Longport Community Mourns Massachusetts Plane Crash Victims - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Longport Community Mourns Massachusetts Plane Crash Victims

Posted: Updated:
LONGPORT, N.J. -

A well-known Philadelphia area business man and philanthropist and six others died in Massachusetts plane crash.

“This is just an absolute terrible day for the people of Longport, and not only Longport but the whole South Jersey, Philadelphia area," Longport Mayor Nick Russo said.

A community is mourning the death of Lewis Katz.

The 72-year-old co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and former owner of the New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils, was among seven people killed in a plane crash in Massachusetts.

The Gulfstream IV crashed while taking off on its way to Atlantic City just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

“He was just a down to earth guy and of course he never forgot his roots. He remembered everybody that he grew up with," Kolman Diamond said.

Katz’s neighbor and Longport Commissioner James Leeds’ wife Anne also died in the crash.

She texted Leeds four minutes before takeoff.

“They were ready to go at 9:36 and at 9:40 it was over," Leeds said.

Leeds said the retired preschool teacher went with their neighbor and friend to support an education initiative.

He said they both died doing what they loved, trying to help others.

“They never had a negative thing to say about anyone. Everything was positive," Leeds said.

Katz’s son Drew issued this statement about his father's death, saying in part:

“My father was my best friend. He taught me everything. He never forgot where and how he grew up, and he worked tirelessly to support his community in countless ways that were seen and unseen."

Katz was known as a generous philanthropist in the greater Philadelphia area, providing major donations to several organizations, including his Alma Mater, Temple University.

He gave $100,000 to make a playground in Longport handicap accessible.

It’s just one of the many examples of the kindness and generosity Katz provided to the area.

“He was a giver. Many, many people are takers. Lewis Katz was clearly a giver," Russo said.

This Jewish Community Center in Margate bears his parents names, thanks to yet another example of his charitable works.

“I can’t imagine how many lives he’s touched, and it’s a huge loss for the community that he’s not here, but his footprint is," Margate JCC COO Margaret Mancuso said.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Man Charged In Mayfair Double Murder

    Man Charged In Mayfair Double Murder

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:40 AM EDT2014-08-27 04:40:24 GMT
    Police say 25-year-old James Mears has been charged with two counts murder and two counts of robbery in connection with the double murder on Vista Street that happened Saturday.Police say 25-year-old James Mears has been charged with two counts murder and two counts of robbery in connection with the double murder on Vista Street that happened Saturday.
    Police say 25-year-old James Mears has been charged with two counts murder and two counts of robbery in connection with the double murder on Vista Street that happened Saturday. Police say robbery appears to be the motive. 
    Police say 25-year-old James Mears has been charged with two counts murder and two counts of robbery in connection with the double murder on Vista Street that happened Saturday. Police say robbery appears to be the motive. 
  • Police: Flags From Veterans' Graves Stolen And Burned

    Police: Flags From Veterans' Graves Stolen And Burned

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-08-27 04:31:17 GMT
    Bensalem police say flags and decorations where snatched from veterans' graves and then burned.
    Bensalem police say flags and decorations where snatched from veterans' graves and then burned.
  • Fat Camp Helps Dogs Shed Pounds And Stay Healthy

    Fat Camp Helps Dogs Shed Pounds And Stay Healthy

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:28 AM EDT2014-08-27 04:28:44 GMT
    Any dog owner knows the whine of a dog wanting a treating. However, too many treats and table scraps may have your dog packing on the pounds, and could even threaten their life.
    Any dog owner knows the whine of a dog wanting a treating. However, too many treats and table scraps may have your dog packing on the pounds, and could even threaten their life.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices