Renate Barreras / Heart of Florida Chapter
Janice Boelke / San Francisco Chapter
Marilyn Boock / Honolulu Chapter
Joan Bradley / Phoenix Chapter
Irené Cargill-Meyer / Los Angeles Chapter
Hazel Carter-Hattem / Marin Chapter
Rose Suarez Caton / Greenbrae, CA Resident
Jeanne Clover / California Resident
Susan Albert Collins / Stamford, CT Resident
Averil Dale / London Chapter
Evelyn David / San Francisco Chapter
Wanda Louise Dunn / Houston Chapter
Oonah McFarlane-Wells / London Chapter
Harry Frahm / Miami Chapter
Margaret “Peggy” Kiefer / Manhattan Chapter
Ruth Loewenstein / Chicago Chapter
Eva Makitalo / Naples, FL Resident
Kathleen McEneny / Chelsea, MA Resident
Julie O’Reilly / Los Angeles Chapter
Irena Phillips / Manhattan Chapter
Helga Roghers / Reno Chapter
Mette-Marit Sakrisvold / Oslo Chapter
June Seilheimer / New Jersey Chapter
Betsy Abel Singer / Boca Raton, FL Resident
Synnove Sprakehaug / Oslo Chapter
Cynthia Kinuko Tsujiuchi / Hawaii Resident
Ailsa Williams / Manhattan Chapter
Heart of Florida Chapter
Renate (Christensen) Barreras, age 80, originally of Sylt, Germany, passed away peacefully at her cabin in Ocala, FL surrounded by her animals and family.
She was a beloved mother to her daughter Victoria, cherished grandmother to Wyatt and Scarlett, and mother-in-law to John Riolo. Renate is survived by her brother Alan and family in England, cousins in Germany, and stepdaughters Gerri and Kathy. She was proceeded in death by her loving husband Gilbert Barreras, her parents Agnes and WWII pilot father lost over Russia, and stepdaughter Christy.
Renate had a remarkable career spanning over 44 years, working for Pan Am Airways until its demise in 1991, and subsequently working for Delta. Prior to moving to the US, she had the opportunity to live and work in England and Australia. Her passion for travel extended beyond her professional life, as she was an avid world traveler and antique dealer. Her elegant and friendly nature endeared her to friends across the globe.
A future gathering on the beach will be held to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Nancy Rehhart Center for Dementia/Hospice of Marion County, World Wings International, or the Humane Society.
She will be fondly remembered for her love of adventure and her warmth. She will be thought of by those close to her when they travel, raise a glass, or anytime they take enjoyment in nature. Her daughter will continue to lure butterflies and all types of birds to her garden area for company near and far that will always be welcomed.
The Phoenix Chapter is saddened to announce the passing of its founder, Joan Bradley.
Joan joined Pan Am in the fifties and flew out of San Francisco, at a time when it took a certain bravura to fly across the ocean. We were always impressed and entertained by her indomitable spirit. Rest in peace, Joan.
February 6, 2023
Los Angeles Chapter
The passing of Irené Meyer on February 6th, 2023 marks the end of a life that was truly a celebration of love, kindness, optimism, and adventure. Born in Glasgow and daughter of the renowned Scottish architect, Arthur Cargill, Irené was a shining star from a young age. In childhood, she developed an interest in drama and theater that blossomed into a lifelong passion for the stage and screen.
In her early 20s, she took flight to a new life when she was hired in Glasgow to be a Pan American World Airways flight attendant. She emigrated to the United States shortly thereafter. In 1959, she was a working crewmember on the first Boeing 707 commercial flight from New York to London. in 1958, she was selected to help host a reception for 10,000 guests at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., to launch the inaugural 707 flight to Paris. Mamie Eisenhower christened the jet with a bottle of champagne. Her flying career took her to the Middle East, Great Britain, Europe and Africa. She later worked as a Skipper at the Clipper Club in the new Pan American Terminal at JFK in New York.
Irené continued to follow her ambitions, working in marketing with Nestlé as one of their first women in management. She also continued acting on stage & made appearances on screen in some TV Shows, commercials, and movies! The boldness, strength, and courage she displayed throughout her life continue to inspire those whose lives she has touched. But her greatest accomplishment was the love she bestowed upon those around her, with a smile that radiated warmth and a joie de vivre that was truly contagious. A devoted mother of two, doting grandmother of five, and dear friend to many, Irené deeply cherished her relationships. She will forever be remembered by her loved ones as a blessing in their lives and a shining example of what it means to live a life well-lived and loved.
