Wife has enduring memories of Paul Deering as a great pilot, husband and father

Terry Roberts
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The pilot of the small plane that crashed in Labrador last week died doing what he loved, said his wife, Kerrilynn Deering.

Paul Deering loved the freedom of the sky and was a skilled pilot, she added.

"He always knew he wanted to be a pilot. He always wanted to fly," Kerrilynn said Monday from their home in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Paul Deering gives a thumbs-up after landing at the airstrip in William's Harbour, Labrador in October 2007. Deering died last week after his plane crashed during a flight from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Cartwright. - Submitted photo

The pilot of the small plane that crashed in Labrador last week died doing what he loved, said his wife, Kerrilynn Deering.

Paul Deering loved the freedom of the sky and was a skilled pilot, she added.

"He always knew he wanted to be a pilot. He always wanted to fly," Kerrilynn said Monday from their home in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

The 38-year-old father of three - including a baby girl who was born May 21 - was flying his twin-engine Piper aircraft from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Cartwright Wednesday morning when it crashed into the side of a hill.

Also onboard was 45-year-old passenger Frank Bishop Jr. of Cupids.

Both men died in the crash. Searchers found the wreckage Friday night after several days of inclement weather.

Controversy has arisen over the fact that the emergency locator transmitter had been removed from the plane. Kerrilynn said she had no information on that, but said her husband took safety very seriously.

"He was certainly very cautious," she said. "If the weather was down, he wasn't moving. He'd spend a week at a time away if the weather wasn't right. He made the right decisions.

The Deerings are both originally from Bishop's Falls, and have been married for 10 years. Kerrilynn is a nurse.

After several years as a pilot instructor and flying for a commercial airline, Paul started a company - North Wind Aviation - in 2001 because he wanted to be his own boss, Kerrilynn explained.

She said he mused several times about changing careers in order to spend more time with his children, but his passion for flight kept him in the air.

"He was just go, go, go. Whatever he could do to live life to the fullest, he did it."

With great composure, Kerrilynn described her late husband as a wonderful father. He was intelligent, generous and very positive, she added.

"If there was any way to help somebody, he would do it," she said.

He also loved Labrador, and enjoyed boating, fishing and spending time at the cabin.

But his children and family were his greatest passion, she said.

He was a Boy Scouts leader, and had his children involved in music, hockey, skating and swimming.

"He was always there for them," she said.

Kerrilynn takes some solace in the fact that Paul managed to see his newborn daughter before his death.

"He got to spend the weekend with her and his two boys," she said.

Kerrilynn went into labour early and wanted to call on her parents to help out. But Paul insisted they could make do on their own, she said.

"He was like, 'No, let's do this.' I guess it all happened for a reason," she said.

The couple had not yet decided on a name for their newborn. Their two boys are James, 6, and John, 3.

She said James misses his dad, and can't understand why people have to die.

"He's tearful at times. John doesn't really understand what's happened," said Kerrilynn.

Tragedy is not new to the family. Paul's father died in a hunting accident when Paul was a teenager, and Kerrilynn's father died of cancer when she was eight.

And Kerrilynn's sister-in-law was killed in a car accident in Texas less than a year ago. The accident was caused by a drunk driver. She and her husband had four children.

Kerrilynn said she's staying strong for her children.

A funeral service is expected to take place on Saturday in Bishop's Falls.

troberts@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Labrador, Happy Valley, Goose Bay North Wind Texas

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Recent comments

  • Carol Ann
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    So sorry for your loss. Keep strong

    • sheldon peyton
      November 07, 2010 - 00:30

      so sorry to hear of pauls passing. I haven't seen paul since highschool, but good times are well remembered. my condolences to kerrilynn and the children, paul's mother and brother mark, and all other family members. Rest in peace, Paul Sheldon(scorch)

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I have nothing but the a heavy heart for the family I lost my father back some years ago and there isn't a day goes by that I don't think about him.All I can say is be strong and family will get you through god bless.

  • darls
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    my heart breaks for his family...be strong...Fly High Mr. Deering....FLY HIGH

  • Bob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or ever eagle flew
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    This is a famous poem by a Canadian pilot, John McGee. Hope you find some solace in this, and remember your husband, as I'm sure he has touched the face of God! Bless you and your children.

  • Greg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I had the privilege of being a childhood friend of Paul's, and spent many hours at the dinner table in the Deering household being entertained by both Paul and Ed's (his father) great humour. My heart goes out to Kerrilynn and the children, Eileen, Mark, and Jennifer at this time. Rest well my friend!

  • arlene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    My heart goes out to Kerrilynn and her family during this tragic time. Hang on to all the fond memories you have of him, be strong and don't be afraid to cry. Rely on your family and friends for support. God bless.

  • James
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I see a MemoryTorch has been lit for
    Frank Bishop Jr. to leave condolences:
    http://www.memorytorch.net/FrankBishopMemorial.html

    I understand one should be online for
    Paul Deering today. One could watch MemoryTorch home page for the link to Paul's Memorial as well.
    http://www.memorytorch.net/

    Thinking of the families involved at this time. Thoughts are with you.

  • Tanya
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Nothing can describe the shock I felt last Wed when my sister told me that Paul was the pilot of the airplane that went missing in Labrador. Instantly memories started flowing through my head of years gone by. I could remember times at Sunday school, singing company or at their home in Bishop's Falls. When I read the news and found out the plane had been found with tragic results I once again felt that sudden pressure in my chest. The world has lost a fine man and although I haven't seen him since High School I know that he must have been a great father and husband. He learned from one of the best. Kerrilynn, Eileen, Mark, Jennifer and the remainder of Paul's friends and family, my heart goes out to you. May you find comfort in each others arms. Heaven has surely gained a new angel. Paul may you fly high and enjoy your new wings. RIP my friend. Gone but never forgotten.

  • Carol Ann
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    So sorry for your loss. Keep strong

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I have nothing but the a heavy heart for the family I lost my father back some years ago and there isn't a day goes by that I don't think about him.All I can say is be strong and family will get you through god bless.

  • darls
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    my heart breaks for his family...be strong...Fly High Mr. Deering....FLY HIGH

  • Bob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or ever eagle flew
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    This is a famous poem by a Canadian pilot, John McGee. Hope you find some solace in this, and remember your husband, as I'm sure he has touched the face of God! Bless you and your children.

  • Greg
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    I had the privilege of being a childhood friend of Paul's, and spent many hours at the dinner table in the Deering household being entertained by both Paul and Ed's (his father) great humour. My heart goes out to Kerrilynn and the children, Eileen, Mark, and Jennifer at this time. Rest well my friend!

  • arlene
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    My heart goes out to Kerrilynn and her family during this tragic time. Hang on to all the fond memories you have of him, be strong and don't be afraid to cry. Rely on your family and friends for support. God bless.

  • James
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    I see a MemoryTorch has been lit for
    Frank Bishop Jr. to leave condolences:
    http://www.memorytorch.net/FrankBishopMemorial.html

    I understand one should be online for
    Paul Deering today. One could watch MemoryTorch home page for the link to Paul's Memorial as well.
    http://www.memorytorch.net/

    Thinking of the families involved at this time. Thoughts are with you.

  • Tanya
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Nothing can describe the shock I felt last Wed when my sister told me that Paul was the pilot of the airplane that went missing in Labrador. Instantly memories started flowing through my head of years gone by. I could remember times at Sunday school, singing company or at their home in Bishop's Falls. When I read the news and found out the plane had been found with tragic results I once again felt that sudden pressure in my chest. The world has lost a fine man and although I haven't seen him since High School I know that he must have been a great father and husband. He learned from one of the best. Kerrilynn, Eileen, Mark, Jennifer and the remainder of Paul's friends and family, my heart goes out to you. May you find comfort in each others arms. Heaven has surely gained a new angel. Paul may you fly high and enjoy your new wings. RIP my friend. Gone but never forgotten.