EgyptAir Crash Victims Remembered
SHARON L. CRENSON
Nov. 01, 1999
Virginia Chaplin was a newlywed at 72.
She and her husband, Richard Brokaw, a 76-year-old retired scientist, celebrated their first wedding anniversary last month. A week later, they headed for Egypt, planning a trip down the Nile River.
But it wasn't to be. Their plane, EgyptAir Flight 990, went down in the Atlantic after departing from Kennedy International Airport early Sunday.
The couple met while traveling in Greece. They split their time between Chaplin's house in Georgetown, Maine, and Brokaw's house in Strafford, Vt.
``He was just so lucky to find love again,'' said Brokaw's daughter, Frances Brokaw of Norwich, Vt. ``As horrible as all this is, they didn't leave anything undone. He had a job that he loved, he had a successful career, he lived in the place he wanted to live. We'll miss them a lot.''
They were among the 217 people on board who are now feared dead. The National Transportation Safety Board and the airline did not immediately release a list of the passengers and crew, but relatives and friends began speaking about the loved ones feared lost.
Among those remembered:
Claude Masson and his wife, Jeannine Bourdage, both 58.
Premier Lucien Bouchard expressed his condolences for the family of Masson, deputy publisher of the Montreal daily newspaper La Presse, and his wife, who were going to Egypt for vacation.
Bouchard paid tribute to Masson as an objective journalist with high standards who spent his life keeping citizens informed.
Salah Adam, 32, his wife, Shaline, 42, and their children, Joshua, 4, and Rebecca, 22 months.
The family from Toronto was on its way to Sudan for a wedding and vacation. Adam was a Sudanese runner who came to Canada in 1992 and became a Canadian citizen just three months ago. The couple, who were missionaries, planned to visit refugee camps.
Anna Kogan, a retired schoolteacher, and her husband, Mark, of the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, were heading for a vacation.
Abdel-Rahman Amin and his wife, Alia Abdou, of Cairo.
They had been visiting their son, Dr. Talaat Abdalmoneim of New York. Amin was the owner of a coffee-roasting factory. He and his wife had hoped to make it home in time for the birth of their 11th grandchild.
Abdu Elzanaty and his wife, Fawqia, of Cairo.
The couple were visiting two of their sons in Searingtown, N.Y. He worked in construction contracting with oil companies, and his wife tended their home.
``It's so tragic that we cannot express the sorrow,'' said son Hisham Elzanaty. ``Life will never be the same without my parents.''
Sameh Morkos, 15; Ahmed Aboshamah, 13; Walla Zeid, 19; and Gehed Mohamed, 12, and their chaparone, Gehed's father, Hosam Mohamed Ahmed, all of Luxor.
The four young people were exchange students who had spent two weeks at Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School in Baltimore. Their chaparone was the director of travel and tourism for Alexandria and Luxor.
The four students were part of the Sister Cities International Student Exchange between Baltimore and Luxor.
Judy Bowman, 57, of Huntington Beach; Beverly Grant, 82, of Santa Ana; Sheila Jaffee, 63, of Huntington Beach; and Tobey Seidman, 71, of Irvine.
Friends said the four were members of a card club that had planned a three-week trip to Egypt for nearly a year.
``I'd like to think nobody felt a thing. I hope they didn't know what hit them,'' said David Seidman, Ms. Seidman's son.
Ms. Grant was matriarch of a family that ran a sporting goods store in Costa Mesa. Relatives of Ms. Seidman described her as a traveler who had visited Kenya, the Taj Majal, the Coliseum and Stonehenge.
Ms. Bowman earned a reputation in recent years as a local chef, having been host of neighborhood pancake breakfasts and taco dinners.
Ms. Jaffee, a fund-raiser for Israel's Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was looking forward to the trip so she could spend time in the Holy Land. ``She loved Israel,'' said friend Jim Warsaw.
Kurt Schwenk, 39, of Palo Alto, with friends and relatives.
Schwenk, director of business development at Santa Clara-based Palm Computing, maker of the popular Palm Pilot, was going to Egypt on vacation, said his sister, Heidi, also of Palo Alto. She said he was with his mother, a sister, his girlfriend and her parents, his brother-in-law, and a friend.
Heidi Schwenk said an airline official called and confirmed that the group was on Flight 990.
Schwenk was an avid traveler and he recently visited Ireland, Nepal, and Spain.
``He was an incredible guy, warm, loving and funny,'' his sister said.
Imilda Kolander, 66, of San Ramon.
Kolander loved to travel, and once was taken hostage by Kurdish rebels in Turkey, said her husband, Harry.
Jan Duckworth, 69, of Denver.
Duckworth was making her first trip to Egypt. She was thought to be one of 54 people who boarded the plane as part of a tour booked through Grand Circle Corp. of Boston.
``She had been talking about it since way last winter,'' said Judith Rodrigue, the chief clerk of the Colorado House Representatives, where Ms. Duckworth worked for 22 years.
Tom McCulloch, 72, of rural La Plata County.
McCulloch was a retired surgeon who helped run the family ranch near Durango. His son, Kevin, said it was confirmed that his father was on board.
``He wanted to work on the ranch his whole life,'' Kevin McCulloch said. ``He always wanted to be close to it. Anytime he had a day off from medicine, he was at work on the farm.''
Gene Billings, 70, wife Barbara, 71, and Henrietta Mead, 61, all of Norfolk. The three friends planned to take part in a tour of Egypt.
Billings was a retired Travelers insurance executive and his wife was a teacher who retired from the Botelle Elementary School in Norfolk. Mead, also a retired teacher, was recently widowed.
Martin and Natalie Greenberg of Ridgefield.
Greenberg was a semiretired toy salesman, his wife a retired school secretary. She was recovering from hip replacement surgery, but friends said that didn't slow her down when it came to planning their first trip to Egypt. Both were believed to be in their 70s.
Eugenia Rhodes, 80, of Chicago.
Mrs. Rhodes was traveling with an Elderhostel group to Egypt, as a ``birthday present to herself,'' according to her minister, the Rev. Leonetta Bugleisi of the Beverly Unitarian Church in Chicago.
She described Mrs. Rhodes, a wife and mother of two sons, as a world traveler who had been to China, Indonesia, Russia and Hong Kong, but never Egypt.
``She had a curiosity about people, a great sense of humor,'' the minister said.
Arthur Simermeyer, 72, and wife Marie, 60, of Randallstown.
Simermeyer was a retired deputy commissioner for Social Security. A statement issued by their family said the pair were ``loving and caring people'' who were very involved with their church and trying to help the less fortunate.
Donald and Jeanne ``Bea'' Heck of Chestertown and their neighbors, John Schelpert, a retired physician, and his wife, Joann, 71.
The Schelperts had been married for at least 46 years and traveled frequently. The couple had retired to Chestertown 1993 and their neighbors, the Hecks, arrived a year later.
Norm and Joan Shapiro of Bloomfield Township and Larry and Edith Kowalsky of West Bloomfield.
The Shapiros and the Kowalksys were traveling together on vacation. Both men were retired pharmacists.
Elliot Shepard, a longtime friend of both couples, said they loved to travel.
``That was their thing. They wanted to see the world before it was too late,'' Shepard said.
Edmund Miller Sr. and his wife, Hannah, in their 70s, of West Point, Miss.
The couple were going on vacation to Egypt and Israel and boarded the flight in New York, said their pastor, the Rev. Gary Richardson of First Baptist Church in West Point.
Relatives were housesitting for the couple and learned of the crash early Sunday. ``They are hanging in there, but they are just devastated,'' Richardson said.
Willie Jackson Sr., 61, and his wife, Mitzi Swench, of Scotch Plains, who also had a home in Orlando, Fla.
Jackson made history by becoming the first black firefighter in Rochester, N.Y., in March 1964. He left after a week to take a job with IBM Corp.
Jackson and Swench were headed to Egypt for a two-week vacation, a relative said. Both were computer programers.
``It's a tremendous shock,'' said his son, Gary Jackson of Rochester. ``We're staying together as a family and trying to remain strong.''
Tom and Deannie Stone of Columbus.
The Stones flew from their home in Columbus to New York to take the trip to Egypt, said Stone's brother, Bob.
``They were interested in doing a lot of traveling before they finally retired so this was one of their planned trips,'' he said.
Stone received confirmation from an EgyptAir representative that both were on board. The couple is survived by a daughter.
Dr. Stephen Reinhart, 38, and Rafik Iskander, 40, of Lakewood.
The men shared a house in the Cleveland suburb, according to family and friends. Reinhart's hospital, Kaiser Permanente, confirmed he was on the flight. Eileen Sheil, a spokeswoman for Kaiser, said Reinhart was on a four-week vacation to visit friends.
Iskander worked in the graphics department at Penton Publishing Inc., according to Daniel Ramella, the company's president and chief executive.
Dr. Adel Elkousy, 65, and wife of Chillichothe.
The pair was on the flight, said Troy Gray, spokesman for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Chillicothe, Ohio. Her name wasn't immediately available.
Elkousy, who lived in Chillicothe, had been chief of radiology at the hospital for 22 years.
Mary Lou Sterner, 66, of Olmito, Texas.
Sterner was born and raised in Duluth, Minn., and moved to Olmito, Texas, almost 30 years ago. Her son, Mark Brouilette, said his mother had looked forward to the ``trip of a lifetime.''
Sterner loved to fly and took plane trips regularly, relatives said.
Still, she was nervous about the flight to Egypt.
``I don't know why. She was never afraid to fly in her life,'' said her daughter, Kay Ilinkovich.