- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada couple killed in the crash of a sightseeing plane in Alaska looked forward to pursuing their passions for the outdoors and travel in retirement, friends said.

Raymond Apodaca, 70, and his wife, Margie, 63, of Sparks, Nevada, were among eight passengers killed when the plane went down Thursday. The pilot also was killed.

Margie Apodaca retired from the U.S. Forest Service a year ago, and her husband, Raymond, retired from the U.S. Postal Service before that, friends said. He also had been active in the National Guard.

Longtime neighbor Vicki Humphriss said the couple bought a motor home with plans to travel extensively across the U.S. in retirement. They enjoyed the outdoors, including boating and fishing.

“They were talking about it (Alaska trip) and excited about it,” Humphriss said. “They were excited about retiring and planning to do a lot of sightseeing together. They wanted to see the country.”

Bill Dunkelberger, supervisor of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, said Margie Apodaca looked forward to spending more time with her husband and doing more traveling with him after retiring.

“I was just stunned to learn what happened,” he said. “I tried to look at the bright side: They were on vacation and with each other and having fun at the time … They did a lot of traveling over the last year.”

As a program manager at the Forest Service, Margie Apodaca authorized all kinds of land use. She was an excellent employee with “a wonderful, bubby personality” and “a nice smile for everybody,” Dunkelberger said.

Humphriss said she, her husband and others in the close-knit neighborhood are devastated by the couple’s deaths.

“They were very outgoing and very community-minded individuals,” she said. “They had a lot of friends and good hearts, and they were eager to help people. All in all, they were very good neighbors to have.”

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