Family of Capt. Jennifer Casey says she died supporting mission 'designed for her'
HALIFAX -- The family of Capt. Jennifer Casey said she died while “supporting an important mission that seemed to be designed for her.”
Casey, a public affairs officer for the Canadian Armed Forces, had been flying with the Snowbirds as part of Operation Inspiration -- a cross-country tour aimed at boosting the spirits of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Casey died when the CT-114 Tutor in which she had been flying crashed in a residential neighbourhood in Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday.
“Operation Inspiration is a mission with one focus -- making Canadians happy in a time of uncertainty -- and there was no better person in this world to carry out that mission than Jenn,” said Lt.-Col. Corrine MacLellan, who read a statement on behalf of Casey’s family during a news conference in Halifax Wednesday afternoon.
“Her beautiful smile and positively infectious personality could brighten anyone’s day and she proudly served the mission as she flew across our great nation with a team that she adored -- the Snowbirds.”
Casey and the pilot, Capt. Richard MacDougall, both ejected from their plane on Sunday before it crashed into a home.
MacDougall, a native of Dieppe, N.B., landed on the roof of the home. He sustained serious injuries, but is expected to recover.
Casey’s family is remembering the Halifax native as a proud Nova Scotian who served as an advocate and ambassador for her home province.
“Her journey took her many places, but her heart was always at home in Halifax,” they said in the statement.
Before joining the military, Casey studied journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax and started her career at News 95.7.
Her family said she had a passion for storytelling and developed her skills at the radio station, where she gave “a voice to local causes and community groups that often didn’t have one.”
“Always one for adventure,” Casey joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a public affairs officer in 2014.
Her family said she thrived both personally and professionally in her new role, serving her country. They noted that she loved to travel the world and made new friends wherever she went.
“Using her experience and media connections, Jenn was great at telling the stories of the brave men and women that served Canada at home and abroad,” they said.
“Many say that the military is much like a second family and Jenn welcomed these brothers and sisters with open arms and all of her heart. There are many groups in her military family that are sharing in her loss.”
Casey will be laid to rest in her home province.
“As she makes her way back to Nova Scotia, to her final resting place, we ask those who knew and loved Jenn to cherish the memories that you have of her and continue to bask in the light that she shone on everyone’s life,” said her family.
“She is gone but she will never be forgotten.”