Pilot Killed In Helicopter Crash Remembered

CLEVELAND - While it is still unknown what exactly caused William Spence's death, his friends and family gathered on Tuesday to remember a great husband and father, 19/43 News reported.

From a hilltop overlooking the site where the 51-year-old former Marine and national guardsman was buried, a bugler played "Taps" as family and friends stood in silence. It was a sign of respect for a man who never thought twice about giving of himself.

Spence, who served in Vietnam, received full military honors.

"He loved people," flight nurse Carolyn Barkow said. "He loved what he did. He was very involved with the patients. He loved the fact that we were making a difference."

Spence's friends from the flight community added that it was an honor to serve with him.

Last week, the MedEvac helicopter that Spence (pictured, above) was piloting crashed almost immediately after taking off from a University Hospitals helipad. He and 38-year-old nurse Kelly Conti died in the crash, and 29-year-old medic Joseph Paoletta was critically injured.

Spence had only been at MedEvac for three months before the crash, but co-workers said that he was dedicated to his job and to his family, and he never failed to do anything that was needed to save a life.