Rep. Mary Peltola's husband dies after plane accident

 September 14, 2023

Rep. Mary Peltola's (D-AK) husband died Wednesday morning following a plane accident in Alaska.

The death of Peltola's husband was announced in a press release by the congresswoman's office.

The family's statement

“We are devastated to share that Mary’s husband, Eugene Peltola Jr. – ‘Buzzy’ to all of us who knew and loved him – passed away earlier this morning following a plane accident in Alaska,” Chief of Staff Anton McParland stated in the release, describing him as someone who “was obnoxiously good at everything.”

“He had a delightful sense of humor that lightened the darkest moments. He was definitely the cook in the family. And family was most important to him,” McParland added. “He was completely devoted to his parents, kids, siblings, extended family, and friends – and he simply adored Mary.” 

The crash

"Alaska State Troopers were notified of the crash about 64 miles northeast of the village of St. Mary’s around 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, according to a statement from the state Department of Public Safety. Federal aviation authorities identified the plane as a single-engine Piper PA-18 Super Cub and said it crashed in mountainous terrain," Anchorage Daily News stated.

"Peltola had flown a hunter and equipment to a remote location before the crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board," it noted.

Alaska's governor speaks

"Rose and I are shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of Gene Peltola," Alaska's Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) shared in a statement on social media.

"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," it continued.

Rep. Peltola was in Washington when she was notified of the crash involving her husband. She returned to Alaska on a flight Wednesday morning to be with her family.

Her husband, 57, was a former regional director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Alaska. He also served for more than three decades with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

His loss comes as a shock to his family and others as they mourn his death during this difficult time.

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