August 25, 2005: Headlines: COS - Bolivia: COS - Peru: Obituaries: Atlanta Journal Constitution: Before he and his mother died in a plane crash in Peru this week, Steve Lotti returned home to Fayetteville from Bolivia this month after a two-year stint in the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Bolivia: Peace Corps Bolivia : The Peace Corps in Bolivia: August 25, 2005: Headlines: COS - Bolivia: COS - Peru: Obituaries: Atlanta Journal Constitution: Before he and his mother died in a plane crash in Peru this week, Steve Lotti returned home to Fayetteville from Bolivia this month after a two-year stint in the Peace Corps

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Before he and his mother died in a plane crash in Peru this week, Steve Lotti returned home to Fayetteville from Bolivia this month after a two-year stint in the Peace Corps

Before he and his mother died in a plane crash in Peru this week, Steve Lotti returned home to Fayetteville from Bolivia this month after a two-year stint in the Peace Corps

Steve Lotti, a 1998 University of Georgia graduate, had traveled to Europe and Africa as an archaeologist. He boxed, skydived and played rugby. Every year before he left for Bolivia, he took part in Hosea's Feed the Hungry program. "He wanted to be the kind of person who lived his life," said Young's son-in-law Cullen Lowery, his eyes reddened. "He had a blast."

Before he and his mother died in a plane crash in Peru this week, Steve Lotti returned home to Fayetteville from Bolivia this month after a two-year stint in the Peace Corps

Trip of celebration turns to traged
Former teacher, son were headed to Amazon for sightseeing

Caption: Sherra Young, killed in a plane crash in Peru along with son Steve Lotti, holds granddaughter Sabrina Lotti in a 2003 photo.

By CHARLES YOO
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/26/05

Before they died in a plane crash in Peru this week, the mother and her son were on their way to the Amazon River, a dreamy destination she had seen only in photos.

Steve Lotti returned home to Fayetteville from Bolivia this month after a two-year stint in the Peace Corps. The 28-year-old bachelor had quit his archaeologist job in Athens two years ago to join the Peace Corps.

The trip was 58-year-old Sherra Young's first trip abroad, a celebration of her retirement from Clayton County public schools. She also was looking forward to meeting her son's girlfriend, Alice, a fellow Peace Corps volunteer.

"If I hadn't had Steven speak fluent Spanish, I would have never gotten out of the airport," the mother boasted to her children back in Georgia in an e-mail.

The Fayetteville grandmother flew to South America on Aug. 14. She was to return on Saturday, but the TANS Peru Boeing 737-200 crashed Tuesday afternoon in a marsh near the Pucallpa airport.

Thursday was a day of grief for Young's three surviving children and their spouses and her four grandchildren. Her husband, Jeff Young, was devastated. They recalled a warm, humorous matriarch whose priority was family and whose hugs felt healing. Though grieving, the children celebrated her lively spirit.

"I am disappointed Mom didn't get to see the Amazon," said her eldest daughter, Krista Lowery, 33, in her Fayetteville home. "But there's probably a reason why."

The youngest daughter, Melinda Olver, 26, quickly responded, "Somehow, I don't see Mom with snakes."

The son, a 1998 University of Georgia graduate, had traveled to Europe and Africa as an archaeologist. He boxed, skydived and played rugby. Every year before he left for Bolivia, he took part in Hosea's Feed the Hungry program. "He wanted to be the kind of person who lived his life," said Young's son-in-law Cullen Lowery, his eyes reddened. "He had a blast."

The mother retired a year ago. She had been a teacher all her adult life and loved teaching so much that she planned to return to the classroom to work part-time with remedial students, said Edwin S. Kemp Primary School principal Lisa Hightower. She had expected Young to return to work on Monday as a part-timer.

"She had a way with children," Hightower said.

The crash is being investigated, but the pilot had been attempting an emergency landing after wind shear apparently pushed the plane close to the ground.

The airliner was carrying 98 people, including six crew members, on a domestic flight from the Peruvian capital of Lima to the Amazon city of Pucallpa. At least 37 people were killed.

Among the items found in the wreckage of the plane were the mother's journal and the son's camera, protected inside his backpack. Family members look forward to seeing the photos mother and son took.

Staff writer Heather Vogell contributed to this article.





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Story Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bolivia; COS - Peru; Obituaries

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