Oaks Indian Mission Remembers 2 Men Killed In Owasso Plane Crash

Tuesday, July 13th 2010, 1:38 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

DELAWARE COUNTY, OK -- While federal investigators look into the causes of two weekend plane crashes that killed six people, the victims are being remembered by family, friends and others.

Two of the victims, who died in a crash in Owasso, touched the lives of children in need at the Oaks Indian Mission in Delaware County.

7/12/2010 Related story: Victims In Deadly Owasso Plane Crash Remembered

On July 13, 209 years ago, the Oaks Indian Mission got its start. Operating for more than two centuries couldn't have happened without the help of volunteers - ones like Rick Shimer and Lonnie Hardin.

"They are good, kind hearted, Godly people," said Dianna Baer of the Oaks Indian Mission.

Shimer was piloting a small plane with Hardin and another passenger, Joe Provenzano, on board when their plane crashed at an air strip in Owasso Sunday night. All three were killed.

"Total shock. Grief," Baer said of her reaction to the crash.

Both men volunteered their time to help the Oaks Indian Mission with its goal of providing a stable place to live for troubled kids from broken homes.

Rick Shimer served as treasurer on the Oaks Indian Mission's board.

"One of those people that you just can't replace," said David Schachle of Oaks Indian Mission.

"He's one of those guys you visit with a little while, and you feel like you've known him all his life because he's just that type of person that makes you feel at ease when you're around him."

Lonnie Hardin, whose wife is a board member, was always around to serve on a committee or lend a hand.

"They just felt like these kids needed an opportunity and a chance in life and that's what their goal was, was to step in and do what they could do to give these kids a chance," Schachle said.

The men will be missed for their leadership, and although a plane crash took their lives, they leave behind a lasting legacy of kindness shown through their willingness to make a difference in young lives.

"We love them, and we'll miss them so much, and our hearts go out to their families," said Dianna Baer.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash in Owasso, as well as another weekend plane crash that also killed three people.