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Daughter tried to warn parents not to take Indonesian airline

September 27, 1997

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Joyce Coyle begged her parents not to take Garuda Airlines to Indonesia. She knew they had their hearts set on seeing their homeland, but she had been terrified on a Garuda flight in 1992.

Her worst fears were realized Friday when she learned that her father, Frits Gustav Baden, 79, and mother, Djoeminah Baden, 82, were among the 234 passengers killed in the jetliner that went down on the island of Sumatra.

The Badens, of Lake Oswego, were the only Americans on board the A-300B4 Airbus from Jakarta to Medan. Coyle learned of their deaths by phone from relatives in Indonesia who saw the Badens’ pictures on television.

``At least they died together,″ Coyle told The Associated Press from her home in Portland.

Coyle said her parents, both natives of Indonesia, went back every two years. They left Oregon on Sept. 6 to see Mrs. Baden’s sister, whom she had last seen about 30 years ago.

Coyle, 45, had planned to make the trip with them, but her husband talked her out of it because there was no one else to watch their teen-age children.

``It was like a premonition,″ she said. ``He said, `What if something happens over there?‴

Coyle, who said she was ``frightened to death″ when she took a Garuda Airlines flight to Indonesia five years ago, told her parents the airline didn’t feel safe.

``But it’s the biggest airline in Indonesia, and that was the only way they could get from Jakarta to Medan,″ Coyle said. ``We haven’t even heard anything from the airline. That’s what’s so devastating.″

The family left Indonesia in 1957. After living in the Netherlands and later California, they moved to Oregon in 1967. Coyle’s father worked as a lab technician at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and her mother was a housewife.

Coyle’s brother died in a motorcycle accident and her sister and brother-in-law perished in a car crash. Yet she said the Badens were happy in America.

``We’ve gone through a lot together as a family,″ she said. ``But we’ve had a good life here in the U.S., and it’s just heartbreaking for it to end this way.″

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