Mary Pettys
Mary Pettys

“I woke up out of a sound sleep to the telephone ringing. As I rushed to answer it I thought to myself, “God, please make it not be bad news”. Those early morning phone calls are never good news. As I approached the phone, my heart was racing. It was only two years ago when I was awaken again by the telephone of news of my mother’s unexpected death.

So, I answered the phone hesitantly. It was my brother, Jim, calling me from Buffalo to tell me there was a plane crash. He was crying so hard I could barely understand him. I know what a tight knit community Buffalo is, so I was thinking it was probably a neighbor or friend of his. I said how sorry I was, but still thinking to myself “couldn’t this of waited a few more hours when he knew I would be awake”? He was crying uncontrollably which made it difficult to hear what he was saying. But then, clear as day, I heard the words that will echo in my head forever, “Mary was on the plane”! I screamed and cried and said, “No, Jim…please no! Are you sure? Not our Mary!” I don’t remember much after that.

My sister, Mary was an exceptional person. She was my EVERYTHING. She was caring, smart, and compassionate. She was gentle, honest, and hard working. She was the third oldest of ten children and just recently got engaged to be married for the first time. She was so excited about finally walking down the aisle with our Dad. Her wedding was set for June and her bridal shower for May. Unfortunately, Flight 3407 took that dream away from her. Family was everything to Mary. She had 38 nieces and nephews that meant the world to her. She never had children of her own, but she would have made a wonderful mother.

Mary was the friend that everyone wanted to have and the person that everyone wanted to be. There was never a person she met that she didn’t touch somehow. She had an infectious smile and a laugh that was contagious. My days were always better when Mary was around. My only comfort is knowing she is with my Mom and in the arms of the angels.

As the investigation continues, we are learning that this accident did not have to happen. This accident has caused so much grief and suffering to so many people. There were 50 exceptional individuals that were taken from us unexpectedly. It is up to us to make their memories last a lifetime.

I love and miss you, Mary.”

Sue Pash – Sister of Mary Pettys