July 31, 1938 – August 7, 2023
Hazel R. Carter Hattem passed away early in the morning on August 7th, 2023, one week after celebrating her 85th birthday. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over two years ago.
Mrs. Carter was the widow of the late Benson Hattem, who died in 2008. Mr. Hattem married Hazel Carter, daughter of Henry Hepworth and Edith Bryers on January 2, 1998, in the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center, San Rafael. She was born Hazel Rosemary Hepworth on July 31, 1938, in Aldershot, Hampshire, England.
She was educated at the University of London and the Royal Academy. After dancing throughout Europe with the International Ballet Company, she was hired as a dancer and choreographer by BBC TV. Her highlight was being in the Royal Command Performance in 1960.
Hazel was a flight attendant for Pan American Airways. She was hired in London in February, 1961. She was originally based New York, and then flew out of San Francisco late 1961 until 1964, including trips to Vietnam under fire during the war.
After raising three children, she founded the Marin Academy for Belvedere Tiburon Recreation and later became a successful Realtor for over 30 years, specializing in properties located in Southern Marin. She retired after selling the Moffet Mansion in Belvedere. She also worked on the beautification of Blackie’s pasture and co-founded the flower basket project in downtown Tiburon.
Hazel is survived by three sons, Scott, Adam, and Ross, and Granddaughter Samantha Carter. Stepchildren include Sara and Glenn Hattem.
March 1, 1935 – March 7, 2023
Greenbrae, CA Resident
Rose earned her angel wings on March 7, 2023 at the age of 88. After suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for several years, she passed away peacefully at the Creekwood Care Facility in Novato, CA.
Rose was of Puerto Rican descent and spoke fluent Spanish. She was employed by Pan American World Airways as a stewardess for many years, and later by United Airlines. She was based in San Francisco, CA, and found great enjoyment in traveling all over the world. While working for United, she transferred to Paris, France. She loved life in Paris, bought an apartment there, and kept the residence until her retirement. She was socially active in her adopted city, and took French lessons to gain fluency in the language.
Rose is survived by her beloved daughter Jennifer Caton Kopanicky, two beloved grandsons Daniel and Oliver of California, her beloved sister Rafaela Meyers, and brother-in-law Steve Meyers of Jacksonville, Florida.
Rose lived life to the fullest, and treasured her family and friends. She will be remembered and missed with much love. May she rest in peace in God’s kingdom. Que Dios la bendiga con muchas bendiciones. She was interred at Saint Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx, New York. Photos of Rose’s life can be viewed at the Sisto Funeral Home’s website: https://www.sistofh.com/memorials/rose-caton/5150544/. Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice.
1930 – January, 2023
Former SFO Purser Jeanne Clover passed away in January, 2023.
Jeanne was a force to be reckoned with and a staunch animal lover. She was born in England and traveled the world as a flight attendant for Pan Am. During her Pan Am career, she spent several years as a recruiter, hiring hundreds of new flight attendants and affording them the experience of a lifetime. She was an adventurous soul with a big heart, and her love for the United States was enormous. Jeanne lived a quiet life in Prunedale after retirement, surrounded by her beloved four-legged companions, whom she loved with all her heart. She is remembered as a kind and beautiful person who was loved and admired by so many friends and co-workers. R.I.P.
August 30, 1943 – March 19, 2023
Stamford, CT Resident
It is with great sadness that the family of Susan Albert Collins announces her passing on March 19, 2023.
Susan was born on August 30, 1943 to Marjorie (Julius) and Robert Smith Sr. in Chicago, Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois, and shortly upon graduating, started a career as a social worker.
Eager to see the world, Susan pursued a new career as a flight attendant, first for Pan Am and later Delta. She loved the camaraderie of her cabin crews, and especially enjoyed her trips to London, one of her favorite cities. Susan often traveled with her mom, bringing her on exciting adventures in Europe and the Middle East prior to retiring after 9/11. When not traversing the globe, Susan launched Susan Albert Interiors, an interior decorating firm. She had a keen eye for design and a gift for decorating beautiful spaces.
In 1991, Susan married John “Fred” Collins in Greenwich, CT. They enjoyed nearly 32 wonderful years of gathering with friends and family (on both land and water!) traveling, hiking, and boating on Long Island Sound.
Susan was an avid gardener with an extensive knowledge of plants and how to care for all of them. When she wasn’t tending to her beautiful gardens, she could be found in the kitchen cooking up a storm, especially during the holidays. Throughout the years, Susan spent countless hours at the “dog beach” playing with her beloved Black Labs, Casey and Tess. Sadly, Tess died just days prior to Susan’s passing after a long and pampered life.
Susan had a great many friends – from their Dolphin Cove neighborhood, to the farm in Pawling, NY, and on deck in Key West, FL (and everywhere in between!). She enjoyed giving back to the community, and served for many years on the Dolphin Cove Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive committee which benefitted Homes for the Brave, Kids in Crisis, Laurel House and Inspirica.
Susan is survived by her loving husband Fred, her stepchildren, John “Fred” Collins of Brooklyn, NY and his fiancée Megan Pikaard, Melissa “Missy” Rice and her husband Gregory of New York, NY and Amanda “Mandy” Collins-Baine and her husband Radley of Old Greenwich, CT. She leaves behind 5 stepgrandchildren, who affectionally named her “Susu”– Annabel, Crawford, Emily, Olivia and Ava. She is also survived by her brother Robert Smith Jr. and his wife Melody of Arlington Heights, Illinois, as well as her nephews Jordan Smith and his wife Taleah and Christopher Smith and his wife Kelly and 6 grand nephews and nieces – Conner, Maverick, Bram, Camryn, Elle and Kinsley.
Family and friends are welcome to a Memorial Gathering on Friday, March 24th from 5:00 -8:00 PM and on Saturday, March 25th at 10:00 AM for a Memorial Service at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 31 Arch Street, Greenwich, CT.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Homes for the Brave, an organization that provides housing and services for homeless veterans. https://homesforthebrave.org/support-us/donate-hftb/ 655 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604; (203) 338-0669
We are saddened by the news that legendary Pan Am purser Averil Dale has passed away, at the age of 88, after battling myriad health issues.
Averil began flying in 1961 and was frequently selected to work inaugural flights and other trips of high importance. In addition to being well-liked by fellow crew members, she was known for her ability to organize and manage even the most challenging circumstances. After Pan Am sold its London routes to United, she joined United Airlines and flew with them until her retirement.
She made many many friends around the world, as exemplified by her impressive Christmas card count. In addition to being a long-time active and beloved World Wings member, she was also active in the London chapter of RAFA (Retiree Association of Flight Attendants).
Averil led an enviable life as a London “copper” and International traveler. She enjoyed life, wine, sushi, and friends and was very close to her family.
We should all be so lucky.
Condolences may be sent to Averil’s niece:
Apt 12, The Stadbury, Whittets Ait,
Jessamy Road, Weybridge. KT1 38BT
February 2, 1927 – September 15, 2023
San Francisco Chapter
Evelyn David, born in Chicago, February 2, 1927, to Assyrian-Persian parents, passed away quietly at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco, of natural causes.
Throughout her life, Ms. David demonstrated a love for music, specifically as a pianist. She was a child prodigy under the private tutelage of Harold Reever, a prominent piano teacher at the American Conservatory of Music. During her musical studies at the Conservatory, she was often invited to perform in North and South Shore Chicago homes. One of her special moments occurred at the age of 13 when she flawlessly played Rachmaninoff Prelude in C-minor at an unexpected invitation of the conductor of the Chicago Symphony at Orchestra Hall. During her early years, she was frequently seen at Orchestra Hall off-stage seated next to her Speech and Drama Coach during the concerts. Although it seemed she was destined to have a distinguished career in music, she never made an official debut.
After college, she made a hasty decision to follow another love, and she became a Pan American stewardess. Within a few years, she earned the title of Purser and later In-Flight Director, based for short periods in Miami, New York, Hong Kong, and, for most of her life, in San Francisco. She remained with Pan American until it folded on December 4. 1991. After the airline folded, she donated a collection of videos, photos, and memorabilia to the SFO Aviation Museum at San Francisco International Airport.
While traveling the world, her love for the piano continued. In 1979 she returned to her studies in music at Aspen (where she once was invited to perform as a teenager), and in 1982 at Fontainebleau in France. San Franciscans have often seen her at the San Francisco Symphony, which she long supported; along with the Aspen Music Festivals. After receiving a Degree from North Park Junior College, a Swedish Covenant School in the Chicago area, she continued her studies at Northwestern University, the University of Mexico (Mexico City) and the Latin American Institute (Chicago) where she furthered her mastery of languages before joining Pan American Airlines.
