- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2003

ATLANTA (AP) — An Emory University professor who was killed along with 11 family members in a plane crash in Kenya had planned the trip as a treat for his loved ones after experiencing the thrill of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, a friend said.

Dr. George W. Brumley was chairman of the pediatric department at Emory before he retired. Two years ago, he joined a group of about a dozen Atlantans who went to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro.

“He came back from that experience saying he wanted to take his family,” Dr. William McClatchey, a longtime friend who also went on the climb, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The chartered aircraft carrying three generations of Dr. Brumley’s family to a game reserve plowed into Mount Kenya on Saturday, killing all 12 tourists and the two South African pilots aboard.

In Atlanta, the Rev. P.C. Enniss Jr. at Trinity Presbyterian Church said he had spent much of the day with the victims’ relatives.

“They’re just in total shock, as everyone in the church family is,” Mr. Enniss said of the victims’ relatives. “These people were the heart of Trinity Presbyterian Church as much as anybody else. They were involved in every mission, every governing decision, everything.

“They were just loved by every member of the congregation, and they were just like family,” he said.

Mr. Enniss said the other members of the family killed were Mr. Brumley’s wife, Jean, 67; their son, George III, and daughters Lois and Beth; George’s wife, Julia, and two of their children, George IV and Jordan; Lois’ husband, Richard Morrell, and their son, Alex; Beth’s husband, William Love, and their daughter, Sarah, 12.

Jean Brumley’s brother, Fred Stanback, said George Brumley organized the trip to introduce his grandchildren to Africa. The rule was that the grandchildren had to be at least 10 years old to go.

The extended family had previously taken a trip to Australia, Mr. Stanback said.

“There were so many all at once,” Mr. Stanback told the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. “It’s been hard for the family today.”

Dr. McClatchey told the Journal Constitution that the plane carrying the family was supposed to circle Mount Kenya to give a close view before heading to the Masai Mara reserve in the western part of the country.

“In every community there are families that set a standard in terms of their civic support and their spirit of generosity,” said Neil Williams, chairman of the board of the Woodruff Arts Center, who knew George and Jean Brumley since they were students at Duke University in the mid-1950s.

This family “typifies that for me. They did what they did with the most remarkable selflessness. Not looking for big credit, just wanting things to be better.”

The Brumleys’ surviving children, twin daughters Marie Brumley Foster and Nancy Brumley, live in Atlanta. A prayer service was planned last night at Trinity Presbyterian Church.


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