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Plane Crash Victims Remembered as Investigation Continues

(L-R) Marsella Dalsey and Anne Leeds
(L-R) Marsella Dalsey and Anne Leeds (Katz Academy/Leeds Family)

Investigators at Hanscom Field outside Boston continue their work on what led a Gulfstream jet burst into flames at the end of a runway on Saturday night that killed all 7 on board.

Investigators look at the scene of a plane fire at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass
Investigators look at the scene of a plane fire at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass (NTSB)

Confirmed as killed in the crash were Lewis Katz, the 72-year-old co-owner of the Philadelphia inquirer and philanthropist whose generosity was well known across south Jersey.

A list of the other victims has not yet been officially released but family members have come forward to identify Anne Leeds, 74,  of Longport, Katz’s neighbor and a retired school teacher, Marcella Dalsey, the director of Katz’s son’s foundation & president of the KATZ Academy Charter School and and Susan K. Asbell, 68, the wife of former Camden County, New Jersey, prosecutor Sam Asbell and, according to the Boston Glove, a member of the the strategic planning committee of the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County.

Luke Schiada, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, said Sunday they were looking for the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder and would review the pilots’ experience and the aircraft’s maintenance history. He said investigators also are looking for surveillance video that may have captured the crash at Hanscom Field.

“We’re at the very beginning of the investigation,” Schiada said.

Katz was returning to New Jersey from a gathering at the home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to support an education initiative by Goodwin’s son. Afterward, Katz, Goodwin’s friend of nearly 20 years, joined the author and others at dinner, where they talked about their shared interests, including journalism, Goodwin said.

“The last thing he said to me upon leaving for the plane was that most of all what we shared was our love and pride for our children,” she said in a statement.

Lewis Katz
Lewis Katz (Katz Charter School)

Friends and family were remembering their loved ones. Anne Leeds, who had texted her husband moments before the crash, was well known in the Longport community. “She loved being with her children and grandchildren, Longport Mayor Nick Russo told the Press of Atlantic City.  said, adding that “I never heard one negative thing about Anne Leeds. She was a very special person in the Longport community.”

Susan Asbell, 68, also called south Jersey home with homes in Cherry Hill and Margate and helped organize the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County’s annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner. “Susan twisted the arms of every major supermarket, every catering facility to produce free food, and organized friends from synagogues and churches to heat and serve it,” remembered friend Ron Dubrow to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “”Lewis had the dollars and the dream but she pushed everything along.

Marcella Daley, 59, had very close ties to the Katz family, not only running a charter  school bearing the family’s name and a foundation but also worked for Interstate Outdoor Billboard, a business started by both Lewis Katz and his son Drew. She founded Gracie’s Ice Cream Parlor in Haddonfield and worked with a number of charities including Food Bank of South Jersey, Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, and Cooper University Hospital, among other causes according to her biography on the Drew A. Katz Foundation website.

 MORE COVERAGE:


The Associated Press contributed to this report

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