you may contribute to Elsa’s favorite charity in lieu of flowers, Best Friends Animal Society, www.Bestfriends.org
June 18, 1930 – January 5, 2018
Los Angeles Chapter
It is with deep regret that we announce that our beloved friend, Jay Koren, died peacefully at home, January 5th, 2018, in Shadow Hills, California, with his spouse, Anher Flores, at his side.
Jay was born in Chicago on June 18, 1930 and lived in Park Ridge, Illinois. At 3 years old, Jay and his family moved to Beverly Hills, California, where he grew up.
Jay, as a child was fascinated by airliners. He ventured out to Burbank Airport to watch DC-3s take off and land, which in turn got him hooked on airlines, airplanes, and travel. At 12 years old, he saw his first Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) airplane and set his sights on working for the prestigious carrier.
Jay was hired as a steward for Pan Am in 1951 in Seattle, Washington. In his forty-year career, flying mostly out of the New York City airports, he worked on most Douglas and Boeing aircrafts from the DC4 to the Boeing 747. Jay wrote a book, The Company We Kept, Memories of a Pan Am Purser, which was published in 2000 detailing his relationships with his most noteworthy passengers and his fellow crew members.
Jay met Joe Kapel, a fellow steward, in 1954. They were life partners for over fifty years. They lived and had homes in Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, Connecticut and New York. Joe passed away in 2008. One year later, Jay met Anher, and they were married in 2017.
Jay’s career with Pan Am was a classic example of success. Because of his attractive bearing and demeanor, Pan Am chose him to be the model for the mannequin that resides at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institute. Also, Pan Am selected him to work on both the first commercial 707 flight to Paris and the first 747 flight to London.
Jay’s recollections and stories were hilarious, tragic, sad, and poignant. He always had a lovely smile and well represented an airline that encircled the globe and left behind a huge legacy. Jay was a kind and generous person. He was loved by all who knew him. He was a towering figure at Pan Am and a pleasure to fly with. He was classy, handsome, erudite, and empathic to all. He will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace, dear friend.
May 16, 1936 – March 10, 2018
Ft. Lauderdale Chapter
April 5, 1944 – April 22, 2018
Marin County Resident
Barbro was born in Malmo Sweden and came to New York as an au pair in 1963, at the age of 19. She was hired by Pan Am in Sweden and joined the airline in March of 1967, undergoing training in Miami. She was based first at Dulles, in Washington, DC, before transferring to San Francisco. Barbro went with United after the airline purchased Pan Am’s Pacific routes in 1985, remaining with them until her retirement.
April 2, 1933 – February 6, 2018
Christiane A Magontier was born on April 2, 1933 and passed away on February 6, 2018 in Santa Clara, California.
May 16, 2018
Arlington, VA Resident
Marleane Stella Mitchell (nee Thompson), a former Pan American and Delta Flight Attendant, passed away at the age of 82, on May 16, 2018. To hundreds of Tibetan refugee children in Darjeeling, India and Nepal, Ms. Mitchell was known as “Gen Lhamo La”, which means “Angel Teacher.” In 1961, Ms. Mitchell started the “Stewardess Program” in honor of Dr. Tom Dooley and under the guidance of Dr. Verne Chaney. Flight attendants volunteered to help care for refugee children and orphans throughout Southeast Asia. Ms. Mitchell is survived by her two children, Rana and Jai and her brother, Ron Thompson.
Jul 25, 1927 – August 4, 2018
San Francisco Chapter
Lynn was born and raised in Minneapolis. She received her degree from University of Minnesota. In 1949, she became a Pan Am stewardess. She was first based in Miami and flew the Latin American division going to Puerto Rico, Cuba and all over South America. She transferred to San Francisco and flew the Pacific division going to Australia, Bali, Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Guam. Later she transferred to New York and flew the Puerto Rico route. While living in New York City, she met and married her husband George, who flew for Pan Am in the European division.
