New Horizons


Peggy Long - Colorado Chapter, April 15, 2015


Deborah Kwaitkowski Price - Colorado Chapter, November 22, 2014

Colorado Chapter Chairman Deb Price, 56, passed away unexpectedly on November 22, 2014. Deb loved aviation and flight instruction. She graduated from the University of Florida and worked for Bell Labs, now Avaya. She was a computer science major and, as she enjoyed telling people, "a recovering engineer," having in recent years made the career shift to being a certified dog trainer. Deb had worked for several flight schools and Alpha Flying, Inc., now known as PlaneSense, flying the Pilatus PC-12. She was an active participant in the Flight Without Fear program sponsored by the Colorado Chapter. The Colorado Ninety-Nines had been one of her greatest loves. Deb will always be remembered as sweet, king and giving. She will be missed. -- Margot Plummer

Jane Nettleblad - September 22, 1919 - January 16, 2014

Dorothy Jane (Hazard) Nettleblad, 94, a long-time resident of Arvada, passed away January 16, 2014 at Westminster, Colorado. She was born at Saguache, Colorado September 22, 1919 to George Herbert and Cora Zoe (Stewart) Hazard. She attended the Saguache public schools and graduated from Saguache County High School in 1937. Jane’s mother Zoe introduced her and her brother George to airplanes and flying at early ages when she took them to a county fair at Saguache. Probably, due at least in part to this early exposure, they both learned to fly as adults. Jane became one of the first licensed women pilots in the Rocky Mountain region, and she co-founded the Colorado Chapter of The Ninety-Nines.

Jane pursued her lifelong interest in education, first obtaining a B.A. degree in music education from Denver University, then receiving her M.A. degree from Colorado University, and later completing additional coursework in Spanish. She taught for many years in the Denver Public Schools as a classroom and music teacher. She accomplished all of these things while living through the austere years of World War II and while bearing and raising a family. Enjoying and participating in many sports, Jane remained physically active throughout most of her life. She loved hiking, water skiing and snow skiing, and she competed in tennis, bicycling, and swimming. As a senior tri-athlete, she remained competitive until the age of 77. She enjoyed traveling as well and visited many places around the world. To those people who knew her, Jane was a wonderful example for pursuing lifelong learning, being healthy and fit, and living life to its fullest. She was one of the few blessed people who could say she did everything she had wanted to do.


Helen Pustmueller - April 26, 1913 - August 9, 2013

Helen Pustmueller was born Helen Ruth Ward in Gilman, Iowa on April 26, 1913. She passed peacefully on August 9, 2013 in Englewood, Colorado, having recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Helen's father moved the family to California where he practiced medicine. Her father was fascinated by flight, and often took young Helen to air meets. They made a special trip to see the Graf Zeppelin when it came to Los Angeles. However, he would never go up in a small plane. She earned a degree in Bacteriology from the University of California at Berkley. Helen married John Maxson in 1939, a Cal Tech geology professor and reserve officer in the Air Corps. John was called to active duty, so he and Helen moved to Washington D.C. John then went to Turkey with Office of Strategic Services (OSS). John was also implemental in mapping the Grand Canyon. Helen returned to Pasadena during the war with two daughters. After the war, a third daughter was born and the family moved to Denver in 1947. They both learned to fly during their early years in Denver and had their own airplane. After John's death in 1966 Helen renewed her interest in flying and got her commercial certificate and instrument rating. She flew in two Powder Puff Derbies and three Angel Derbies with her friend Jan Gammel in a Comanche 250 and 260. In 1971, Helen married Paul Pustmueller. In 1977 she earned her Master's degree in Anthropology from the University of Denver. She became Curator of Collections of the DU Museum of Anthropology in 1980 and held that position until 1996. Together Helen and Paul bought an airplane, and Paul learned to fly. Helen and Paul participated in fly-yourself safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Rhodesia, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, and owned a Cessna 170, 180, Turbo 206 and a Turbo Centurion. Helen was a member of the Ninety Nines, the Silver Wings Fraternity and the Colorado Pilots Association.

Betty Jo Reed - June 20, 1923 - June 22, 2013

Betty Jo peacefully passed away Saturday, June 22, 2013 at the Denver VA Community Living Center. She was a brave and beautiful 90 years old.

Betty Jo was a WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots) in WWII and is in the Aviation Hall of Fame in both Colorado and Texas. She was very proud to be a recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal in 2010. In 1956, Betty Jo and her husband Carl W. Reed opened the third McDonald's Restaurant in the country in Denver and went on to open ten McDonalds, all in Denver.

Zada Arentz - April 20, 2013

Zada Fillmore Arentz, 94, formerly of Rigby, passed away Saturday, April 20, 2013.


Charlotte Klyn - June 14, 1916 - March 30, 2012

Charlotte Piffer Schrier was born on June 14, 1916, in Indianola, Iowa. She married Andrew Klyn in 1941.

In the late 1960s, Charlotte followed Andy's interest in flying and began taking flying lessons. After obtaining her private pilot's license, she subsequently achieved the Pilot Ratings of Commercial, Multi-Engine, Instrument, and Airline Transport, the Flight Instructor Ratings of Airplane, Instrument, and Gold Seal, and the Ground Instructor Ratings of Advanced and Instrument. She also became a Federal Aviation Administration Flight Examiner for Private, Commercial, Multi-Engine, and Instrument Ratings.