Once a very close friend of the Heinz family, she worked with the late Mrs. Ambrose (Frances) Diehl, an official for the State Department Recreation on the West Coast, and in 1964 she was a hostess at the Republican Convention in San Francisco. She was a 25-year member of the Metropolitan Club in San Francisco, lifetime member of the California Tennis Club, and a long-time member of the Nob Hill Association. She was also an active member in the arts in the San Francisco; and during her frequent travels to the Orient, carefully learned to appreciate and accumulate a collection of fine oriental arts.
She is survived by her brother, author Joe David, of Warrenton, VA.
November 6 1941 – August 24, 2023
Wanda Louise Dunn was born on November 6, 1941 in Calumet, Oklahoma to Armond Eangel Watts and France Louise Bushers. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin. Wanda worked as an international flight attendant at Pan Am Airlines and an RN at Ben Taub Emergency Room in Houston, TX. She was also a proud member of the Assistance League of Houston, the “Queen of Ole Miss Rebel Hearts”, a member of World Wings International, and a private cooking club. Most importantly, she was a proud and loving mother.
Wanda was preceded in death by her parents Armond Eangel Watts and France Louise Bushers, husband Milby “Dow” Dunn, grandparents Roy Lee and Eva Lena Bushers, sister Candy Gifford, and cousins, Gary Tinsely, Glen Tinsley, Melvin Tiptoon, Shelia Elms, and Judy Hampton. She is survived by her sons Milby D. Dunn II and John W. Dunn, family Jim & Raisin Schwerdfeger, Ricky and Beth Schwerdfeger, Chris & Sarah Ivey, Blake & Lauren Gillsepie, Colton & Cory Weingarden, Mathew and Gigi Coburn, John Gifford Sr., John Gifford, and Candy Gifford.
A funeral service will be held at The Church of St. John’s the Divine, Chapel, 2450 River Oaks Blvd, Houston, TX 77019 on September 15, 2023 at 11:00. An interment will follow at Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home and Cemetery, 12800 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077. Both services will be officiated by Reverend Dr. Doug Richnow.
The family requests that memorial donations be sent to John. S Dunn Foundation, 3355 W Alabama St #990, Houston, TX 77098, 713-626-0368
Milby and John deeply appreciate everyone who has gathered here today, especially those who traveled to Houston. Your love, support, and cherished memories emphasize the strength of our community, both near and far. We are proudly grateful to each one of you. Thank you.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.forestparkwestheimer.com for the Dunn family.
June 22, 1925 – March 18, 2023
Waynesville, NC Resident
Norma Newton Esbenshade, 97, was called to her heavenly home on March 18, 2023. Norma was born in Lempster, New Hampshire, on June 22, 1925, to Freeman George Newton and Gladys Bartlett as the youngest of 4 children. Always wanting an adventurous life, she left N.H and became an airline hostess for Pan Am to see the world. Pan Am suited her dreams of travel and satisfied her curiosity about other cultures, religions and lifestyles. Having an outgoing personality, she was perfectly suited for constant travel and certainly “never met a stranger.”
It was while flying she met and married Pan Am pilot John Merle Esbenshade in 1950. Together they traveled and lived on several continents, including Australia and Europe, before returning to the U.S in 1975. After experiencing so much that the world had to offer, they came to Waynesville to retire.
Norma had many passions, especially animals (wild and domestic) and would love to feed them and watch as they gathered around her back door. Her favorite was her cats and would love to talk at length with anyone who shared her love of God’s creatures. Gardening, crossword puzzles, reading, her church and neighborhood friends were of great importance and meaningful to her. Norma’s religion was her anchor and strength at all times and has now brought her eternal peace. She would often remind those around her that she “has a good working relationship with the Lord.”
Norma is preceded in death by her husband, John Merle Esbenshade, parents Freeman and Maude Newton, sister Irene Martha Veaudry, brother Gordon B. Newton, and infant brother Murray. She is survived by nephews Kenneth Newton (Waynesville), and Gordon F. Newton (Louisville, Kentucky).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the local SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) or any animal welfare agency. At Ms. Esbenshade’s request, there will be no funeral ceremony.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.garrettfuneralsandcremations.com for the family.
1928 – April 8, 2023
We are saddened to announce the passing of our dad, Harry Frahm, on April 8, 2023 at the age of 94 after battling cancer and several other complications.
