That's how Donald and Dawn Mossop, their son Shawn and Dawn's sister, Ferris Reid, were recalled by a church leader Saturday.
The extended family, who lived together in Bloomfield, N.J., were bound for Toronto but wanted to save money by flying into Buffalo and then driving a rental car across the border.
"It will be a huge loss," said Brett Jackson, coordinator of the body of elders at Jehovah's Witnesses Congregation in Claremont, N.J., where Donald Mossop was an elder. "Not just because of the things Donald oversaw, but also just the presence of he and his family.
"Warm, vivacious-you knew that when you were around them you were going to enjoy yourself."
Both Mossops and Reid were born in Jamaica before making lives for themselves in New Jersey.
Donald Mossop moved to Claremont as a teenager to live with an uncle after the death of his father. Dawn, a childhood friend, followed five years later to marry him. Several of her family members, including Ferris Reid, followed.
Donald Mossop, 42, worked for Xerox as a technician repairing copying equipment in Manhattan. He loved to tinker around and repair things for family and friends.
Dawn Mossop, 48, a senior administrative assistant at pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough, was described by Jackson as "outgoing."
Reid, 44, worked as a traveling nurse and lived with the Mossops in their three-story house with another sister, Venita Reid. Jackson said she could be quiet in public, but quite the opposite around family and friends.
One of Reid's favorite things was to go shopping with her sisters.
Shawn, 12, a sixth-grader, was a "very respectful, polite child," Jackson said. He was learning to play guitar.
The family enjoyed traveling but rarely went to cold climates. They were going to Canada in the wintertime to meet a love interest of another of Dawn's sisters, Jackson said.
The trip was originally scheduled to occur several weeks ago.
- Mark Sommer