Monday, April 29, 2013

Patricia Moran Chronicles - Conclusion

This amazing adventure continues for Lady Skywriter.  Did you ever dream what you were unleashing, Lona Falenczykowski, when you lent me Pat Moran's book of poetry, "Come Fly With Me"?
And thank you again Karen Schmit and Robert DuBert for publishing my request for information about Pat Moran and her book of poetry in your respective newsletters.  That brought me two copies of Pat's book and a newsletter clipping which sent me on the way!
Thank you Darlene Jevne for sending me your autographed copy.
And thank you Nancy Lowman for sending me your copy and the newspaper clippings which were so helpful.
Kim Langer, Pat Moran's niece and daughter of Mickey Franzmeier, told me Pat had another sister, Billie Brown, living in Onalaska, Wash. Kim told me she would contact Billie to tell her I'd like to talk to her.  Billie called within a week and it was great to meet her.
Billie said she and Pat lived together when they were going to the University of Minnesota.  Pat graduated from the U of M with a degree in education. Pat's interest was in early childhood education. Her dream was to start a nursery school one day.  But first, she joined Northwest Airlines in March, 1959, right after graduation, and was a stewardess out of MSP until her death in the crash of NWA Flight 293 on June 3, 1963. Although Pat and Lady Skywriter were on the NWA stewardess roster together for almost a year, to my knowledge we never flew together.  Dang - again, I wish I had hung on to those darn log books!
Billie confirmed that Pat married Jim Wansettler in March, 1963.  She also confirmed that their brother, Lt. John W. Moran, Jr., who introduced Pat and Jim, was killed in an airplane crash in Waimea Canyon, Kaui Hawaii, in January, 1963.  Billie herself was newly married. Her husband Patrick was drafted in March of that year, and when Pat's plane crashed they were living in Virginia.
On top of losing a brother and sister in separate airplane accidents in 1963, Billie told me their father, John Moran Sr., died in December, 1963 of a heart attack.  He was 53 years old.  Needless to say, their whole family was reeling - it was a very sad year for the Moran family. Billie also reminded me that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November, 1963.
Jim Wansettler eventually remarried and has lived in Florida for many years.  He married Marian Jacobson, Pat's best friend. They had two children.
The way this has been going, folks, more Patricia Moran stories may surface and are certainly welcome!
Thanks to all of you who responded to her persistent quest, Lady Skywriter is satisfied, and hopefully has taken her readers on an interesting journey.
Let's finish with one of Pat's poems:

Clang, Brinnng, Clang; Click, Click
His hands move swiftly through the cockpit.
Pumps ~ 4 on, Gear ~ locked, Controls ~ free,
Each movement, each word is a check, done
As his eyes strain and his mind works rapidly,
Everything is put in order, just so and exactly.
Now, we are ready for take-off.


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