Harry was born in Berlin in 1928 and went through many early hardships during WW2. He met and married his beloved Elisabeth “Lissy” in Hamburg, Germany before finding a perfect fit career with Pan American Airways in ticketing. Always searching to improve quality of life, he moved to the United States in 1956 with his family and became an in-flight purser which allowed him to see the world.
Harry was loved by everyone who met him through the many twists and turns of his life. He was very charismatic, positive, thoughtful, energetic, fun loving, and had a great sense of humor. He was also very interested in learning new things. Amongst many talents and hobbies, Harry was a skilled artist, guitar player, snow and water skier, writer, engineer, world traveler, stamp and coin collector, and avid cruiser. He never stopped being interested to learn new things. In short, Harry lived his long life like a rock star.
Harry leaves behind his only child, Doris, his son-in-law Manuel, and his grandchildren, Manuel and Monica. May he forever rest in peace with his beloved late wife Lizzy, his parents and loved ones who have passed. Per his wishes, there will not be a memorial service. Instead, Harry would have appreciated a donation to a cancer charity of your own choosing.
Harry, you will be missed tremendously.
Rest In Peace Eternally
Condolences can be emailed to email@example.com
March 27, 2023
We have received the sad news that Peggy Kiefer passed away on March 27, 2023 in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Peggy started flying for Pan Am on June 16, 1966. She was originally based in San Francisco before transferring to New York. While based in San Francisco she flew many trips to Saigon. When Pan Am acquired National Airlines, Peggy served on the Flight Attendant Seniority Integration Committee from 1980-81.
Following Pan Am’s demise, she flew with Delta until her retirement. In 2019 she moved from New York to Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Peggy was a true fashionista. She loved shopping for the latest styles in Rome, Milan and Mestre, outside of Venice.
Her friends are planning a memorial service to be held in September. Further information will be posted as it becomes available.
October 04, 1943 – August 06, 2023
Ruth was the beloved daughter of Werner Leo Loewenstein, MD, and Hazel Anderson Loewenstein, PhD; and dear friend of David Evans, MD, the love of her life; all of blessed memory.
Ruth was born and reared in Terre Haute, IN. The day after she graduated from Northwestern University, she interviewed with Pan American Airways, which accepted only college graduates as flight attendants. Ruth’s love of travel was fulfilled by her years working for Pan Am. Living in New York City put Europe at her back door. Coral Gables, FL enabled her to visit all of South America. San Francisco opened up the Far East. One of her most moving experiences from the early 1970s was taking U.S. Army soldiers to Viet Nam, laughing and joking, eager for their first wartime encounter. Returning flights were filled with exhausted seasoned soldiers who just wanted to sleep. Ruth described how eerie quiet replaced boisterous laughter. Thus, the flight attendants did not have much to do.
When a back injury ended her career as a flight attendant, Ruth returned to Chicago and to school, earning a certificate in microbiology. She worked as a clinical microbiologist at several Chicago hospitals, including Northwestern Memorial and Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, where she served as the Laboratory Manager. Never content to stay still, she also became a paralegal.
Family and friends will collectively remember her kindness, love of travel and adventure, independence, sense of humor, love of opera and symphony, and loyalty and love of family. Not to be missed: her warrior spirit that bravely fought the demon cancer, which battle ended with her peaceful passing. Upon retirement, Ruth volunteered for a variety of nonprofits, including World Wings International, the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am Flight Attendants, serving as Recording Secretary; and Pan Am Historical Foundation, as Registrar. As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, her years as a volunteer docent at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie were especially meaningful to her. She was also active on the Board of the Home Owners Association of her condo building.
Ruth’s funeral service is available for viewing at http://WestlawnCemetery.Org Enter “Ruth Loewenstein” in the empty box on the landing page and start the recording.
She is survived by her sister, Miriam (Richard) Zimmerman; her brother, Paul (Jody Kaufman) Loewenstein; cousins Michael (Hana) Loewenstein, Mark (Linda) Loewenstein, and David Loewenstein of blessed memory; and many other relatives. To honor Ruth’s memory, donations may be made to World Wings International, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, or the charity of your choice. May her memory be for a blessing.
June 26, 1951 – July 20, 2023
Chelsea, MA Resident
Katheen passed away on Thursday July 20th after living courageously with pulmonary illness for several years. She was 72 years of age.
Born and raised in Chelsea, Massachusetts, she was the beloved daughter and stepdaughter of the late Stanley Manchur, the late Claire (Barca) Sledzinski and William Sledzinski. Kathleen attended St. Rose Parochial and St. Rose High School.
She trained as a flight attendant and began her career as a flight attendant/stewardess with Pan Am Airlines, and later continued with Delta Airlines. Kathleen just retired from the airlines last year. She lived a lifetime full of traveling with her beloved companion Gordon Burgess. She enjoyed downhill skiing, dancing, and playing board games. Gardening around her home growing fresh vegetables, spending holidays with family, and traveling around world, learning about many cultures and historic facts.
Kathleen is survived by her beloved companion Gordon Burgess. She was the dear sister of Joanne B. Manchur and her companion Alice Beamer of Brockton, the late Lawrence L. Riddell, Sr., survived by his wife Linda Riddell of Rowley. Cherished aunt of Lawrence L. Riddell, Jr., his wife Karen and their son Owen of Wakefield, and Brenda Riddell and her husband Ken Goodrich of Rowley. She is also survived by numerous cousins, extended family members, and friends.
Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend a Memorial Mass honoring Kathleen’s life in St. Anthony of Padua Church, 250 Revere St., Revere on Saturday, August 12, at 11:00 A.M.
In Lieu of Flowers, donations in Kathleen’s name may be made to the American Lung Assoc., 480 Totten Pond Road, Waltham, MA 02451
April 26, 1948 – August 8, 2023
Los Angeles Chapter
Julie O’Reilly, a resident of San Marino, California for 45-years and a beacon of light to all who knew her passed away with her son holding her hand. They were listening to the bossa nova music she so loved, as the sun rose on August 8, 2023 after a valiant fight against Lung Cancer.
Born on April 26, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois to Paul and Margaret Healy O’Reilly, Julie grew up in the villages of River Forest and Elmwood Park while attending St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic school. When her family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona she represented the first graduating class of the newly formed Girard High School. After a year at the University of Arizona in Tucson, she transferred to the Lone Mountain San Francisco College for Women to complete her bachelor’s degree in Drama in 1970. Many of her friends today began their friendships with Julie in these early formative years.
Julie’s first step on her career path took her upwards to the skies; graduating from Pan American World Airways Flight Attendant Academy in 1971 and continuing to fly internationally for sixteen years. Ultimately she completed her time with Pan Am recruiting the next generation of flight attendants, some of whom still fly today. She left Pan Am with a remarkable set of new friends and proudly maintained her membership in World Wings International, the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants. Her actual uniform is regularly on display at the Flight Path Museum and Learning Center at Los Angeles International Airport.
Motherhood and her desire for a consistent schedule brought her back to earth. She spent the next few years working at Northrup as an Instructional Designer developing safety protocols for the B-2 Stealth Bomber project. During this time, she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 (with a then ten-year-old son), and underwent extremely invasive treatment. Ultimately this life-time non-smoker lived the next 34 years cancer free.
Always an antithetical Taurus, Julie realized her remarkable charisma, diplomatic touch and intelligence made her an ideal candidate for the world of medical device sales. She rose to the top ranks of sales representatives within the world’s largest medical device company, Medtronic. Her mastery of the extremely technical world of Pacemakers and Implanted Defibrillators combined with her grace and ability to manage the human-side of often-demanding physicians dazzled customers and co-workers alike (even some competitors!).
As her professional career came to an end with a well-earned voyage into retirement, she began the most fulfilling stage of her life, being called, ‘Ganny.’ She alternated her days in retirement between her swimming group at the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena where she was an active member and volunteer, San Marino League, serving as a volunteer docent at the Huntington Library, Luminaries supporting the Doheny Eye Institute, PEO and finally making the drive every Friday to spend the afternoon and evening with her granddaughter .
Known by all for her grace, style, creativity, and genuine caring soul, she was also a two-time Jokers’ Wild champion on the classic gameshow. Her attention to detail extended from her wardrobe to every room in her home. Fluent in French and Spanish, she brought her joy of celebrating cultures from her trips all around the world to every party she planned as a consummate hostess. A phenomenal cook, she loved entertaining friends and family alike at her home. Her enthusiastic encouragement of all around her made Julie a constant source of support for those she loved.
