Tragedy struck the Peltola home as Rep. Mary Peltola’s husband Eugene died in a plane crash on Tuesday evening.
A spokesperson for Rep. Peltola (D-AK) announced that Eugene died in a single-engine Piper PA-18 in flight over Alaska. He was the only passenger on the plane.
The plane went down near St Mary’s, a small town approximately 500 miles west of Fairbanks.
The New York Post reported that Peltola was in Washington, D.C., for the new congressional session when the accident occurred. She is reportedly planning on returning to her home in Alaska to be with family during this difficult time.
Mary Peltola’s office released a lighthearted statement about Eugene on Wednesday morning:
“He was one of those people that was obnoxiously good at everything. He had a delightful sense of humor that lightened the darkest moments.”
The statement added: “He was definitely the cook in the family. And family was most important to him. He was completely devoted to his parents, kids, siblings, extended family, and friends — and he simply adored Mary.”
Rep. Peltola defeated former governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the 2022 election.
Eugene (“Buzzy”) served for almost 30 years in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, then as Regional Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Alaska from 2017–2022.
Many prominent officials grieve his passing.
Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy wrote: “Rose and I are shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of Gene Peltola. We will be praying for Mary, their children, and all of the Peltola family. Gene’s dedication to Alaska ran deep, and he will be dearly missed.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) wrote: “I am shocked, saddened, and truly beyond words to express my grief at the loss of Gene Peltola Jr. Anyone who met Buzzy felt his warmth, generosity, and charm. It was easy to see why so many Alaskans called him a friend, and how he was so loved by his family.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.