Rosemarie McGrath Testa
Rosemarie McGrath Testa of Sun Lakes wears the wedding ring of her oldest son, Ron Geiger. On Aug. 16, 1987, Geiger, 36, his wife, Valerie, and daughters Lauren and Lisa of Gilbert, were among 154 people on Northwest Flight 255 killed when the plane crashed in Romulus, Mich., seconds after taking off from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport on its way to Phoenix. Ron’s wedding ring was his only belonging that was recovered from the crash site. On Thursday, Geiger’s family held a memorial picnic at Sisk Park in Sun Lakes to honor Ron and his family on the 25th anniversary of the crash. It was the second-worst airplane disaster in U.S. history, with only one survivor.
Loved and missed: The Ron Geiger family of Gilbert: Ron Geiger and his wife Valerie and two daughters, Lauren, 7, (pictured far right, front) and Lisa, 5. On August 16, 1987, the Geigers were among 154 people aboard Northwest Flight 255 who were killed when the plane crashed in Romulus, Mich. seconds after it took off from the Detroit Metropolitan-Wayne County Airport enroute to Phoenix. To mark the 25-year commemoration of the crash, Ron’s mother, Rosemarie Geiger Testa of Sun Lakes, held an all-day memorial in Sisk Park that was attended by Geiger’s family members and friends.
Remembering loved ones lost: Rick Geiger (left), the youngest brother of Ron Geiger and his mother, Rosemarie McGrath Testa, during a memorial picnic for Ron Geiger and his family at Sisk Park in Sun Lakes on Thursday. the Geigers of Gilbert, were among the 154 people killed on Northwest flight 255 when it crashed at 8:46 p.m. in Romulus, Mich. after leaving the Detroit Metropolitan Airport on August 16, 1987 on its way to Phoenix. Rosemarie still wears her son’s wedding ring that was recovered from the crash site. [Mike Sakal/Tribune]
Mike Sakal’s column runs on Fridays. Contact him at (480) 898-6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Mike Sakal, East Valley Tribune, 1620 W. Fountainhead Pkwy., Suite 219, Tempe, AZ 85282