Daughter Remembers Parents Killed In '70 Plane Crash

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

It was an emotional ceremony for many in attendance and a powerful remembrance for Elizabeth Wilson Winterbone, who lost both her parents on October 2nd, 1970.

"It's a big thing to hear my mom and dad's name, which I don't hear," said Wilson Winterbone as her eyes filled with tears. "To hear it read out loud is a powerful thing."

Ben Wilson, the head football coach, and his wife, Helen, were among the 29 people who died in the Colorado plane crash. Two others died later after receiving medical attention for their injuries. Nine individuals survived the crash.

The plane was carrying some of the Wichita State football player, administrators, and supporters, who were on their way to a game in Utah.

"The day was just like this. It was beautiful and sunny and clear. And a day like this always takes me right back to that [day], being 10-years-old," said Wilson Winterbone.

University leaders say the Memorial '70 sculpture on campus represents a wing and a broken wing. It's the broken wing, with the names of those who passed away, that people come to place remembrance wreaths and honor those individuals, each year.

"This is a time for people to remember in sorrow but to look ahead and be thankful for what they have. If you look at it in its totality, it's not entirely negative. Memory is always a good thing," said James Rhatigan, who has attended many remembrance ceremonies in front the sculpture.

More than four decades later, survivors say memorials like this help them in the healing process.

"It does give people, no matter where they are in their processing, the opportunity to come back, to feel the support and the love that is here," said Wilson Winterbone.

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