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La Grande Observer 12/22/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Funeral held for 5 killed in Idaho plane crash

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Funeral held for 5 killed in Idaho plane crash

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The five victims of a small plane crash in Idaho were remembered Saturday for their Mormon faith and dedication at a funeral service in California.

The family members were flying from Baker City, where they had been spending the Thanksgiving holiday, to Montana when the Beechcraft Bonanza vanished Dec. 1 in the mountains of 150 miles northeast of Boise.

Bad weather hindered the search for the wreckage for six weeks, but an intensive hunt by family, friends and a large online community scouring satellite and other photos helped locate the badly damaged aircraft.

The brother of pilot — Silicon Valley executive Dale Smith — was one of the private searchers who found the snow-covered plane.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Smith's widow, Janis, told mourners the efforts to help find her family brought her "an overwhelming feeling of peace. ... This experience has brought out the best in all of us."

Others killed in the crash were Smith's son, Daniel Smith and his wife, Sheree Smith; and daughter Amber Smith with her fiance, Jonathan Norton.

Daniel Smith spent two years in South Africa as part of his Mormon mission, according to his uncle Bryan Moore.

Norton was remembered by his mother, Lynette Norton, as a young man who slept with scriptures and would often ask that his mother pray for him. She said the prayers she made after the plane went down made her feel even more connected "to the love and humanity" that surrounded the search and outpouring of grief.

"It is the gift I will always treasure," she said.

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