Victor Bracero / New York City Resident
Doris Domenech / Miami, Florida Resident
Susan Elind / Oslo Chapter
Phelps Euler / Oakland Chapter
Carolyn Ferguson / Portland Chapter
Fernanda Fronzi / Ridgefield, Connecticut Resident
Lidia Goldner / Palm Beach, FL Resident
Magdalena Grocholski / Miami, Florida Resident
Joan Foglia–Holzer / Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Resident
Gerhard Hitziger / Proprietor, Baseler Eck, Frankfurt
Brenda Benedict Lee / Miami, Florida Resident
Birgitta Pettersson / Stockholm Chapter
Camelia Valdez Riggins / Miami Chapter
Laurence Simon / World Wings International Advisory Board
Roxane Thomas / Member at Large
Katherine “Kathy” Van Fleet Woerheide / Marin Chapter
Betsy Wickes / Seattle Chapter
Kari Willcockson / Los Angeles Chapter
Margaret “Marty” Woodman / San Francisco Chapter
Gisela Zitzow-Peck / Heart of Florida Chapter
December 3, 1942 – March 12, 2022
With a rich sense of place and purpose, Ms. Judy Ash filled each room she entered with a distinctly powerful yet elegant energy. Her aura was that of a woman who was fortunate enough to know precisely where she’d come from and exactly who she is. Where she was headed, however, was generally a coin toss, and she would embrace any new adventure with open arms.
Born to Thomas Edward and Julia Parker Young in Pinopolis, SC, she was blessed to have a solid groundwork for her spiritual and personal development. Her mother expanded Judy’s childhood home to make room for Punch ’n Judy Kindergarten, where the focus of the curriculum was music, and Judy’s Shetland pony, Candy, made regular appearances. One of her best childhood friends was Beth Lacey, and the two of them enjoyed exploring the vast area where Lake Moultrie was being built. So much hustle and bustle! Just down the road, the Gills owned a huge horse. Ms. Judy knew that she’d be eternally lucky when she fell from the large equine on her 13th birthday and received 13 stitches on her scalp.
Many summers were spent on her paternal grandfather’s tobacco farm, where each day was orchestrated like a symphony. It was fun and interesting work for a young girl eager to learn, and every day there were at least a dozen people, many cousins and many hands, gathered for a hearty dinner. To balance the tough physical farm labor, Judy’s maternal grandmother was a seamstress who sewed for Ava Gardner, and also crafted a beautiful wardrobe for her granddaughter.
From the earliest memories of an idyllic youth, Judy was always encouraged to reach for any goal she might fancy. She took Flamenco dancing lessons in Charleston, captained the basketball team, and cheered for the Berkeley Stags while running school organizations. She toyed with the idea of becoming a detective or a doctor, but her love of travel was calcified when she spent her Converse College Junior year studying abroad in Paris and Rome. Judy had already seen much of America after working in Yellowstone during summer breaks. So, she traveled with three of her classmates Julie Cook and Sally Carr who sailed on the Holland American line from New York City to meet another friend Monies Smith to make the Hotel Lutetia their new home base in Paris. The Carrs had arranged for a case of champagne for the crossing, and absolutely nothing could’ve been finer as the young women savored every moment of that adventure.
After leaving college, she embraced an opportunity to live with her maternal grandmother in Miami. In Southern Florida, Judy fell in with a boisterous and worldly crowd. Delta was hiring women to learn their new computer system, and it was there that she learned an important lesson: Machines are only as smart as the people running them. That experience led to an introduction to the flight crews, for which Judy quickly signed up. It was a thrilling time to be a stewardess – first for Delta, and later for Pan American World Airways from the ’60s to the ’80s. She loved all of the stops from Tehran to Tokyo, but her favorite was Hong Kong. Another highlight of that job was being able to assist American soldiers flying out of Saigon for their R&R during Vietnam. Pan Am offered that service for free. It was in the World Wings International group that she continued to foster her loyalty to her Pan Am friends.
In time, she married the charming Charles (Chuck) Ash from Mahwah, NJ, and they settled in Litchfield, CT. She had a dual career of nurturing a family that includes two sons who now have families of their own, supporting her husband’s marketing career, then building herself another successful career in real estate, Ms. Judy retired to the comfort of her original childhood home on the Pinopolis peninsula, where Candy once roamed. Her myriad of close friends and family kept her busy and active. Each week was a fun and busy schedule of civic engagements on the Board of the Red Cross, Honorary Commander of Charleston Air Force Base, and the Advisory Committee for the Wings Club, Board Member of the Berkeley County Aviation Committee, Garden Club of America, women’s forums, competitive flower arranging, bridge, book clubs, and church meetings at Pinopolis Methodist Church where she maintained her membership for more than seven decades.
Most importantly, Ms. Judy treasured her friends and family, always ready to dispense humor and wisdom. She leaves behind a brother, Tommy Young and his wife Catherine Traynham of Folly Beach; her niece Isabelle Sydney Young, her husband Paul Pearson and their daughter June. Two sons, Bernard Snow Ash and wife Lize-Marie Hottegindre of Incline Village, NV (Lake Tahoe); Guyton Parker Ash and wife Susan of Charleston. Six adored grandchildren: Violette, Phebee, Max and Tallac Ash of Incline Village, NV (Lake Tahoe); Oliver and Charlie Ash of Charleston. She kept close to her heart dear friends who cared for her over the years, especially Clara Hampton, Bertha Lee and Frank Nelson, and Terry Griffin. She’s predeceased by her beloved husband of 34 years, Charles Frederick Ash II.
During a moment of recent reminiscence, Ms. Judy commented, “Most of my life, if I thought of something to do, I did it.”
Services will be held at Pinopolis Methodist Church on Thursday March 17th at 11am, immediately followed by a Celebration of Life gathering at 155 Broughton Hall Road, Pinopolis, SC. – Ms. Judy’s childhood home.
Memorials may be sent to the Lowcountry Red Cross at 1926 Kerry St., Charleston, SC 29406, Wings Club Foundation, or World Wings International.
June 22, 1950 – February 12, 2022
We have received the sad news that Victor Bracero passed away on February 12, 2022. Victor was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on June 22, 1950. He began his flight attendant career with Pan Am in February 1978 and continued with Delta until he retired in June 2017.
Victor was popular with his co-workers for his soft spoken demeanor and sense of class. He was known for his excellent and elegant First Class service.
Information about a possible memorial service is not available at this time. It will be shared when it becomes available.
February 19, 2022
Miami, Florida Resident
We have received the sad news that Doris Domenech passed away on February 19th, 2022 in Miami after a lengthy illness. Doris began flying with Pan Am in the early 1970’s. She was based in New York and Miami. After Pan Am she worked as a substitute teacher for some time. We remember her wonderful smile and outgoing personality. She is survived by her daughter Nikki Sapp.
1936 – February 15, 2022
Oakland Chapter Affiliate
Phelps Wendell Euler II was born in Alameda, California, in 1936. He passed away from natural causes on February 15, 2022 at the age of 85. A former Marine, he later worked for the railroad industry. In 1996, Phelps married Jane Euler. Jane was president of the OAK World Wings chapter for 19 years, and was was a previous recording secretary and president of World Wings International. Phelps and Jane traveled all over the world to attend the World Wings conventions. When Jane passed away in 2019, Phelps became an affiliate member of WWI’s Oakland Chapter. He was beloved by the Oakland Chapter and was an exceptionally generous supporter of World Wings charities. He be greatly missed.
August 30, 1943 – April 28, 2022
Carolyn Jean Yerkovich was born in Portland, Oregon August 30, 1943, to George and Marie Yerkovich. She attended Beaumont Grade School and Grant High School. In 1961 she entered the University of Oregon, where she earned an elementary education degree, was a member of Alpha Phi sorority, and became a Duck supporter for life.
After college, Carolyn was hired by Pan American World Airways and became a stewardess. Based in San Francisco, she met a charming, Southern-mannered gentleman and Pan Am pilot, Bill Ferguson. They married in 1968 and lived in Menlo Park, California where their first two sons, Will and James, were born. In 1971 they moved to Medford, Oregon where their third son, Michael, was born. Carolyn was a devoted mother, fiercely loyal, and she was an ever-enthusiastic supporter of her family, friends, communities, schools, country, and causes. Bill passed away in 1997.
Carolyn’s passion for cooking and her culinary wizardry were legendary. Her from-scratch preparations made any event deliciously memorable. She loved to travel with friends and family, but particularly enjoyed cooking school destinations, making multiple visits to her favorites, Yetabo (France) and the LaVarenne at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
Throughout her life, Carolyn found tremendous gratification and pride in volunteering or otherwise serving her community. At St. Mark’s Episcopal Parish, she was on the Altar Guild and served as Director of Religious Education. She volunteered in various long- and short-term capacities at Hoover Elementary and was also a Cub Scouts den mother. As a Medford Junior Service League member, she played a big role in creating and publishing a cookbook. Carolyn was a proud and contributing member of Hillcrest Committee (past president), PEO (past president) Rogue Valley chapter of the American Red Cross Board and Executive Board, the University of Oregon Alumni Board, University of Oregon Museum of Art council, the Colony Club (past president), Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center Board, World Wings International, Friends of Alba, and the Twin Towns Olympic Committee.
Carolyn cherished her numerous lifelong friendships and rarely missed a reunion of any kind. She enjoyed annual getaways with college and high school friends. Locally, her Medford social connections meant the world to her. Water aerobics, book club, gourmet group, bridge, investment club, birthday group were longtime favorites. Carolyn was a loyal Oregon Ducks supporter, avid fan, and football season ticket holder for more than three decades. Around 2009, she met Birk—a widower who shared her love of all things Ducks and was a fellow Grant High alum. Their mutual affinity for scotch likely added to their chemistry. They quickly became dear friends and spent the next decade enjoying nightly dinners together and driving up and down the West Coast to Duck games and Carolyn’s family events.
Survivors include her sons, Will, James, and Mike (Amy); sister, Marybeth; brother, George (Jeanne); grandchildren, Walker, Graham, Bennett, and Audrey; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and faithful friend and companion, Richard “Birk” Birkenshaw.
Funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17, at 1:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 85 South Holly Street, Medford, OR 97219. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Carolyn to The Hillcrest Committee, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, University of Oregon Foundation, or the charity of your choice.
September 26, 1946 – March 5, 2022
Ridgefield, Connecticut Resident
Fernanda Fronzi, 75, of Ridgefield, died surrounded by her loving sisters on Saturday, March 5, 2022.
Fernanda was born in Ripe, Province of Ancona, Italy, on September 26, 1946, a daughter of the late Evo and Maria (Faccenda) Fronzi. She resided in Italy with her family and attended local schools until 1954 when the Fronzi family emigrated to the United States first settling with family in Danbury. In 1961, the Fronzi family relocated from Danbury to Ridgefield where they have been residents for the past sixty-one years. Fernanda was a graduate of Ridgefield High School and later Flight Attendant School.
Prior to her retirement, Fernanda was a flight attendant with Pan American World Airways and later with Delta Airlines. She enjoyed her position, always with a smile she assisted passengers and was able to travel and see the world.
She was a member of St. Mary Parish of Ridgefield. Fernanda is survived by two sisters, Giselda and Nara, and by a nephew, two grandnieces, and a grandnephew. She is also survived by many relatives and friends locally and in Italy and will be sorely missed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, March 11, 2022, at 10 AM in St. Mary Church, Ridgefield.
Interment will take place in St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield. There will be no calling hours.
Contributions in Fernanda’s memory may be made to St. Mary Parish, 55 Catoonah St., Ridgefield 06877, or to Regional Hospice of Western CT, 30 Milestone Rd., Danbury 06810.
1943 – February 10, 2022
West Palm Beach, Florida Resident
On Thursday, February 10th, 2022, Lidia Goldner passed away after an extended illness.
Lidia was born in 1943 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She attended international schools in Rio. She was fluent in five languages. In 1966 Lidia joined Pan American Airlines based in New York. For the next 16 years, she flew worldwide with Pan Am as a Purser. In 1979 she and the Pan Am flight crew were held hostage for weeks in Tehran at the InterContinental Hotel by the militia during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Finally, after many terrifying and tense episodes, Pan Am was able to negotiate their release.
Lidia studied Interior Design at Parsons School of Design in New York City. She especially used her design talents when together with her husband, Norbert Goldner, they created Cafe L’Europe in 1980 on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. The restaurant opened to sensational reviews for superb food, ambiance, wine selections, and service. In 1995 they moved to a larger location at Brazilian Avenue and South County Road.
For 40 years Lidia brought style and creativity to all aspects of the Cafe L’Europe. Additionally, she had a special focus on the wine program. Lidia became a renowned wine expert and was honored with a multitude of international wine awards. In particular, she was very proud of the award, Circle Des Amis De La Veuve, from the Champagne House, Veuve Clicquot. Additionally, Lidia received numerous local, national, and international awards for women’s leadership and a vast array of hospitality awards, including the prestigious Nation’s Restaurant News “Fine Dining Hall of Fame Award”, and the ultimate recognition in restaurant awards, “The Ivy Award”.
Her husband Norbert predeceased her in 2018. She is survived by close friends. In honor of her request, no services will be held.
July 17, 1943 – January 15, 2022
Miami, Florida Resident
The family of Magdalena Maria Grocholski mourns the passing of a beloved mother, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend to many. She is survived by her children Barbara, Adam, Anna, Jas, and Gabriel, and her grandchildren Niko, Izabella, Maximillian, Sophia, Gabriela, Lucas, and Mateo. Born on July 17, 1943 in Warsaw, Poland, to Andrzej Findeisen and Irena Findeisen – Bellert ( née Zieleniewska), she was the older sister of the late Andrzej Findeisen.
Magdalena lost her father at a young age, who died fighting in the Warsaw uprising. Shortly afterward, Magdalena’s mother was arrested by the Communists and imprisoned for 8 of her most formative years. Together with her brother, they were cared for in a Catholic orphanage until their mother’s release.
Magdalena supported five children with her job as a flight attendant for Pan American Airlines starting in 1969, then with Delta until 2001. Magdalena was a woman of immense faith, quiet fortitude, and incredible generosity to the many people who were welcomed to her home. She loved connecting with people and ensured that the family bonds would carry on with her frequent phone calls, letters, and travels.
Magdalena gave her heart freely to so many that in the end, it was not strong enough to keep her going. She passed away with her children by her side on January 15, 2022.
The Memorial Mass will be held for Magdalena on Saturday, January 22nd at 9:30 am at the Church of the Epiphany, 8235 SW 57 Ave, Miami, FL 33143. A viewing will take place on Friday, January 21st, from 2-5 pm at Stanfill Funeral Home, 10545 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156. Her ashes will be interred at the Laski Cemetery in the family grave.
Proprietor, Baseler Eck, Frankfurt
Sad news has reached us regarding the passing of Gerhard “Gerd” Hitziger owner and proprietor of Frankfurt’s Baseler Eck Restaurant which is known to Pan Amers as “the Gas Station”. Gerd passed away on Monday, February 28th, at the age of 76.