They moved from New York to California settling in the Santa Clara Valley. Staying in the travel industry, they opened West Valley Travel Service in Saratoga. Lynn was also an accomplished cellist. She played in the San Jose Symphony and the Santa Clara Philharmonic. In her retirement years, she played in the University of Santa Clara orchestra. She was active in several organizations over the years including the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, Soroptimist International, and World Wings – a Pan Am organization.
George and Lynn were married for 58 years until George’s death in 2011. She is survived by sons George Jr. and Christopher, daughter Melissa, and five grandchildren.
August 26, 2018
Bethesda, MD Resident
Joan Pettway, 88, passed away on Sunday, August 26, 2018, after several years of battling age-related illnesses. Originally from Cleveland, OH, Joan started her career as a flight attendant with Pan American Airlines. She traveled all over the world for 10 years before she met and married Brander (Bud) Pettway in 1959 while living in New York City.
She was a loving mother to Nancy, John and Joey. Her daughter, Joan Elizabeth Pettway, predeceased her. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy Holden (husband, Peter); her son, John Pettway (wife, Heather); and her grandchildren, Rachel, Erin, Ford, Brooke, Maxson, Taylor and Avery. Family will hold private services at a later date.
August 24, 1924 – October 24, 2018
Phoenix, AZ Resident
Jane Whitworth Rankin, 94, of Phoenix, AZ, peacefully entered into the Kingdom of Heaven on October 24, 2018. She was born on August 22, 1924, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Allen C. and Lillian V. Kinzer Whitworth. Her family moved to Wewoka, Oklahoma when she was 2, where she was raised. She attended Wewoka High School and studied Spanish because her father was a friend of the football coach who taught that class. She continued her study of languages at the University of Oklahoma, and graduated in 1946. After graduation, she moved to Dallas, Texas, where she became an American Airlines Reservation agent, focusing on Latin American customers. She was the subject of a John Philip Falter painting which was used to create an American Airlines advertisement, and printed in the April 17, 1950 edition of Life Magazine.
She joined Pan American World Airways in 1948 as a flight attendant, was stationed in Houston and flew on Central and South American routes, using her language skills. It was there that she met her husband, Calvin Greene Rankin, who was a pilot for Pan Am. She left Pan Am in 1954, married, and settled down in Coral Gables, Florida with her husband, raising two children. When Cal died unexpectedly in a plane crash, she went back to school at the University of Miami and studied bookkeeping. She worked for several companies, including the Miami Dolphins, Price Waterhouse, The Allen Morris Company, and the award winning advertising agency, Samuel B. Crispin and Associates. She also found time to be a blood donor, volunteer to translate books into Spanish for Reading for The Blind, and be a Girl Scout cookie chairman. She collected and tended orchids throughout her life, enjoyed quilting, and was a Sunday school teacher for many years.
She had a passion for traveling, and drove across the USA many times, visited South and Central America, Europe, and Asia. She had been inside the Arctic Circle and once flew on the Concorde. Her favorite country was England and she loved all things British. She retired in 2000, at the age of 75, and moved to Arizona to be near her daughter. She will be remembered for her friendly and outgoing nature, and her warm smile. A remarkable life; a remarkable woman.
Jane is survived by her daughter, Barbara G. Rankin, of Phoenix, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her son Robert Allen Rankin, her brother Forrest Kinzer Whitworth, and her sister, Ann Whitworth McDaniel. The family would like to thank her wonderful caregivers at Ahwatukee Gardens Assisted Living (especially Marie, Gilbert, and Seini) and the incredible support provided by Hospice of the Valley (especially Maura, Renee, Angela, and Heather). We could not have made this journey without you. You have been a blessing. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in her name may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St. Phoenix, AZ 85014 (www.hov.org).
May 31, 1930 – April 22, 2018
Ellen Joan Rilance Prosser, age 87, was born May 31, 1930 in Portland to Edna and Arthur Rilance. She passed away Sunday, April 22, 2018 surrounded by family and friends.
