September 13th was supposed to be a day of celebration for Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola and her family. That’s because it was on this day last year that she took office for her first full term as Alaska’s lone Representative – defeating both Sarah Palin and Nick Begich Sr. in what was a crowded political race.
Instead of celebrating the one-year anniversary of that incredible win on Wednesday (September 13), Peltola was left mourning and grieving the loss of her loving and devoted husband, Eugene “Buzzy” Peltola Jr.. The death was announced in a statement posted by her Chief of Staff, Anton McParland.
“We are devastated to share that Mary’s husband, Eugene Peltola Jr. — ‘Buzzy’ to all of us who knew and loved him — passed away earlier this morning following a plane accident in Alaska,” the statement read – praising him for his devotion to family, his many (endless, really) talents, and his contagious personality.
While the statement didn’t specify any details surrounding his death, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) later confirmed that Peltola was flying the plane when it crashed shortly after its takeoff and he was the only person on board. The crash occurred at around 8:45 p.m. local time on Tuesday (September 12).
National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Jennifer Homendy offered several more details about his death – adding that the plane crashed roughly 64 miles north of St. Mary’s into a mountainous region in Alaska. He had allegedly flown a hunter (who had hunting equipment with him) into the nearby area.
“He was one of those people that was obnoxiously good at everything. He had a delightful sense of humor that lightened the darkest moments. He was definitely the cook in the family. And family was most important to him,” McParland wrote in the statement – giving us a glimpse of the type of man Buzzy was.
They also expressed how important family was to him and described him as ‘devoted’ to his parents, kids, siblings, extended family, and friends – adding that he ‘simply adored Mary.’ They asked for privacy while Peltola returned home to be with family. In the meantime, her team will continue her work at the office.
Politicians Send Their Condolences to Mary Peltola and Her Family
As news of her husband’s death went viral, politicians from both sides of the aisle took the time to send their condolences to Mary Peltola and her family – including Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski and Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, both of whom represent the state of Alaska alongside Mary Peltola.
“Today, we mourn the tragic loss of Gene, and offer Mary and her family our heartfelt prayers for strength and consolation in this time of unspeakable loss and grief, and know that Alaskans across our great state are doing the same,” Sullivan – who assumed office in January 2015 – said in a post on X (Twitter).
“I am shocked, saddened and truly beyond words to express my grief at the loss of Gene Peltola Jr. Anyone who met Buzzy felt his warmth, generosity and charm. It was easy to see why so many Alaskans called him a friend, and how he was so loved by his family,” wrote Murkowski, who took office in 2003.
Unfortunately for Alaska, this isn’t the first time a politician has died in a plane crash. House majority leader Hale Boggs and Rep. Nicholas Begich were in a plane that disappeared and was never recovered in 1972, while Senator Ted Stevens was killed in a plane crash in 2010 – both crashes were in Alaska.
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.