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Mrs. Luella Ethel Guernsey Caffey
© Cheyenne Star
Submitted by: Wanda Purcell


Disaster Ends Wedding Trip To Missouri For Guernsey Sisters


Burial Service for Two At Strong City Thur.

One at Mangum

Three former Strong City residents were killed in a plane crash near St. Louis, Missouri last Sunday morning. They were the Guernsey sisters, Louella, Lyda and Pauline- Mrs. Lee Caffey of Mangum, Mrs. Oren Anderson of Enid and Miss Pauline Guernsey of Strong City who taught last year at Butler, Oklahoma.

Burial services for Mrs. Luella Ethel Caffey were in Mangum Wednesday. Burial services for Mrs. Anderson and Miss Guernsey will be in Strong City Thursday, burial in the Strong City cemetery, Strong City, Roger Mills County, Oklahoma. Two brothers, Mike Guernsey of Strong City and C. H. Guernsey of Oklahoma City, survive, also one sister, Mrs. Elmo Innes of Fort Leonard, Missouri.

The following is an account of the accident as published in the Daily Oklahoman:

An Oklahoma City pilot and three Oklahoma women, sisters of C.H. Guernsey, 201 NW 32, were killed Sunday when their private plane crashed and burned, in a thunderstorm near St. Louis.

They were flying home from St. Louis where the sisters had gone to attend the wedding of a niece.

The victims:

William G. Sturm, 26, former air force lieutenant of 4310 N. Frances.

Mrs. Lee Caffey, 56, Mangum.

Mrs. O. A. Anderson, 52, Enid.

Pauline Guernsey, 48, of Strong City, teacher in the Butler schools.

Sturm is survived by his wife and a 10 month-old son, Richard. Mrs Caffey was the mother of a daughter, Mrs. Frank Harrison McGregor Jr., 921 NE 16, and two sons, Mrs. Anderson, a widow had two children.

The plane, a single engine Beechcraft Bonanza was owned by Guernsey, who operates a general engineering firm.

The group left here Saturday afternoon for the wedding of Patricia Innes of St. Ann, St. Louis county, daughter of a fourth sister, Mrs. G.E. Innes. They were delayed by bad weather on the flight to St. Louis and arrived too late for the ceremony but attended the reception. They had left the wedding party at Lamber-St. Louis airport at about 9 a.m. Sunday, just 25 minutes before the crash. The light aircraft took off only 10 minutes before the airport control tower began issuing warnings of the approach of a thunderstorm. The control tower was unable to make contact with the plane to warn Sturm of the danger.

The plane crashed in a wooded area between St. Charles and Weldon Springs near highway 94. The sole witness to the accident said there was a flash of lightning, then the plane plunged straight to the ground and burst into flames.

Officials in St. Charles county believed the pilot had attempted to return to the St. Louis airport since the plane was headed east.

One body was thrown clear of the plane. The other three were burned beyond recognition. They were removed by the Missouri state police and taken to Muschaney funeral home at Wentzville, Mo. Only identification immediately available was the serial number of the plane.


Another brother, L. E. Guernsey, of Strong City, was waiting at his brother's home here to drive Miss Guernsey back to Strong City when he was notified of the accident. The brothers left early Sunday afternoon for St. Louis.

In addition to her daughter here, Mrs. Caffey is survived by her husband of Mangum, and two sons, Bill Caffey, a student at the University of Oklahoma and Gene Caffey of the home.

Mrs. Anderson had a son, Jim Lee, of the home in Enid, a daughter, Mrs. Bud Anderson of Washington, D.C. Her husband was killed in an automobile accident in 1942.

Miss Guernsey had been a high school English teacher in Strong City and Elk City schools before going to Butler.

Headstones reads Lyda Alide Anderson, Born January 15, 1897 Died May 21, 1950.

Pauline Guernsey, Born 1901 Died May 21, 1950

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