Under a brilliant, cloudless blue sky, a military spokeswoman shared a statement from Capt. Jennifer Casey's family that touched on her equally radiant smile and personality.
Honorary Lt.-Col. Corinne MacLellan read the statement on a jetty at the Canadian Navy Dockyard overlooking Halifax Harbour on Wednesday.
Casey was the public affairs officer for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds 431 Air Demonstration Squadron. Described in the statement as “our beloved daughter,” she died when one of the Snowbirds' Tutor jets crashed shortly after takeoff in Kamloops, B.C.
She was supporting the Snowbirds' Operation Inspiration, which was focused on lifting the spirits of Canadians during this time of pandemic restrictions, social isolation and grim news.
“And there was no better person in this world to carry out that mission than Jenn,” MacLellan read. “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 was a Halifax native and graduated from Dalhousie University before studying journalism at the University of King's College. She formerly worked with local radio station News 95.7 in a variety of roles.
“Jennifer was more than a granddaughter, daughter, sister, and friend to many, she was a storyteller, a role that she embraced with passion and skill,” MacLellan read. “She was also a proud Nova Scotian that served as an advocate and ambassador for her province wherever she went. Her journey took her many places but her heart was always at home in Halifax.
“Working with News 95.7 is where she built her enormous network of friends that have spent the last several days sharing kind words about her professionalism and beautiful character. Now they are telling her story.”
“As she makes her way back to Nova Scotia to her final resting place, we ask those that 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. She is gone but will never be forgotten."
Casey joined the military in 2014 as a public affairs officer, and the family said she thrived, both personally and professionally, making friends around the world as she served her country.
“Using her experience and media connections, Jenn was great at telling the stories of the brave men and women that serve Canada at home and abroad.”
She continued to advance her education, completing a master of interdisciplinary studies from Royal Roads University in B.C. She joined the Snowbirds in 2018.
“Many say that the military is much like a second family and Jenn welcomed these brothers and sisters with open arms and all her heart,” the family statement said.
Now those brothers and sisters in service mourn her loss with the family.
“As she makes her way back to Nova Scotia to her final resting place, we ask those that 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. She is gone but will never be forgotten.
“Captain Jennifer Casey … we salute you.”
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