Gerd was born and raised in Frankfurt and it was there he chose to open his restaurant on the corner (“eck”) of Baseler Strasse in 1972 at the age of 26. Located just a few blocks from the Frankfurt Intercontinental, Pan Am crews soon discovered the Baseler Eck and continued to frequent it nightly.
Gerd’s hospitality was noteworthy, making the Gas Station a warm and welcoming place to which we returned again and again. It was our home away from home. The food was consistently good, the beer plentiful and Gerd treated each of us as though we were family. We certainly considered him to be part of ours.
Always humble, Gerd attributed the restaurant’s success not to his own hard work but to the Pan Am crews who came night after night. Former Pan Amers who visited the restaurant in recent years were amazed to find that Gerd still remembered their favorite dish all these years later!
Each of us likely has our own stories about Gerd and the Gas Station, what with so much fun being had there. It was a special place and Gerd was a special man who made Frankfurt layovers truly enjoyable for us. Thank you Gerd for all the good food and good times. You will be remembered.
July 26, 1947 – January 27, 2022
Fort Lauderdale, Florida Resident
Joan Morris Holzer passed away on January 27, 2022 after complications from a fall.
Joan was born July 26, 1947 in Cambridge, Mass. to Edythe and Frederick Morris. In 1951, her mother moved with Joan and her older sister, Edythe, from New York to Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
She began her career with National Airlines June 28, 1968. After Pan Am acquired National, Joan was promoted to purser and was honored to be among those chosen to work the presidential charters. As a result of Pan Am’s demise, she joined Delta Air Lines in November 1991 and continued to fly until her retirement in October 2015. Known for her exceptional expertise in photography, Joan shared many photographs of wildlife, and captured the faces and festivities at many airline reunions.
Joan was preceded in death by her mother, Edythe, in 1998 and her sister Edythe Morris Macmurdo in 2020. She is survived by her husband Blaine H. Holzer, niece Mary Macmurdo Wilson, and nephew Robert Macmurdo. At this time there are no plans for a funeral or a celebration of life.
June 6, 1939 – February 26, 2022
Reno, Nevada Resident
Christina Ingrid Koehler (née Hagblom) was born in Uppsala, Sweden on June 6, 1939. Affectionately known as Tina or Mormor, Tina’s life read like an old Hollywood movie script. She had quite a spirited youth growing up in Linköping, Sweden with her parents Gunnar and Kerstin and siblings, Gunilla and Jan. In the early 60’s she worked in a hotel reception in Lysekil, Sweden and then as a surveyor in London, UK. She eventually landed in Heidelberg, Germany where she studied German and met interesting people from all over the world. This is where she found her wanderlust and love of adventure, along with an appreciation for good food and good wine. It was also in Heidelberg where she first met her future husband, Joe, a US Army serviceman.
In 1965, Tina was part of an elite group of smart and beautiful women recruited from Sweden to serve as stewardesses for Pan American World Airways. Upon arriving in New York, she reconnected with her old friend Joe Koehler. After living the single life in Manhattan for a few years, they were married in Linköping, Sweden and settled in New Jersey where they raised their two daughters, Louise and Anna.
Tina had an amazing career with Pan American World Airways and then worked for Delta Airlines as a flight attendant, until she retired in 2009. Tina traveled the world and took her family with her. Wherever she was, it was a party. She had a huge joy for life and laughter. Tina was mischievous and always coming up with a prank, a surprise or some crazy scheme to make people laugh. She was a matchmaker and took pride in helping facilitate many wonderful relationships! She left an undeniable and incredible impression on everyone she met, including President Nixon, Arthur Ashe, Ella Fitzgerald, Omar Sharif and Pavarotti among others.
Tina was known to be very spontaneous, hardworking, well-mannered and very cultured. She was kind and extremely generous. Most of all, she was a great wife, a true friend and an amazing mother and grandmother. She loved her family and friends deeply and even as her illness progressed, Tina never lost her toughness and tenacity. She fought the good fight. Tina also never lost her sense of humor and was still joking just hours before her passing.
In her final years she settled in Reno and lived with her daughter Louise, son-in-law Kurtis and her grandchildren, Joe and Charlotte. Together they enjoyed many adventures including trips to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, as well as many lively visits to the casinos. She LOVED her Buffalo slot machines, and she especially loved a jackpot!
Tina passed away peacefully at home, with her daughter Louise at her side on February 26th. She leaves behind two daughters Louise (Kurtis) Koehler-Packer, Anna (Mike) Brewer, four grandchildren (Joe, Charlotte, Derek and Mia), sister Gunilla Karlfeldt of Danderyd, Sweden, cousins, nieces and nephews and countless friends and acquaintances around the globe. She is predeceased by her husband Joseph F Koehler and her brother Jan Hagblom.
A private service will be held in Reno, NV on March 18th followed by a celebration of her life and her spirit. Her ashes will be interred in New York with her husband Joseph and in Sweden at her family plot in Ängelsberg. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcomed in her memory at Seniorsinservicenevada.org
October 7, 1946 – March 11, 2022
Miami, Florida Resident
Brenda Lee was born on October 7, 1946 in Nashville, Tennessee. She was one of three children born to Stephen and Picola Benedict. Brenda completed her elementary school education at Saint Vincent De Paul, and went on to graduate from Pearl High School in 1964. Brenda excelled in her studies and continued her formal education at Fisk University, where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Foreign Languages in 1968. Brenda was also a member of the Fisk Miami Alumni Club for 25 years and served as President for 10 years.
