African Victims Were on Dream Tour
The 10 Americans who died when their charter plane crashed into an ancient volcano in Tanzania had put their lives at home on hold to fulfill dreams of adventure.
Among the victims was Dr. Steven Putterman, 36, who had spent the last nine years working in a community health center in Worcester, Mass., where many of his patients were poor and uninsured.
``It’s a hard day here,″ said Frances Anthes, president and CEO of Family Health Center. ``We’ve already heard from people who are really devastated and upset. They’re really going to miss Steve.″
The Americans were on a trip organized by Abercrombie and Kent, a tour company that runs upscale safaris. Two Tanzanians on board, the pilot and a guide, were also killed.
Putterman was an adventurous spirit who earlier in the year had traveled to Vietnam, Ms. Anthes said. He and his father, William, 64, were nearing the end of a two-week vacation together in Africa when their plane crashed.
``This was probably a really wonderful trip for him,″ she said. ``He loved going to new places.″
Jeffrey Bowersock and his wife, Christine, felt much the same way. Both 33 and from Hoboken, N.J., they were eager to explore new territory in Africa and had planned their two-week safari for a year. He worked for an insurance company and she redesigned office buildings and theaters.
``They were just adventuresome people,″ said Kathleen Bowersock, Jeffrey Bowersock’s mother. ``They scuba-dived, Chris skydived. They were just physically healthy, well-built people that enjoyed all sorts of sports.″
MaryAnne Rizzuti, 64, of Othello, Wash., was a widow who loved to travel _ she had taken three other trips to Africa since 1995, her daughter said.
``She just liked the beauty of the country. She dearly loved the animals,″ SueAnne Rizzuti said. ``And the people were absolutely wonderful, very hospitable. They seemed to love the Americans.″
MaryAnne Rizzuti was traveling with a friend she met on a previous trip, retired optometrist Norman Dolan, 72, of Huntington Beach, Calif.
Africa was ``probably one of the few places he hadn’t been, and so he decided to go when he had the chance,″ said Dolan’s stepson, Ray Ward.
Cameron Ennis, a 37-year-old money manager from Stamford, Conn., spent months planning the trip with his older brother, Robert Ennis, and his mother, Betsy Hoffman, who were also killed in the crash. Robert Ennis and his mother both lived in Vero Beach, Fla.
Patty Barrington, who had worked with Cameron Ennis for nearly three years, said this was his first real vacation in more than a decade. He had spent the time building his business, and the trip was meant to be the reward, she said.
``This was the first time he felt confident enough about leaving his clients to go on a trip,″ Ms. Barrington said.