PropellerSafety.com

Archive for Memorials

Boni Blalack Los Angeles Times photo

Boni Blalack
Los Angeles Times photo

On 27 February 2015, the world lost an inspiration to us all, Boni B. Blalack, 83, passed away in Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena California.

Boni Buehler as a stewardess

Boni Buehler as a stewardess
Long Beach Press Telegram

We knew of her life as Boni Buehler, a beautiful young stewardess involved in the highest profile recreational boat propeller accident of all time back in 1953. We covered the accident in a post titled, Boni Buehler – 1953 Boat Propeller Accident. The accident involved many ties to the rich and famous, the legal trial involved one of the most colorful lawyers of all time, Melvin M.. Belli. Mr. Belli introduced many methods now regularly used in accident cases, including the use of expert witnesses and of video taping testimony.

Bonni Buehler press conference image 1

Bonni Buehler press conference image 1
USC Digital Library

But enough of that, Mrs. Blalack is known for her tremendous courage in overcoming the hardships of losing and arm at the shoulder and a leg at the hip in an era long before modern prosthetics. She was told by doctors she would never walk again, never drive again, and never have children. She took to a couple wooden crutches and an arm strap, then showed them all to be wrong. She went on to have a great marriage, three children, run a cosmetics business, and inspire almost everyone she met.

The following quote is from her obituary in the Los Angeles Times:

Boni B. Blalack obituary exerpt
Los Angeles Times
8 March 2015

 
Wherever Boni went she was noticed. She would simply smile at those who stared and go happily on her way. Most realized they had witnessed something and someone special, and if they were fortunate they met her and became a friend. Those she did meet were in awe of her and inspired by not only her rare courage but also by her generous and kindhearted nature. She reshaped perceptions about the unlimited potential that exists in everyone and during an age when a double amputee, without prosthetics, might have chosen to shy away from a public life, she ignored conventional thought and taught everyone the value of strength of character, a positive attitude, and the power of compassion and kindness.

We encourage all to learn from Boni Blalack’s example. When we face hard things in life, let us remember how she overcame tremendous challenges with courage and determination. May we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and do the same.

Boni Buehler arriving by airplane

Boni Buehler arriving by airplane
USC Digital Library

We apologize for not eulogizing this great lady earlier. We only learned of her death today (12 July 2016).


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Marion Irving de Cruz with photo of her son Emilio

Marion Irving de Cruz
with photo of her son Emilio
cropped from USCG award ceremony photo

Marion Irving de Cruz lost a long battle with medical issues and passed from this life at her California home on Wednesday afternoon May 18, 2016.

Know by many as a long time advocate for boat propeller safety, founder of SPIN (Stop Propeller Injuries Now, and by the boating industry as “one of those crazy ladies that kept turning up at Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) meetings”.

Marion was perhaps best described recently by one of her longtime friends often in the saddle for SPIN as “the wind beneath our wings.” Marion enlisted and encouraged thousands of people in her efforts calling for boat propeller safety.

She was preceded in death by her son Emilo in 1993. A college engineering junior preparing to take the steps many take at that age in their life. Instead of taking those steps he was instead suddenly struck down and killed by a houseboat propeller. Marion quickly began learning about other houseboat propeller accidents, about propeller guards, and how they could prevent many houseboat propeller accidents.

She teamed with other families of survivors and victims to spread the work and to encourage the industry to use propeller guards.

Known by many as Emilo’s mom, she signed thousands of documents with that signature. Read More→

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Casey Schulman

Casey Schulman

In April 2014, Casey Schulman’s family helped sponsor “Shine on Week” at Jeb Stuart High School in Falls Church, Virginia in honor of their daughter that lost her life to a boat propeller.

The week is to be filled with encouragement and good will for all. Casey’s mother, Margo Schulman reported the week turned out to be just what she wanted it to be. During the week, students also have the opportunity to nominate other students for a $20,000 college scholarship. The intent is to award the scholarship to someone involved in improving the lives of others.

Staff members reported the week was an opportunity to stop and enjoy life and share some of the passion Casey had for life.

Students tried to raise some of the funding for the scholarship via crowd sourcing at StartSomeGood.


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U.S. Coast Guard Senior Petty Officer Terrell Horne III was second in command aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut the night on December 1, 2012 as they encountered suspected smugglers off Santa Cruz Island, California. Very early December 2nd in an encounter in which the alleged smugglers purposefully rammed a 21 foot RIB with four men on board including Terrell, he was ejected, and struck by the boat propeller. Terrell Horne III was declared dead when they reached the dock.

The annual Coast Guard Cadence Contest 2013 is now underway with 5 new marching cadence (marching drill chants). The cadences are being released individually over this week. A cadence titled, “Oh Dear Rachel” has been dedicated to Terrell Horne’s wife. The cadence is written as a message from Terrell to her the last few minutes of his life.

Oh Dear Rachel

Oh Dear Rachel

Read More→

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Terrell Horne Way III Street Sign

Terrell Horne Way III Street Sign

The town of Emerald Isle renamed a street as a memorial tribute to Terrell Horne III, U.S. Coast Guardsman killed by a boat propeller in a drug interdiction chase of California near Santa Cruz. We previously covered the incident in which he was killed at Terrell Horne USCG Killed by Boat Propeller

Terrell was stationed at the USCG station in Emerald Isle, and has been credited with saving at least 38 lives and performing 63 search and rescue operations during his time there. Terrell had served in the Coast Guard for 14 years, and stationed at Emerald Isle for 2 years.

Rachel, his wife, and their 3 young boys attended the ceremony in which the young boys helped unveil the new street sign. Read More→

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We have seen some inspiring video/music tributes to deceased boat propeller accident victims as well as some songs written in their honor, and videos of deceased victims performing. We gathered some of those works to this page.


Charlie Hutton

Charlie Hutton 2011 Whitgift Field Hockey Team

Charlie Hutton on 2011 Whitgift Field Hockey Team

Charlie Hutton, a 14 year old boy in the UK, was fatally struck in July 2012. Charlie is just left of front center in the photo. We covered his accident at Charlie Hutton, Boy Killed by Boat Propeller Near Isle of Wight Needles. One of his older brothers, Sam Hutton, is a budding musician in the U.K. Sam previously recorded a song titled, “Rescued”. He rewrote the lyrics a little and performed it at his Charlie’s memorial service. Sam plans to professionally record the song and use it to raise funds for the RNLI, but until then, he shares this version recorded in his bedroom. Read More→

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Families and friends of propeller accident victims have memorialized their loved ones in many ways. Among the most popular ways is creating a website or FaceBook page in their memory. Another way is creating audio visual presentations of their life, some of which are used at funerals. Funerals themselves are a way we memorialize our loved ones.

Still others have:

  • Purchased or sponsored a park bench in their honor
  • Written or performed songs
  • Funded scholarships in the name of their loved one
  • Created t-shirts
  • Created a slogan to honor their victim
  • Posted safety messages on You-Tube
  • Raised funds for a specific cause such as purchasing prosthetics for amputees, or life saving groups
  • Started charities to help other victims
  • Launched boating safety efforts in hopes of preventing others from going through the loss they endured
  • Invented propeller safety devices as a means to prevent others from having to go through the same thing
  • Sponsored boating safety regulations in the name of their loved one
  • Painted a rock wall in their honor
  • Endured long court battles against parties they see as responsible for the death of their loved one in an attempt to prevent this from happening to others

We added this Memorials category on our blog on 24 April 2013 to cover some of these memorials. We hope it will inspire others to find similar ways to honor their loved ones lost to boat propellers.

We will be gradually adding posts about specific memorials to this category as time allows.

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