Candlelight vigil held for Vancouver man who died in plane crash - KPTV - FOX 12

Candlelight vigil held for Vancouver man who died in plane crash

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

Friends and family honored John McKibbin, a former Washington lawmaker and most recently the president of Identity Clark County, during a candlelight vigil Saturday evening.

It was held at Pearson Field Historic Hangar in Vancouver where McKibbin was a pilot.

“I mostly miss him a lot,” John’s wife Nancy said. “I’m strong, I have a wonderful family and I’ll make it through.”

John’s son-in-law, John Fetters said he had a larger than life sense of humor that would fill the room.

Clatsop County Sherriff’s Office said McKibbin was flying Irene Mustain, 63, to the coast to spread the ashes of her late husband in the Pacific Ocean Wednesday.

Friends of McKibbin said he told them the trip would take an hour, but when several hours passed they called for help.

Investigators said they were looking for a 1941 AT-6 North American military trainer plane, which they say crashed into the Columbia River near Astoria.  The U.S Coast Guard and Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office conducted multiple searches but river conditions did not permit dive teams into the river until Friday.

Crews found McKibbin and Mustain Friday afternoon.

Pastor Fitz Neal said John and Nancy have been coming to Columbia Presbyterian Church for decades.

“His faith was very real and deep,” Neal said. “But he wasn’t flashy about it.”

Neal adds that McKibbin was a mentor, servant leader and a great friend.

McKibbin served two terms in the state legislature, three terms as a Clark County commissioner and was former president of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. He had been serving as the head of Identity Clark County, a nonprofit organization in Vancouver that focuses on the economic health of the region.

A Washington lawmaker at the vigil said John will be honored Tuesday.

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