The Lord would use Brenda’s interest in languages to prepare her to become a flight attendant for Pan Am Airways. Brenda enjoyed her career as a flight attendant. She loved visiting new countries and made it a point to make friends wherever she went. Brenda was employed by Pam Am for twenty years and retired in 1986. It was on one of her trips to Brazil that she met Perry Lee, the man she would fall in love with. They were wed on February 2, 1980.
Brenda was passionate about serving others. She often spoke fondly of her experiences working with young children as a substitute teacher. Brenda also served as a teacher for the Miami Jewish Home in Miami Beach for four years. One of her other interests was real estate. Brenda earned a license as a real estate broker in Dade County. She later became an appraiser for the state of Florida.
Brenda was a sweet spirit who loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She became a Believer and was baptized in Nashville on December 26, 1976. Brenda’s greatest delight was studying the Bible and reading Our Daily Bread. She constantly witnessed to everyone she met about Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind. Brenda became a leader in Bible Study Fellowship in 1975 where she served as a Group Leader, Class Administrator and Treasurer for 35 years.
After two-and-one-half years of illness, Brenda’s savior called her home on Thursday, March 17, 2022. Brenda leaves to cherish her memory, husband Perry Lee, Frank S. and Carole of DeSoto; Ronald Benedict, Sr. Nashville; Aunt Addie M.K. Crawford of Atlanta; nephews: Kenneth, Darren Sr, (LaKeisha), Ronald Jr; nieces & nephews: Karren (Manson), Cheryl (Freddie), Rhea, Tiffany (Byron),LaToya, Crystal, Brando, Darren Jr., Corisha, Coreyon, Cecelia, Jarren, Ashton, Kalia, Kayla, Nasya, Noah, Nyomi, Cameron; cousins Jewel L., Elaine, Delores; Stephen (Dora); and a host of lifelong beloved friends.
September 8, 1941 – March 18, 2022
Birgitta K. Pettersson was born in Grangärde, Dalarna. Dalarna is a beautiful part of Sweden and it was always close to her heart, as was her family in Sweden. Birgitta returned to her roots after her long career of flying.
Birgitta finished her education in Stockholm with a degree as a middle school teacher. Her desire was to explore the world and she worked for a couple of years for a big travel company in Sweden and in Rhodes, Greece. During the 60’s and 70’s Pan Am hired many well-educated and language-proficient women from Scandinavia. Birgitta worked for Pan Am from April 19, 1965 until the airline’s demise at the end of 1991. She continued flying for a few years for an airline based in the Middle East.
Birgitta was devoted to Pan Am and very proud to be a part of the Pan Am family. She was an organized, service-minded, and representative employee, always ready to help others. Her long life with Pan Am gave her unforgettable memories that she was happy to share. For those of us who had the privilege of flying with Birgitta, it is difficult to accept that she is no longer with us. Birgitta will always be part of us and of the Pan Am family.
A service will be held in the church of Västervåla on April 21 at 12 PM, immediately followed by a celebration of her life at Restaurant Engelbrekt in Norberg. Further information is available through Runo´s Funeral Home, phone +46 223 219 11.
July 5, 1944 – February 15, 2022
Camelia Valdes Riggins, age 77, of Wimauma, Florida passed away on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. Camelia was born July 5, 1944.
A private family visitation for Camelia will be held Wednesday, February 23, 2022 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Hillsboro Memorial Funeral Home, 2323 West Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511. A funeral mass will occur Thursday, February 24, 2022 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at St . Stephen Catholic Church, 10118 St Stephen Cir, Riverview, FL 33569. A graveside service will occur Thursday, February 24, 2022 from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM at Hillsboro Memorial Gardens, 2323 West Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Camelia’s memory may be made to Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, https://ssvpusa.org/.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.HillsboroMemorial.com for the Riggins family.
November 22, 1938 – January 17, 2022
World Wings International Advisory Board
Laurence Simon (Larry), a longtime resident of Stamford, CT passed away on January 17, 2022. He was 83.
Born on November 22, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York, he was the son of Dr. Moses Charles Simon and Dorothy Feldman Simon. He attended Bronx Science and Abraham Lincoln High School and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Finance. He pursued his graduate studies at NYU Law School.
Mr. Simon served in the United States Army in the early 1960’s and had a Wall Street career of more than half a century as a stockbroker and financial advisor.
He was a prolific fundraiser and served for many years on the Board of Directors of The Windward School in White Plains, NY. He also served on the Advisory Board of World Wings International, Inc., the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am Flight Attendants.
He was an avid tennis player and remained a fan of the sport through the end of his life. Despite their recent, long losing streaks, Laurence was also a fan of the New York Giants and Knicks. He cheered on Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers as a child and became a fan of the New York Mets after they replaced the Dodgers. Laurence was also a fan of classic movies, classic cars and classical music and what he himself admitted were cheesy jokes.
Laurence is survived by his wife of 53 years, Norma Boogaard Simon, his son Alexander Cornelis Simon, his daughter-in-law Donnece McKinnie Simon and his Grandaughter Sanai Alexander, all of Stamford, CT, as well as his sister Deborah Fallenberg, of Sarasota, FL.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, January 23, 2022 at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home located at 2900 Summer St., Stamford, CT 06905 at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at Long Ridge Union Cemetery located in Stamford, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders.
January 18, 1944 – January 31, 2022
Member at Large
Roxane Thomas, 78 of Hopkinsville, KY died Monday, January 31, 2022 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.
Roxane was born in Philadelphia, PA on January 18, 1944 to the late George Burr Deacon Peterson and Rebecca Jane Speer. Moving with her father’s occupation with Alcoa Aluminum, she lived in Irvington, NY; Bloomfield Hills, MI and finally settled in Pittsburgh, PA where she considered home.
After graduating from the University of Miami, Roxane enjoyed traveling the world as a flight attendant with Pan American Airlines which is where she met her husband, the late William Madison “Bud” Thomas. After leaving the airlines to raise her family, she became a business owner by opening a boutique store, Especially Kentucky. She sold the store and became a private caterer where she shared her love of cooking with many of her friends and family. But her greatest passion was helping the community with her many volunteer roles which gave her great joy.
She was a member of Grace Episcopal Church, Hopkinsville Kiwanis Club, Boys and Girls Club of Hopkinsville-Christian County, Military Affairs committee (MAC), Leadership Hopkinsville-Christian County, St. Luke Free Clinic and was a founding member of Sanctuary, Inc. She was also a former member of First Presbyterian Church in Hopkinsville.
Survivors include her daughter: Nicole Thomas (Mike) Fredrick of Cincinnati, OH; her son: Matthew D.L. (Mary Beth) Thomas of Clarksville, TN; her companion of over 20 years, Jack Monteverde of Hopkinsville, KY; her sister: Toni (John) Chapin of Charleston, SC; her sister in-law: Ellen (Richard) Zachary of Hopkinsville, KY; her grandchildren: Lillian Fredrick, Alexandra Fredrick, Elizabeth Fredrick, Avery Russell, Madison Thomas, Kate Russell, Hatton Thomas and Sydney Thomas; her niece Sonjia Thomas and several other nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at Grace Episcopal Church in Hopkinsville. Visitation will be Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Hughart, Beard & Giles Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions are suggested to Hopkinsville Kiwanis Club, Sanctuary, Inc., Boys and Girls Club of Hopkinsville-Christian County, or the charity of the donor’s choice.
August 6, 1945 – January 23, 2022
Former Oak Ridge resident, Katherine Josephine Van Fleet Woerheide passed away on January 23, 2022, in Novato, California, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Kathy was born on August 6, 1945, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the “home of the atomic bomb.” The Oak Ridger dubbed her the “Atomic Bomb Baby” as that was the same day that the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
Kathy was the youngest of six children of Walter A. and Katherine E. Van Fleet (Tony, Robert, John, Patty, David, and Kathy). She had a long career with Pan Am as a flight attendant where she met her husband, Andy Woerheide. She was a perfect fit to be a Pan American flight attendant. She was very true to all of her friends, ready to help no matter the task and effort required. She was the person to get things done, always willing to try something new. Her main interest was home decorating. She enjoyed a comfortable home with her pet rabbits and cats. Always working to please them. They were all very close to her heart. Her love of animals led to her being a docent for the San Francisco Zoo.
Kathy and Andy were among the subjects of a short film about how couples deal with Alzheimer’s. The film, The Sum Total of Our Memory: Facing Alzheimer’s Together, is available on multiple websites and libraries. Please take a look; it’s only 57 minutes long and will help you understand what they have been through. Andy says, “She handled the scourge of Alzheimer’s with more grace than one would expect given her infirmity. Kathy was always for what’s next, discovering ways to solve problems and how to enjoy the moment.”
She was preceded in death by three brothers, Walter Anthony Van Fleet, Robert Simon Van Fleet, and John Michael Van Fleet. She is survived by her loving husband, Andy; her sister, Patricia Petruzzi (Olean, NY); and her brother, David Van Fleet (Scottsdale, AZ).
To send condolences: Andy Woerheide, 472 Via Del Plano, Novato, CA 94949.
December 3, 1944 – May 9, 2022
Mary Elizabeth Wickes, a/k/a Betsy/Auntie Mopsy, departed for her last journey on May 09, 2022, in Seattle, WA. Betsy was a World War II baby, born on December 3, 1944, to Navy Commander John F. Wickes, on assignment in the European theatre, and Winifred G. Wickes, in Portsmouth, VA. The family moved post-war to Miami, FL, where John began his career as a pilot with Pan American World Airways. Three of Betsy’s siblings, Jack, Cecelia, and Nancy, were born in Miami. The family relocated to Long Island, NY, and finally to Randolph Township, NJ, where Betsy’s youngest sibling, Stephen, was born. She graduated from Dover High School in 1962.
