Fuddy’s relatives, state health workers gather to grieve

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Dec 12 2013 05:31:00 PM HST

Fallen in the line of duty. That is how Governor Neil Abercrombie put it when he spoke of the loss of a woman who toiled to help improve the lives of others.

HONOLULU -

State Health director Loretta Fuddy  was the only fatality in Wednesday's crash.

She was remembered in a short, simple gathering in the parking lot of the health department's building.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz's report.

Fuddy led with her heart and those who knew this remembered her goodness with sadness.

Heartfelt hugs, the shock of their sudden loss showed on their faces.

Fuddy's relatives reached out to comfort her work family.                    

"She loved her job she loved the people she worked with. She loved the people she served. While we are heartbroken over the loss of Loretta, there is room in our hearts that the eight other families do not have to greive.”  said Kimberlee Rene Greer, Fuddy’s niece.

Fuddy's sister Lynette Shaefer, is a police chaplain, and her brother-in- law Scott is a paramedic. Both live on Molokai and they wanted to particularly thank the efforts of the emergency response community.

It was something that was echoed by the governor.

This was a deep personal loss for Neil Abercrombie who arrived from a Washington D.C. trip at 4 p.m, Wednesday, just as the details of the crash were unfolding.

He has been able to speak to his deputy director Keith Yamamoto, who is at home recovering from the ordeal.

"He is coming to grip with the realities of it and as the family mentioned their fight thought is of the other 8 folks who made it," the governor said.

"We want to thank the workers of the department of health and all over the state who continue to serve the people of Hawaii even as they grieve.

Thank you for the time and your kind words in remembering our dear Auntie Loretta," said Greer.

Fuddy was praised for setting a high standard in her work.

Abercrombie also talked of her dedication to a cause to help others.

The governor made note that Fuddy died in the line of duty at Kalaupapa in what had been a community of outcasts.

"Those most abandoned, those most left out, those most marginalized-- that's who she dedicated her life to. Our hearts are broken, but we are going to carry on in the spirit of Loretta Fuddy. Imua, Loretta," said the governor.

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