Memorial held for KOMO helicopter pilot

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on March 22, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 22 at 6:02 PM

ISSAQUAH- It was a tearful goodbye for the family of the pilot killed in the KOMO helicopter crash. Loved ones of Gary Pfitzner gathered for a memorial service at St. Joseph Catholic Church Saturday.

"Gary had a lot of impact on a lot of people and a lot of lives and I'm really touched by that," said Jim Pfitzner cousin.

Gary Pfitzner and photojournalist Bill Strothman were killed in a helicopter accident outside the KOMO television station near Seattle Center. Pfitzner’s friends say he loved flying and had a great sense of humor.

"You know you hear after somebody has passed they are nearly elevated to sainthood, they were such a good guy, but in his case I can honestly say I never saw him without a smile," said friend Clark Stahl.

For years, Stahl was the helicopter pilot at KIRO. Although Gary was his competition, they developed a friendship.

“In the media community it is very, very tight. In the aviation community within the media it is even tighter,” said Stahl.

Pfitzner leaves behind a wife, Belen, and her two sons.  She said “what I will miss the most is his sense of humor.”

In addition to his job in television, Gary worked at Boeing for 35 years.

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