August 1, 2023 By The Canadian Press
CALGARY — A man who died in a plane crash along with five others in the Rockies west of Calgary is being remembered as courageous and generous, and was expecting a baby next month.
Kirk Mealey was one of the six people aboard a small private plane that took off from Springbank Airport, west of Calgary, on Friday night and was headed to Salmon Arm, B.C.
“Kirk was a longtime close friend of each of the men who died and of their families,” a family statement said Monday.
RCMP said the plane was reported overdue by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ont., and the centre contacted the police about the missing plane at 1 a.m. on Saturday.
A Winnipeg-based Royal Canadian Air Force Hercules plane was dispatched to look for the aircraft and searchers located it on Mount McGillivray, about 60 kilometres west of Calgary, by honing in on an emergency locator transmitter.
RCMP said everyone on board was on their way to a church function. The bodies were recovered Saturday and the Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
Mealey’s wife, Emily, is expecting their son to be born late in August, the family said in a statement.
“We share the burden of Emily’s grief and of the weight of this loss for their son.”
“This loss has caused each one of his family to rely on their faith in Christ, the faith which was at the centre of Kirk’s life, and to commit him to the love of God in Christ,” the family said.
The family also created a fundraiser Sunday to support Mealey’s wife.
“Kirk was a dedicated husband with an insurmountable love for Emily,” said Taylor Mealey, the organizer of the GoFundMe page.
“He was so excited to become a father, a role he would have fulfilled as honourably as the fathers before him.”
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