She is survived by her son Daniel Bejmuk (from her prior marriage to Bohdan Bejmuk) and the light of her life, her granddaughter Chloé Luna Bejmuk (and her mother Claudia). She is also survived by her sister Carole Kemps, brother-in-law Jim Kemps, nieces Deborah Brown, Kristine Mendes, Jennifer Sylvester and their children: Erin, Nathan, Brytan, Jonas, Rihanna and Zoe and Elizabeth Bejmuk.
Her partner of 20 years, Harold (Hal) Harrigian, and she were renowned in the Pasadena area for their zest for dining out (Julie loved the Annandale snack bar where Hal is a long-time member), and traveling the world together. They continually supported their blended family including Hal’s sons Mark and Mike Harrigian, wives Joycelyn and Karen and their respective children: Fiona, Olivia, Cambell, Carter and Ellis.
Hosting two American Field Service foreign exchange students in the 1980s and 1990s brought her Norwegian family into the fold: Stig Jarstein, wife Regina, sons Anton, Viktor and Theodore along with Luis Lueje, wife Monica and their children from the Dominican Republic.
Her celebration of life and dinner will be on August 18, 2023 at 5pm at The Valley Hunt Club, 520 S. Orange Grove Blvd in Pasadena California.
January 20, 2023
We have received the sad news that Manhattan Chapter member Irena Phillips passed away on January 20th, 2023 in New York City.
Irena was born in Hamburg, Germany. She started with Pan Am in 1965, Class #5. She was based at JFK, LHR and then again at JFK. After Pan Am she flew for Delta Airlines until her retirement. Irena was a patron of the arts and a member of several New York museums. She enjoyed attending gallery openings.
She is survived by her husband Joe Phillips. When information becomes available regarding a memorial service, it will be posted.
April 29, 1943 – August 9, 2023
Lake Tahoe/Reno Chapters
Helga Roghers (Gosch, Cooke), a longtime Lake Tahoe resident, retired flight attendant, and Austrian native passed away peacefully August 9th, 2023, at the age of 80.
Helga is survived by her five children, Marita, Christine, Michael, Katherine, and Danny Cooke, three grandchildren (with another on the way), sister Inge Prettenthaler, as well as her long-time partner, Ed Nattrass, and their dog Hunter. She was home, surrounded by her family in her final moments.
Helga was born in Voitsberg, Austria, where she came into her youth. In her mid-twenties, she harnessed her penchant for languages and a desire to see the world. As she ventured out on her own, she lived and worked as a translator in Graz and Lichtenstein, then later as an au-pair in England and France. Shortly thereafter, she immigrated to the United States to begin a new chapter in her amazing life’s journey. Helga’s career aligned her passion for travel and linguistics, attaining a coveted role as an international flight attendant with Pan American Airways in the late sixties, then ultimately with United Airlines until her retirement.
Helga was hired by Pan Am Airlines in London in 1968, trained in Miami then became based in Los Angeles until she transferred to her longtime home base of San Francisco. She set the bar in her profession as a multi-language qualified flight attendant speaking German, English and French, consequently she was well suited for the job and frequent purser. Helga became part of a legacy crew when she worked aboard the first 747 ever to land at Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong: a Pan Am flight from Tokyo on April 11, 1970. The flight carried 189 passengers and 25 crew members, and was greeted by thousands of spectators that had converged on the airport to witness the aircraft’s arrival. The airport had even built a special pier for the 747–the first air bridge in Asia. Being a flight attendant was an honor to Helga, this was reflected in her dedicated work ethic, and sincere respect towards others in her field of service. She worked tirelessly throughout her career which she proudly held for 39 years.
An avid hiker and outdoorswoman, Helga loved Lake Tahoe with her whole heart, it was a place in the world that reminded her most of Austria. She loved to gaze at and swim in the cool blue water, ski the world-class mountains, and to hike in nature with her partner Ed Nattrass, her children, friends, and dogs. She always found joy, reprieve, restorative energy, and solace in the endless beauty that the wilderness surrounding Lake Tahoe had to offer her.
Helga’s kindness and generosity were felt by all those that met or knew the beautiful Austrian with a kind and vivacious spirit. She took part in many philanthropic endeavors and loved giving back to her community. Helga volunteered proudly with the Lake Tahoe Chapter of World Wings International at the yearly Reno Air Races and was an active member and one-time annual chairman of the Lake of the Sky Garden Club Tour. In her free time as a retiree, Helga loved to play cards with her family and friends. She was an ace at bridge, gin rummy, and schnapsen, just to name a few. This competitive spirit is one that led her to be driven and successful in many arenas of her life.
