ALMA, Mich. (WOOD) - About 1100 people packed Alma College's Heritage Center Fridayto say their final goodbyes to Don and Irene Pavlik.
The Alma School Superintendent and his wife were among fourpeople who died when the small plane they were in lost power andwent down in Lake Michigan on July 23.
Richard Gay, a long time neighbor of the Pavlik's was amongthose who attended the memorial. "Don and I used to run togetherfor years," he told 24 Hour News 8. "You know, you talked a lotwhen you're out running and stuff." He said the Pavliks "were bothwonderful people. They were, as it was brought out in the service,they were gentle people."
But the impact of this tragedy has gone well beyond the peoplein attendance.
The program for the service described Irene Pavlik's lovingspirit and her belief that people are really good at heart. DonPavlik was described as a kind man with a quick wit who never had aharsh word for anyone.
Even the streets of Alma had messages for those lost in theplane crash. Five ribbons - four for the lives lost and the onechanged forever - were hung on trees and posts, with signs showingthe community's shared grief all over town.
Doug Watson put up one of those signs outside his market. "Thewhole community has just been beside itself," he said. "All thestuff that these people, all of the stuff that they've beeninvolved with, the thousands of people that have just had touchedeverybody's lives is unbelievable."
It was a mercy flight that ended in tragedy. Don Pavlik neededto get to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota for cancertreatment. The Pavliks, Dr. James Hall, pilot Jerry Freed andco-pilot Earl Davidson were on the plane when it lost power andwent down in Lake Michigan two weeks ago.
Freed was the only survivor.
All were from Alma.
"Everybody sticks together," Watson said. "Everybody in a smalltown knows everybody else's business, and it just hits everybodyall at once."
Services are set Sunday for Dr. Hall.
In front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
An observation survey was conducted by the Wayne State University Transportation Research Group.