Betsy headed off on her first solo adventure at the University of Idaho, where she studied home economics and Spanish. There she joined the Campus Union Party and the Debaters Club and developed lifelong friendships. In 1966 she graduated from the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Miami and began a 53 year career as a flight attendant and purser with Pan Am and United Airlines, traveling throughout the world. Work routes in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe were supplemented by vacations all over the world – safari and pyramids in Africa, an environmental tour of the Galápagos Islands, annual theatre trips to London, museums in Paris, Hobbiton in New Zealand, the Panda Breeding Center in China – she visited all seven continents!
Many things brought joy to Betsy. NPR was her constant companion wherever possible, opera anywhere she could find it, and theatre of all genres. Newspapers, in which she always found amusing articles or ads. Searching for, and finding, great bargains. Good food – of all kinds. Siamese jewelry, introduced to Betsy by her father, became a treasure to find and to share. She loved penguins. All penguins.
In between flights Betsy lived in Seattle, the city she loved, and traveled around the US to visit her 11 “niblings”, the children of her brothers and sisters. Auntie Mopsy was a loving, eccentric, challenging presence in their lives… creator of wonderful Halloween costumes and Christmas stockings, cheerleader at soccer and hockey games, glamorous date when needed, and enthusiastic attendee for plays, debates, and concerts. Cooking lessons, museum visits, expeditions of all kinds were de rigeur when Auntie Mopsy visited. And with her came the magic suitcase… always containing something unusual. Australian butter. Chinese pupus. Bizarre finds from the rummage sales she loved. Artwork, framed in Beijing. And even, on one occasion, a melon. She taught all of the niblings the joy of traveling, the value of exploring, the worth of trying new things, and the art of packing. These were put to good use on solo Mopsy-nibling trips to London, Paris, Baltimore, and Washington DC.
Betsy retired from United Airlines with plans for more family visits, increased social activity with the Seattle Chapter of World Wings International, Soup and Cinema at the Nordic Heritage Center, garden parties with friends, “treasure” hunting, and continued travel adventures, all of which were put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic. She gracefully made the adjustment from world traveler and social butterfly to being house-bound by the pandemic, and was able to maintain her quirky sense of humor, but she missed the her active life she was used to and seeing her family, especially her niblings.
Betsy was pre deceased by her parents, John and Winifred. She is survived by her brothers, Jack (Julia) of Indianapolis, IN, and Stephen (Lisa) Wickes of Bloomington, IN; her sisters, Cecelia (David) Knapp of Bloomington, IN, and Nancy Volpe of Albuquerque; and her beloved niblings, Katie Conovitz (Brandon), Michelle Roe (Brad), Elizabeth Knapp, Maggie Wickes (Kevin Callahan), Adrienne Knapp, Andrew Volpe, Anna Brodie (Andy), Teresa Volpe, Matthew Wickes (Samantha), Hilary Wickes (Justin Bailey), and Caroline Wickes. “Griblings” (great nephews/nieces) Sawyer, Coco, Jack and Asher Conovitz, Henry, Augustus, Ulysses, and Wilma Roe, Vivi and Chip Callahan, Winnie Volpe, Oscar Brodie, Josephine Wickes and Walden Bailey also survive, along with her many dear friends.
Burial will be at Valhalla Gardens in Bloomington, IN, next to her parents, and a memorial service will be held at a future date. Memories and messages can be left with https://www.fergusonlee.com/obituaries . In lieu of flowers, donations to KUOW Public Radio, 4518 University Way NE, Seattle WA 98105 (“In memory of Betsy Wickes,” Attn: Melissa Laird) or
https://www.kuow.org/donate , and the Pan Am Historical Foundation ( https://www.panam.org/remembrance-donations ) would please Betsy. Her headstone, at her request, will portray the Seattle Space Needle and the Pan Am 707, her favorite jet. Betsy was never boring and certainly never average… she was truly a unique spirit.
January 26, 2022
San Francisco Chapter
Wife, mother and retired Pan American turned United Airlines Flight Attendant, Margaret Woodman passed away quietly in her sleep at 0600 on Wednesday January 26th. Marty was surrounded by her loving family, including her husband of 50 years, Eric Woodman. Rick retired early to care and watch over her, spending the last 9 years taking every midweek lunch and dinners with her, so Marty always knew she was cherished.
She was born to an Italian-American US Army Air Corps soldier, Nicholas Vitolo and Italian local firebrand Ann Longo Vitolo at the tail end of WWII in Bari, Italy. Not yet 2, Marty moved to the United States with her mother on one of the many “War Bride” ships carrying the next generation of Americans to their new home country. The family eventually settled in Orange County, CA and, much to the consternation of papa Nic, had 3 more daughters, Roseanne, Sheri Jo & Donna.
As a Pan Am stewardess, Marty traveled the World from 1968 until 1986 when she transitioned to United Airlines as part of their acquisition of Pan Am’s Asia-Pacific routes. She would continue with United until her retirement in 2008. Marty immersed herself in an education only world travel provided: from adventurous treks in Nepal, to photo safaris in East Africa, to Israel after the 1973 War, and so much more. One of her fond memories was the time she spent flying Military Air Charters during the Vietnam War, transporting servicemen & orphans back to the US. She had the privilege of meeting heads of state, entertainment stars and more during her flying career. Marty had compassion and tolerance for all humans regardless of race, religion or financial status. Meeting new friends was her forté.
No beautiful, young professional of the time could avoid a stop at the Squaw Valley ski resort in Lake Tahoe, CA. Pay no mind to never having skied before, the proper attitude & attire can pave the way to an entirely different adventure! That last sentence WOULD be on her gravestone – if she was the kind of person to spend eternity lying down. She would meet her life partner Rick on March 31, 1971 at The Chamoix while trying to pretend to have the first clue about skiing. She accomplished this feat momentarily by wearing all of the most fashionable ski clothes (most likely purchased on whirlwind tours of Europe & Asia) to the best Après Ski spots in the resort. She just chose to skip the actual skiing. Absolutely brilliant!! It wasn’t until just after their marriage that her ski-addicted future husband discovered the ruse. Luckily for all of us, he had already fallen head over heels for the beautiful woman of the world – they would be married SIX Months after meeting. They shared 50 years of marriage together, allowing her to learn to ski and for them to share the beauty of snow-clad mountains all over the world.
After 8 years of partnership circling the globe on wild adventures with her beau, the pair decided to settle down in Redwood City, CA and have their first child, Garrett, followed shortly thereafter by their next son, Gavin. Now, as a team of 4, Marty made sure to avail her family of all that the planet had to offer. Global travel and a world of education ensued which eventually led her boys to follow in her footsteps, now with their own careers in aviation.
Son Gavin started his new position as a pilot for United Airlines exactly 1 week before Marty shed her mortal coil. She saw him receive his United Airlines pilot wings and was wearing his new pilot wings on her deathbed. She was prepared for her final flight. All passengers are accounted for, Margaret. You are clear to close the cabin doors for departure. Son Garrett is currently a corporate pilot based out of the SF Bay Area and although he missed her passing, he’s rather certain that she said her final goodbye to him on his flight home from Paris with the most dazzling display of Aurora Borealis seen from the cockpit that anyone on board the aircraft had ever seen.
Marty is survived by her adoring husband Rick, her sons Gavin, and Garrett who is married to Ginae, and 2 equally wild grandchildren Grant & Genevieve. Somehow she managed to give life to 2 full generations of GW monogrammed towels.
We’ll miss you forever! Every time we get a seat as a non-rev passenger, we’ll know it’s because you put in a good word for us with the archangel of Space Available travel. Every mimosa served when we take our seats will be in your honor! “Woodman party of 4, please report to the gate agent for your seat assignments.”
Instead of burial, her ashes will be scattered with bits of chiffon and brightly colored silk from a mountain top, to be carried by the wind to the four corners of the earth.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research charity.
A celebration of Marty’s life is scheduled for 6:30 pm, Saturday, March 5, 2022 at the Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Airport Road, San Carlos California. More information will be posted at https://www.mykeeper.com/profile/MargaretWoodman/. RSVPs on the web site are requested no later than February 25th.
July 15, 1934 – February 8, 2022
Heart of Florida Chapter
Gisela passed away peacefully on February 8th after suffering a stroke. She was 87 years old.
Born in Berlin, Germany on July 15, 1934, to Gerhard & Johanna Zitzow, they lived in Cameroon, West Africa where her father worked as a mechanical engineer. In 1940, shortly after WWII started, they were interned by the British and taken to Jamaica where they lived in camps until the end of the war. They moved to the Dominican Republic in 1947, where Gisela attended Sacred Heart Catholic School and then immigrated to the United States in 1952.
Fluent in 3 languages (German, Spanish & English) Gisela worked for Pan American World Airways from 1957-1960. Based in Miami, she flew all over South America, Central America, Cuba, and the Caribbean. She married in 1960 and had to give up her career and love of flying since stewardesses could not be married in those days.
She lived on Key Biscayne, raising her two children who were the love of her life. She later divorced and remarried. In 1981, she moved to Ormond Beach with her late husband, Charles Peck and worked in retail sales for many years at Belk’s in Bellair Plaza and Bealls at Ormond Towne Center. She was an amazing woman who was so full of life and joy. She will be dearly missed by all who loved her.
Gisela is survived by her brother, Uwe Zitzow, son, Michael Manning (Susan), daughter, Marianne Smith, 6 grandchildren, Jason Smith, Justin Smith (Lisa), Kristin Weiss (Justin), Jedediah Smith (Joy), Kimberly Manning (Joseph), Joshua Smith (Kay); 4 great-grandchildren, Reagan, Amy, Rylee & Kai; 3 nephews, Eric Zitzow (Tina), Kevin Zitzow, Mark Zitzow (Beth); great-nephews Adam & Lucas and a great-niece, Ellen.
Visitation on Wednesday, February 16th, 6:00-8:00 pm at Lohman Funeral Home, Ormond Beach Chapel. Funeral Mass on Thursday, February 17th, 1:00 pm, Prince of Peace Catholic Church followed by entombment at Volusia Memorial Park. Donations can be made to Halifax Hospice. Memories can be shared with the family at lohmanfuneralhomes.com
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