Couple Who Died in Crash Remembered for Selflessness
DALLAS (AP) _ A couple who helped run a coalition to serve the homeless were remembered as ″two of our finest, most useful friends″ Friday as funerals began for victims of the crash of Delta Flight 1141.
The Congregation Shearith Israel synagogue spilled over with more than 2,200 mourners, many of whom said they knew Phil and Thelma Vogel personally.
″I look at you and I know you feel as I do. We feel ill physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally,″ said Rabbi Jordan Ofseyer. ″We didn’t need this local holocaust which has taken two of our finest, most useful friends.″
A service at Restland Memorial Funeral Home for veteran flight attendant Rosilyn Marr, 43, drew about 300 people, half of them wearing Delta Air Lines uniforms. A handful of flight attendants from American Airlines and Braniff Airways also attended the funeral.
″Delta is just sort of a family,″ said flight attendant Karen Bounds said. ″I’m coming out of respect. I know she had a wonderful reputation.″
″Ros was such a vivacious and outgoing kind of person and to know her was to like her and to feel like you knew her well,″ the Rev. Paul Ramler said.
Ms. Marr had flown with Delta since 1965 and was involved with finding homes for stray pets, mourners said.
At least three funerals were scheduled for Saturday. In some cases arrangements were pending. All 13 victims of the crash were from Texas.
Ninety-five other people survived when the Boeing 727, en route to Salt Lake City, plunged to the ground and burst into flame seconds after takeoff Wednesday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Vogel, 69, and his wife, 67, were en route to a vacation in Canada. They were remembered as tireless leaders of the Jewish community and the city, who worked quietly and without publicity.
″Even if she wasn’t well, she called to see how you were doing,″ said Geraldine Sobel, who has known the couple since 1962.
In March 1987, the Dallas Jewish Coalition for the Homeless opened a day- care center where homeless families searching for work could leave their children.
Mrs. Vogel was the driving force that organized the coalition, a group of 26 Jewish organizations, while her husband, a certified public accountant, helped with the group’s books.
″It’s going to be hard without Thelma, but we can’t let her down because it was her dream,″ said Doris Budner, who with Mrs. Vogel was co-coordinator of the coalition. ″I suppose we’ll never know, but I think the reason they are not here today is because they were trying to help other people (out of the plane). That would be like her.″
Besides helping with the homeless coalition, Vogel was a member of a number of civic, professional and religious organizations. He was president of the Jewish Federation of Public Accountants and president-elect of the Texas Association of Accountants.
The couple have two grown sons.
″All of us are poorer for the tragic deaths we memorialized this day,″ said Rabbi Gerald Klein. ″But, oh, how rich we are because they lived among us.″