HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Loretta Fuddy, director of the state Department of Health was killed in a small plane crash Wednesday afternoon off Kalaupapa. Eight others survived.
Condolences from Hawaii's top government officials are pouring in. They are included below:
Gov. Neil Abercrombie
"Our hearts are broken. Loretta was deeply loved and respected. She was selfless, utterly dedicated, and committed to her colleagues in the Department of Health and to the people of Hawaii. Her knowledge was vast; her counsel and advice always given from her heart as much as from her storehouse of experience.
"We send our best thoughts to her family and will do all in our power to reflect her professionalism, her love of Hawaii and the high standard she set for herself and all of us."
Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui
"Loretta was a fiercely committed individual who served tirelessly as a champion for the people of Hawaii. We are deeply saddened by her passing and we will feel a void in our hearts and in this Administration. Loretta will be truly missed, but she will also be remembered for her hard work and aloha for the State of Hawaii. We send our thoughts and prayers to Loretta's ohana and friends during this difficult time."
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz
"Loretta Fuddy was one of the finest, most capable, and most caring public servants I have ever known," said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. "This is a sad day for Hawai'i. My condolences and aloha go to Loretta's ohana and the Hawai'i Department of Health family. Loretta was one of the very best."
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono
"I join many people in Hawaii today in mourning the sudden, tragic passing of Loretta Fuddy. Loretta was a dedicated public servant who spent most of her life working to improve public health on behalf of Hawaii's families. It was a privilege to work with Loretta since my time in the Hawaii State Legislature. She touched so many lives and will be missed. Our thoughts are with Loretta's loved ones, as well as the recovering victims of the plane crash."
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
"I am saddened to hear of the sudden and tragic loss of Hawaii State Health Director Loretta Fuddy. She was a tireless champion for the people of Hawaii, particularly the patients at Kalaupapa. As someone who dedicated her life to protecting and improving the health of others, she had a tremendous impact on our state, an impact that will continue to be felt into the future. Along with many in our state, I mourn her passing while also celebrating the life of a fine member of our community and a singular agent of positive change. My thoughts are with her family, friends and co-workers in this difficult time."
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
"Loretta dedicated her life to improving the well-being and health of Hawai'i's people, and we are grateful for her decades of selfless service to others. She was a fierce advocate for our keiki and kupuna, working for more than 37 years to create a safe and healthy environment for our residents. While serving in the Honolulu City Council, I was grateful to be able to work closely with Loretta to alleviate the threat of dengue fever and radioactive contamination from the Japanese tsunami; more recently, we had been collaborating to help Hawai'i veterans with water catchment systems qualify for VA loans. I am deeply saddened by her untimely passing, and my sincere condolences go out to her loved ones during this difficult time."
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
"I was terribly saddened to learn of the tragic passing of state Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy. She was a really decent kind loving person. She never lost sight of her core mission, which was taking care of people. She succeeded in making Hawaii the healthiest state in the nation. My thoughts are with her family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time."
Tom Matsuda, Hawaii Health Connector Interim Director
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Loretta Fuddy, Director of the Department of Health and a member of the Hawai`i Health Connector's Board of Directors. I cannot even begin to convey what a terrible loss this is for Hawai'i. I worked closely with Director Fuddy on the Affordable Care Act and came to know and respect her as a passionate advocate for public health and a warm, caring human being. It is difficult for me to believe she is gone so suddenly. Our heartfelt condolences to Loretta's family and loved ones."
Hawaii State Dept. of Health
"It is with deep sadness that we mourn the death of our beloved health director Loretta 'Deliana' Fuddy. Deliana was a passenger on a flight returning from Kalaupapa where she was visiting with patients and staff yesterday. Deliana was loved and respected for her passion and dedication to public health and the children and people of Hawaii. She will be greatly missed by all. Her life and work made a tremendous difference in the lives of everyone in the state. She was a pioneer, a champion of public health in Hawaii."
Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu
"I had the pleasure of meeting Loretta in early 2000," said Andi Kubota, Interim CEO/Chief Nurse Executive. " At the time, I participated on the State initiative for folic acid to prevent neural tube defects of babies with the March of Dimes and she was a strong advocate for healthy births. She was a natural advocate for good health. She will be missed."
State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim
"Loretta Fuddy embodied the very spirit and character of public service, dedicating her life to the health and well-being of all of Hawaii's people."
"Appointed to Director of the Department of Health in 2011, Loretta brought with her over thirty-five years of experience in health and human services. Actively involved in improving health care options both locally and nationally, her commitment to public health was undisputed."
"Under her leadership, she fostered a transparent and collaborative environment, engaging with lawmakers, community members, health care providers, and social service organizations."
"On behalf of the Hawaii State Senate and the people of Hawaii, I would like to extend our most heartfelt sympathies to her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by all."
State. Sen. Kalani English
"On behalf of the people of Hawaii, I would like to extend my most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy, who tragically passed away in a plane crash late Wednesday afternoon. Loretta was a true public servant and friend of the people."
"As the Director of Health, Loretta demonstrated an unwavering support for Hawaii and the people she served. She will be dearly missed."
Office of Hawaiian Affairs - Chief Executive Officer Kamana'opono Crabbe
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of Health Director Loretta Fuddy. She was a progressive leader who was a strong advocate for improved services for children and people with disabilities. She was a champion for equity and Native Hawaiians who suffer many health disparities. Her legacy will be long and the foundation she leaves will help the people of Hawai'i for many years to come."
"The Office of Hawaiian Affairs extends its deepest sympathy to her 'ohana and the Department of Health."
Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald
"The passing of Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy is a tragic loss. She was a tremendously dedicated individual who worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Hawaii. My deepest condolences go out to her family and the Department of Health ohana."
Senior Family Court Judge Mark Browning
"On behalf of family court and all our judges and staff, we are deeply saddened by Director Fuddy's passing. She was a person of compassion, caring and love- who dedicated her life to improving the lives of children and families. She was an inspiration to many, including myself, and we will try our best to work towards continuing her legacy."
Related link: Fuddy remembered as a "quiet trailblazer"