DOOR COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) — Five weeks ago Sunday 16-year-old Olivia Dahl was in a plane learning how to fly. It was her passion and even at a young age, the Door County girl was considered a natural at the controls.
Olivia and 69-year-old Ralph Keller never made it home that night. Their plane crashed at Peninsula State Park as Keller was flying Olivia back to her family in northern Door County after flying lessons in Green Bay.
“A sudden loss is tough to take – any loss is tough to take,” said Olivia’s uncle, Cory Dahl.
Cory Dahl remembers his niece Olivia as a vibrant, eccentric, well-loved young women.
Olivia’s family and friends held a memorial in her honor Sunday in Ellison Bay where her friends reflected on how the teenager impacted their lives.
“I know it sounds kind of cheesy to say but she was kind of like a brilliant, radiant… like everything about her personality was just so unique and attractive to everyone around her,” said Sam Shabbit, one of Olivia’s friends.
Shabbit and Jacob Kordon spent a lot of time this summer with Olivia. Kordon and Olivia went to prom together. Kordon says those memories will last a lifetime.
“I think it’s important to keep those memories alive because it helps to keep her alive and keeps her around and with us,” Jacob said.
Delmar Dahl’s face lights up when you ask about his granddaughter. He said when Olivia was very young he would spend hours each day helping to take care of her. Delmar says Olivia filled his life with nothing but overwhelming joy.
“Every time she did something or said something cute or clever, I wrote it in a little spiral book and gave it to her on her 13th birthday and it was fun,” Delmar Dahl said. “I also kept a copy for me which helped me when I was re-reading it a week ago Sunday.”
He’ll have that book and those memories forever.
As for Uncle Cory, he likes to remember the good moments with his niece, but admits life is forever changed.
“We just realize this is reality now – life changed in the blink of an eye,” Cory said. “Now we have to go with what the new reality is.”