The tragedy of Pan American Flight 103 continues to touch the lives of Western New Yorkers.
Martha Boyer of East Amherst and her husband, Bradley, were scheduled to celebrate Christmas today with her sister, Paula Alderman-Bouckley.
But Ms. Alderman-Bouckley and her husband, Glenn Bouckley, were killed Wednesday in the crash of the 747 jet in Scotland while en route from London to New York.
The Boyers join in mourning with the families and friends of Colleen Brunner of Hamburg and Gregory Capasso of Brooklyn, a senior at the State University of Buffalo, who also died in the crash.
Mrs. Boyer said she is in regular contact with Donald and Patricia Brunner of Hamburg.
There has been a kind of mutual consolation, she said, in sharing as much information as possible.
The Boyers are preparing to travel to Lockerbie, Scotland, to help with identification and other arrangements. Both families are sending dental and medical records to Scotland.
"I have to see that little town," Mrs. Boyer said. "I know it sounds strange, but I have to see. I just can't leave it at that."
The Brunner family also is preparing for a possible trip to Scotland to help with identification, according to the Rev. Sebastian Pierro, associate pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Hamburg.
"They're a beautiful family, and they're going to get through this," said Father Pierro, who spent time talking and praying with the Brunner family Saturday.
He said he found them in good spirits and comforted by the cards, flowers and food sent by friends.
The Boyers also said calls and visits from friends and family have proved helpful.
"There's so much we have to do, it's helped keep our minds off the Christmas part of it," Mrs. Boyer said. "And we have two little ones, so we're going to try to keep Christmas on the level it's supposed to be for them."
Ms. Alderman-Bouckley, 29, and her husband, 27, of the Syracuse suburb of Clay were returning from the wedding of Bouckley's brother last weekend in West Yorkshire at which Bouckley was best man.
He was a native of Great Britain and married Mrs. Boyer's sister about two years ago, Mrs. Boyer said.
A 1984 Cornell University graduate, Ms. Alderman-Bouckley had worked part time at a Wegmans supermarket in Liverpool, while her husband worked for a Syracuse electronics firm.
The couple had lived in England following their marriage but returned to the Syracuse area last spring.
"They were supposed to get back into Syracuse late Wednesday night and then come here for Christmas last night," Mrs. Boyer said Saturday. "We were all going to have Christmas here."
Mrs. Boyer said she and her husband have held futile conversations with Pan Am officials over the last few days attempting to obtain information.
Bradley Boyer flew to New York Saturday morning to apply for emergency passports in a special office Pan Am has established in Rockefeller Center.
Father Pierro said the Brunners have had cooperation from the airline.
"From what I understand, Pan Am has been very cooperative with the Brunner family," he said. "They're trying to get as much information as possible about the status of the body and other things, and waiting to hear if they are needed to go to the crash site."