Joan was a lifelong Oregonian who attended Washington High School, Oregon State and later received her B.S. degree from Portland State University. As a young woman, she became a flight attendant for Pan American Airlines, flying the South Pacific and the Orient, when flying was a luxury and her job was a prestigious assignment. She had many exciting experiences and stories during her short career which included meeting dignitaries and movie stars; preparing passengers for ditching the plane when two engines were lost over the Pacific; and being stranded on Guam during a hurricane and later on Fiji following an earthquake.
Joan met her husband, B. Douglas Pratt, on Wake Island, and they eventually returned to Portland, raising their three sons. As an active volunteer in the community, she worked with many organizations, serving on boards of the Infant Hearing Resource and the Oregon Symphony, as president of the Oregon Symphony Association and a volunteer radio reader for the blind on KBPS radio. She was also a charter member and president of the Portland Chapter of World Wings. After earning a private pilot’s license, she served on OMSI’s Aviation Committee. She was formerly a deacon at Moreland Presbyterian Church and more recently a long-time member of Beaverton Foursquare Church. Joan enjoyed a later career as a real estate broker and was a 50 year member of the Multnomah Athletic Club.
Joan will always be remembered fondly for her devotion to family, as a loyal, compassionate and caring friend, her deep devotion to God and unique sense of humor.
In 2002, she married Mike Prosser, and they spent many happy winters in the Desert. Survivors include her beloved husband, Mike; sons, Doug Pratt of Sherwood and Guy Pratt of Oregon City; brother, Bill Bowker of Milwaukie; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son, Danny Pratt; sister, Carol Dixon; and brother, Harold Bowker.
Mary was born in a small town not far from Dublin and went to work in the bank after leaving school but very soon decided this was not the life she was looking for. Pan Am came to the rescue! She started in the 60s, based in New York, but her desire to see far flung destinations took her to bases in SFO, LAX, HNL, and eventually to LHR where she stayed, by now with UAL, until she retired.
She sold her charming cottage in Kew and returned to that small town in Ireland where she cared for her aging mother, took up hill walking, gardening, and making many friends, something she was very good at. Her final weeks were full of messages from her many friends as far away as Australia, the US, and Europe, and members of the London Chapter of World Wings where she was a much loved member.
Retirement did not slow her down, regularly visiting exotic places in the Far East, India, Mongolia, China, and Borneo usually, in the company of former friends from our Pan Am world.
She will always be remembered for her smile, her kindness, her sense of humor, and her lovely soft southern Irish accent. She leaves a sister and many nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed.
September 9, 1946 – September 25, 2018
Beloved wife, mother and grandmother. Dorcie’s motto was “Life is short, enjoy it.” While her life seemed too short, she filled it with great adventures and experiences, love and laughter, and an abundance of friends who loved her dearly.
Dorcie was born in Tokyo, Japan to Katsuya Nohara, an executive with Japan Airlines, and Toshi Sato Nohara. She spent her childhood and young adulthood living in Japan, Hawaii and Maryland and learned to adapt to different languages, cultures, and environments with every move. A 1964 graduate of University High School, Dorcie attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she graduated with a degree in Asian Studies. Through her involvement in the Wakaba Kai sorority and interactions with the East-West Center she formed many lasting friendships. Following graduation, Dorcie was employed as a Stewardess for Pan American World Airways where she enjoyed experiencing distant lands and cultures and was proud of the quality of service she and her colleagues provided passengers.
In 1971, she married Paul Sakuma at the Nuuanu Congregational Church and later moved to Maryland. Dorcie was “Super Mom” to their children Craig and Katie – efficiently managing the family household, preparing delicious meals, and always finding the time and energy to support her children’s academic studies and athletic pursuits. Dorcie returned to Japan in 1988 for Paul’s new job assignment in Tokyo. Her fluency in Japanese language and culture enabled her to help others in the expatriate community and at the American School in Japan by serving as a cultural bridge. Dorcie returned to Maryland in 1993 and maintained her tie to Japan through the Washington-Tokyo Women’s Group and reunions with ASIJ students and parents.
Dorcie returned to Honolulu in 2007 to be closer to her parents. She enjoyed golfing with the Bay View Dames, birding with Audubon Society, and volunteering at the Hawaii Humane Society, from which she adopted her beloved lizard-hunting dog, Fiona. She reconnected with high school classmates, sorority sisters, and the Pan Am community and became active in UHS reunions, Wakaba Kai Foundation, and World Wings International. Dorcie was a passionate foodie who enjoyed street food, haute cuisine and the occasional Zippy’s Zip Pac. She was also a friend and patroness of up-and-coming Honolulu chefs. She and Paul explored the world with friends during epic excursions throughout Asia, Australia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Europe. Dorcie immersed herself in experiencing and appreciating local food, culture, history and nature. In recent years, one of her more frequent destinations was Oakland, California, where her grandsons felt the warmth of her love and knew her as Baba.
Her life was characterized by her generous service to all those fortunate to have come within her orbit. Over the years she played many roles: wife, mother, grandmother, caregiver, friend, club and organization officer, volunteer and so much more. Throughout all, she freely shared her intellect and wisdom, knowledge of languages and cultures, sense of humor and sharp wit, her compassion, culinary skills, and love and affection – all for the benefit of others. Dorcie leaves behind her husband, Paul; her son, Craig and his fiancee, Kiran Hudka; her daughter and son-in-law, Katie and Jeff Moore, and her grandsons Dylan and Jonathan; and, her beloved dog, Fiona. She is survived by siblings Anne Abaya, Mary Noriko Nohara and Steve Nohara. A memorial service will be held at Hosoi Mortuary on November 25, with visitation at 1 p.m. and service at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks those who wish to honor Dorcie’s memory, to please make a donation to Doctors Without Borders. Arrangements Provided By: Hosoi Garden Mortuary
March 21, 1947 – February 16, 2018
Portland, Oregon resident
Linda was born in Wellsville, NY, the first child of Edward J and Lois (Sandvig) Devlin. She is survived by her brother David Devlin of Albuquerque, NM, and stepdaughter Lissa Semuta of Las Vegas, NV.
Linda would want us to remember that she has a rich and full life. She laughed often, loved deeply and felt loss deeply. She had an adventuresome spirit, was a world traveler, and is now exploring whatever universe comes after life on earth.
Her ashes will be scattered along with those of her late husband Jack Sandweiss off the coast of Marina Del Ray in Los Angeles. The marina brought her so much joy and was one of her favorite places on earth.
August 24, 2018
Long Island Chapter
Mary Sexauer passed away peacefully in her sleep in Hospice in Bradenton, Florida, on August 24th. Mary was a member of the Long Island Chapter for over 40 years. Early this year, she relocated to Bradenton, Florida, to be closer to family. Mary will be interred on Long Island, next to her husband.
December 23, 2018
Redmond, WA Resident
Linda F. Smith died at home after a brief bout with a cancerous brain tumor. Born into a Pennsylvania medical family in 1944, she dropped nursing to fly with Pan Am for 22 years, then United Air Lines for fifteen.
She loved Bridge, world travel, golf and cats. Linda leaves Geoff, her husband of 32 years, step-son Kelly and family, and cats Riley and Cody.
Lindsey was a very creative person with an incredible flair for color and design. She enjoyed sewing all sorts of items like wall hangings, blankets, and clothes for family and friends and helping friends do fix up design projects.
An avid duplicate bridge player, she undertook the floor plan design and interior decorating of a large commercial space made available for bridge by a fellow bridge player and successfully transformed it into a very attractive duplicate bridge venue.
She also played golf at Trilogy and loved cats, having two of her own, and decorated her home with all sorts of cat memorabilia.
Condolences may be sent to her husband, Geoffrey Smith, at 13216 230th Place NE, Redmond, Washington 98053.
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