Aug 27, 2014

The Day Doug Died

By Susan Knight

I have a dear friend who is a widow.

Have you ever heard of Stephanie Nielson? She is the woman who went down in a plane crash in 2008 and was burned over 80% of her body (and her husband was burned, too). She has fought her way back—and even had a baby recently. She was one of the original Mommy Bloggers (NieNie Dialogues) before it was even popular. ABC’s “2020” and Glenn Beck, among others, did interviews with her and her husband.

My friend’s husband, Doug Kinneard, died in that crash. You never hear about him. He was Christian Nielson’s flight instructor and flew with them that day.

After the plane crash, on August 16, 2008, Doug lived for a day—just long enough for his family to make it to the hospital room to say good-bye to him. He was forty-eight years old.

I spoke with Roslyn a few months after the crash. I received a long letter in a Christmas card and, shocked and saddened, called her. She told me the whole sad, but spiritual, story of his death.

Every year, on the anniversary of Doug’s death, the Nielson’s send Roslyn a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and Roslyn and her children and grandchildren visit Doug’s grave. Sometimes, like this year, she went to the temple with family and did sealings.

Roslyn is one of the most spiritual people I know. She and her family lived in our ward in Pennsylvania when Doug, Canadian-born but American military, worked for Boeing, until he got transferred. Our kids were the same age. I remember babysitting for them when Roslyn went to the hospital to have her fourth and last child, who is now serving a mission.

I honor Roslyn.
For some reason, I couldn't upload my pictures. I'll try to do this at a later date.



  1. I posted a comment before...what happened to it? oh well. Susan, thank you for this memory. I can't believe so many years have come and gone since this tragedy. Looking back at how many lives have changed because of it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "bigger picture." Thanks for sharing. hugs~

  2. Heartbreaking story all the way around. How sad.


Thank you for visiting. Feel free to comment on our blogger's posts.*

*We do not allow commercial links, however. If that's not clear, we mean "don't spam us with a link to your totally unrelated-to-writing site." We delete those comments.