ISSAQUAH- It was a tearful goodbye for the family of the pilot killed in the KOMO helicopter crash. Loved ones of Gary Pfitzner gathered for a memorial service at St. Joseph Catholic Church Saturday.
"Gary had a lot of impact on a lot of people and a lot of lives and I'm really touched by that," said Jim Pfitzner cousin.
Gary Pfitzner and photojournalist Bill Strothman were killed in a helicopter accident outside the KOMO television station near Seattle Center. Pfitzner’s friends say he loved flying and had a great sense of humor.
"You know you hear after somebody has passed they are nearly elevated to sainthood, they were such a good guy, but in his case I can honestly say I never saw him without a smile," said friend Clark Stahl.
For years, Stahl was the helicopter pilot at KIRO. Although Gary was his competition, they developed a friendship.
“In the media community it is very, very tight. In the aviation community within the media it is even tighter,” said Stahl.
Pfitzner leaves behind a wife, Belen, and her two sons. She said “what I will miss the most is his sense of humor.”
In addition to his job in television, Gary worked at Boeing for 35 years.