- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2001

Three D.C. schoolchildren and their teachers, a Georgetown University professor and her family, a community activist, a local businessman and two prominent lawyers were among those aboard a hijacked American Airlines jet that crashed into the Pentagon.
Friends and family members of those who died on Flight 77 Tuesday morning spent yesterday remembering their loved ones. Some neighbors set up memorials in front of the victims' homes. Others stayed home, trying to grasp the magnitude of what had happened the day before.
Most of those on the doomed flight were from the Los Angeles area, but a small group of the passengers lived and worked in the Washington metropolitan region.
One of the lawyers, Karen A. Kincaid, was going to Los Angeles help a medical company set up a communications system that would help notify patients waiting for organ transplants of possible donations. Mrs. Kincaid, 40, worked for Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Southwest and was a member of the firm's communications practice.
"She was one of the sweetest people you could ever know," Donna Corini, a co-worker, said yesterday. "It's such a sad day because she was such a nice girl. We're all very much in grief."
Mrs. Kincaid and her husband, Peter Batacan, lived in Northwest with several dogs and cats. "Karen loved animals," Ms. Corini said. The couple had recently returned from Italy, where they celebrated their second honeymoon, she said.
Michelle Heidenberger, 57, of Chevy Chase, was one of the four American Airlines attendants on the flight. Her husband, Tom, is a pilot for US Airways. The couple have a son and a daughter. In her spare time, Mrs. Heidenberger delivered groceries to the elderly in the area.
"For every one of us, at some point of our lives when we needed help, she was always the one there for us," said Betsy Heidenberger, her sister-in-law.
Mrs. Heidenberger had worked for American Airlines for at least 25 years. Family members said the Dulles-to-Los Angeles route was new to her and she was trying to switch back to her usual route, Dulles to Miami.
Barbara K. Olson, a Republican activist and wife of U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, wasn't even supposed to be on the Los Angeles flight. Yesterday, family friend and CNN reporter Tim O'Brien said Mrs. Olson was booked on a Monday flight but had stayed in town for a birthday dinner with Mr. Olson the day before his birthday on Tuesday. The couple had been married for almost five years.
Mrs. Olson called her husband on her cell phone twice and described the hijacking. At one point, she asked him what she should tell the pilot to do. Then the call was cut off and the plane hit the Pentagon.
"It's a heartbreak for Ted and for everyone who knew her," Mr. O'Brien said. "She sparkled as a person. They brought out the best in one another."
Leslie A. Whittington and her husband, Charles Falkenberg, both 45, and their two children, Zoe, 8, and Dana, 3, were on their way to Australia so Mrs. Whittington could do research for a book about women, work and family, according to friends and co-workers. The family lived in University Park.
"They were just the nicest people," said a next-door neighbor who didn't want to be identified.
Mrs. Whittington, on sabbatical from Georgetown during the 2001-2002 academic year, was spending part of that time as a visiting fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. Her co-workers and former students registered shock and disbelief that the woman they described as having "a generous spirit" and "vibrant presence" was gone.
Former student Alan Berube said, "There are some people who, even if you don't see them all the time, you know the world functions better because of them. Leslie was one of those people."
Judith Feder, the university dean of policy studies, said, "Her strength, warmth and love of life affected us all. She will always be with us."
D.C. school teachers Hilda Taylor, of Leckie Elementary School in Southwest, and her student, Bernard Brown; Sarah Clark, a teacher at Backus Middle School in Northeast, and her student Asia Cottom; and teacher James Debeuneare, from Ketcham Elementary in Southeast and his student Rodney Dickens were on their way to Santa Barbara, Calif., to attend an educational conference hosted by the National Geographic Society.
Ann Judge, a society employee who lived in Great Falls, was on the plane with them.
School board members said yesterday the teachers and students did not die in vain. "They will forever be the vehicles through which we in the public school system remain committed to teach against hatred and violence," said Peggy Cooper Cafritz, the board president.
Steven Jacoby, 43, of Alexandria, was the chief operating officer of Metrocall Inc., one of the nation's largest paging companies. He was on his way to a telecommunications conference.
Mr. Jacoby, who leaves behind a wife and three children, recently supervised the development of a two-way paging device for critically ill people to use in emergencies.
"He was not your typical COO. He was omnipresent and just an enjoyable person to be around," said Timothy Dietz, a co-worker.
As a tribute to Mr. Jacoby, Metrocall handed out devices to emergency personnel working the disaster scenes . "That would make Jake happy," Mr. Dietz said.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide