On Monday, friends in Belleville, Ont., are remembering Capt. Jennifer Casey, who was killed when the Snowbirds jet she was flying in crashed in Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday.
She was known for her big smile and friends say she will be dearly missed.
“She was wonderful,” says Tim Durkin.
Durkin worked with Capt. Casey at Quinte News in 2013, in the radio division.
He remembers Casey, then a radio host, a very educated and fascinating woman.
“What was interesting about Jennifer was … you almost think of, could there be a more Canadian person?” says Durkin. “She was a Montreal Canadiens fan. She was at the last Tragically Hip show in Kingston.
“And then Public Affairs for the Snowbirds … those are three of the most Canadian things you can think of.”
Casey worked here at Quinte News for about two years and then left about a year and a half ago to represent the CFB Trenton and then the Snowbirds.
Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk remembers Casey fondly when she was a spokesperson for CFB Trenton and a patron at his restaurant.
“I remember serving her and her colleagues one night with a very spicy dish of food … it was her first try,” says Panciuk. “And it was a little too spicy for her. But she always had a beautiful brilliant smile.
“And when she left broadcasting and went to Canadian Forces Base Trenton, as a public affairs officer, and did a great job … and then she was promoted. So we haven’t seen her for the last little while.”
“The stories I will always remember is what kind of friend she was,” says Durkin, “is when we were getting married (to his wife) here in Belleville, and she was in basic training.
“And instead of saying, ‘sorry I can’t make it’ … she went through a really tough week. She drove all the way down, went to the wedding and had to go all the way back.
“But that was the type of person she was. And there’s probably 500 people, a 1,000 people that would call her a friend the same as I would.”
Capt. Jennifer Casey was killed when the Snowbird jet she was flying in crashed in Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday — part of a tour to cheer up Canadians across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“And right up to the end, that is exactly what has been accomplished,” says Durkin, “and for those people working so closely to her … they’re going to have to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and continue to be service women and men, and we know that they will, because that’s what our military does. And that’s why the communities need to rally behind them.”
As of Tuesday, flags over City Hall in Belleville will be lowered to half-mast in honour of Capt. Jennifer Casey.