Helga was a dedicated mother who raised five children. Anyone that knew Helga would tell you that her ‘can-do’ attitude was matched only by her grace, poise, intellect, and charm. Her smile and warmth were effervescent, if she ever saw that someone was feeling down or unacknowledged, she would give a warm two-eyed wink and smile, just to let you know that she was there. Helga will be endlessly missed, although her spirit will live on through her children, grandchildren, beloved partner, dog and those who knew her best.
June 5, 2023
New Jersey Chapter
June Seilheimer (nee Simpkins), age 97, passed away peacefully on June 5, 2023. From the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, she dreamed of traveling the world. Moving to Miami with the goal of working for Pan Am, she called the Pan Am office every other day until she finally got the job she dreamed about, Pan American Airlines Stewardess, and later a Purser. From 1950-1955 she flew the South American route from Miami and later from New York. While on vacation in Europe, she met her future husband and two years later they married, at which time stewardesses had to quit flying! When her children were in elementary school, each year she was invited to talk with the students about the culture, food, traditions, and holidays of the different countries she had traveled to. She brought in her collection of dolls to show traditional and holiday clothing.
World Wings was very special to June. The New Jersey Chapter of World Wings was started in 1958. June was a founding member and the first chapter president, serving several times as the president over the years. Early in the NJ Chapter’s history, at a Christmas party at June’s house, the members decided World Wings needed a logo. Steve Halo, a jeweler and husband of chapter member Ruth Halo designed the World Wings logo on a napkin at the dining room table. This is the official World Wings logo and is on the charm that members wear today. In addition to hosting numerous fundraising events, she dedicated time to collecting uniforms from over the years which became part of the NJ Chapter Traveling Collection. In later years, she returned to Pan Am in a marketing role presenting Pan Am’s amazing trips to groups. Several years later she joined Pan Am World and was one of the first tour guides to China. After that ended, she joined Lindblad Travel as tour guide taking groups through many countries in Asia.
June was a devoted and loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald Seilheimer. June is survived by her daughter, Pamela Beard and her husband Jamie and grandchildren, Kayla and Jason; son Ronald Seilheimer; and son Kyle Seilheimer and his spouse Janet.
In lieu of flowers, for those who desire, consider donating in June’s name to World Wings International (https://worldwingsinternational.net/donate/), The Shriners (https://donate.lovetotherescue.org/) , or a non-profit of your choice.
February 22, 2023
Boca Raton, FL Resident
We have received the sad news that Betsy Abel Singer passed away on February 22, 2023 in Boca Raton, Florida.
Betsy began flying for Pan Am in 1971. She was always based at JFK. Prior to joining Pan Am Betsy worked as a dental hygienist. She was able to continue this work part time while at Pan Am. After Pan Am, Betsy moved from Manhattan to Jericho, NY and then to Boca Raton, Florida. She continued working part time as a dental hygienist.
Betsy loved the beach, frequently vacationing on several Caribbean islands. She also loved her cats and playing tennis and Mah-Jongg. She was a member of Mensa.
Her husband Burt Singer predeceased her in 2013.
Betsy’s friends remember her as kind and caring, always helpful to fellow flight attendants.
November 17, 2023
With sadness, we share news of the passing of long-time Manhattan chapter member Ailsa Williams. Ailsa was one of just a few New Zealanders to have flown for Pan Am.
Ailsa began her Pan Am flying career in 1979, continuing with Delta after Pan Am ceased operations. Following her retirement, Ailsa moved home to New Zealand in the midst of the pandemic in Spring, 2021. This required a two week-isolation in Auckland, after which Ailsa continued to Dunedin on the southeast coast of New Zealand’s South Island. There she settled amongst family and friends and was happy to have returned home. It was there she began to experience health issues that lead to her passing.
Ailsa will be remembered as the epitome of a flight attendant, a poised and polished professional who carried herself with elegance and grace, all while having a great sense of humor. She worked hard and lived life to the fullest. She will be missed.
Ailsa’s memorial service was livestreamed from Dunedin on November 24, 2023. A video of the live stream is currently available by clicking on the link below to Ailsa’s obituary page. At the top of the page is a “Live Stream” button.as well as a “Tribute Book” button.
Click here to view Ailsa’s obituary and to connect with the Live Stream and Tribute Book:
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