In 1973 Charlotte became a professor in the Aerospace Science Department of Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado. Upon her retirement from Metro in 1982, she was awarded the status of Professor Emerita and returned to Pella, Iowa.

Charlotte and Andy used their airplane for relaxation and to travel the entirety of the United States and Mexico. She and Andy loved the people and culture of Mexico, considered Mazatlan, Mexico, to be their second home.

She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, PEO Chapter BU, the Pella Garden Club, the Pella Historical Society, and The Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots.


Velda King Mapelli (previously with the Colorado Chapter), April 19, 2010

Aviation and business entrepreneur Velda King Mapelli, 83 was killed by a cyclist while walking on a trail near her home in Renton, Washington. Both the cyclist and Mapelli were knocked unconscious. Mapelli succumbed to her catastrophic injuries on Monday, April 19. 2010.

Mapelli was best known for her record setting 7-year Presidency of The Air Race Classic.

With respect to her flying accomplishments, Velda became the corporate pilot to facilitate the family meat-packing business. With only six percent of the pilots being women, she soon joined The Ninety-Nines, the women's pilot organization and discovered pilot-skilled cross country speed air racing. Racing brought her a lifelong friendship with Marion Jayne, ATP, Hall of Fame enshrinee and 100 Aviation Hero for the First Century of Flight.

Mapelli, together with Jayne and five other pilots, founded the Air Race Classic, the all-women cross country speed race which replaced the 1929-1976 All Women Transcontinental Air Race a.k.a. the Powder Puff Derby - although, anyone who has competed in a transcontinental race of any variety would call powder-puff a misnomer.

Her elegant, polished style was complimented by her athletic grace and consummate organizational skills. Her business talent brought the women's race its first and still the most lucrative corporate sponsor with the years the event was known as the Hughes Airwest Air Race Classic.

Mapelli's personal plane started out as a 260 Comanche N9071P that echoed her owner's stellar style with meticulous maintenance. Sadly, the 260 was lost when the shop it was in while it waited for the overhauled engine burned. A classy Cessna 414 replaced the vibrant Comanche until Velda hung up her headset for the last time.


Joye Baker - March 7, 1940 - May 29, 2009

Joye (Smith) Baker passed away suddenly while at home in Northglenn, Colorado on Friday May 29, 2009. She was born in Springfield, Ohio on March 7, 1940. She spent most of her life enjoying adventures in Colorado. She graduated from Canon City High School in Colorado 1958 and was involved in ROTC and band. She married Dr. John C. Baker on October 14, 1960 and they had two children, Jill (Baker) Lafferty and John A. Baker. She was the business manager for her husband's family practice for many years.

In the 70's she earned her private pilots license and quickly received her instrument and commercial licenses as well. She joined the 99s in 1972 and was very active for many years and was the Colorado Chapter's Chairman in the 70's. She flew several air races and learned to fly aerobatics. Throughout her flying history she flew more than 30 different types of aircraft from a tiny Mooney Mite to a large DeHavilland Beaver and everything in between.

In 1980 they moved to Ouray, Colorado and she received her real estate license and sold property in the area for several years. Later they returned to Denver and bought a 27' Norsea sailboat and sailed it down the inland waterway and across to the Bahamas, quite a feat for her as she was really afraid of water. She overcame that fear and took her night watches on the pitch black ocean. She also enjoyed driving their 1915 Model T Ford. She was an avid skier and loved to ski with her grandchildren. She was always curious, adventurous and kind, she'll leave a huge void in our lives. As per her wishes, there was no funeral or services.


Gladys Hill: A Quiet Pioneer - October 30, 1910 - May 17, 2005
Gladys Hill learned to fly in 1933 in a 40 horsepower Taylor Cub at the age of 23, and got her license in 1937. She flew for one season with the Tex Rankin Hollywood Aces air show in the central and western part of the United States. Gladys joined the Wings Club, a women's pilot organization in 1937, before the 99s had a chapter in Colorado. She was one of the Colorado Chapter's charter members and installed the first officers of the Colorado 99s in 1938.She became good friends with another Colorado aviatrix, Donna (Tracy) Myers. At one time, Donna and Gladys were the only two licensed women pilots in a five state area. She passed away on May 17, 2005 at the age of 94.


Barbara B. Hobson - April 5, 1937- February 19, 2004
Barb passed away on February 19, 2004. She had been a member of the chapter since 1979. She held the office of Chairman in 1982-1983. She was born in St. Peter, Minnesota and belonged to a flying club there as well as the Colorado 99s.


Patricia "Sam" Udall - 1926-2003
Pat passed away on September 14, 2003. She had been a member of the chapter since 1985.


Jane Ormsby Stevens - May 15, 1927 - September 19, 2002
Jane passed away on September 19, 2002 in San Diego, CA. She had been a member of the chapter since 1977. She owned a 1940 TaylorCraft, which she had rebuilt. The plane was named "Phoebe" after Phoebe Omlie. She and Jane Ruhle flew "Phoebe" in the Commerative Powder Puff Derby in 1977 from Palm Springs, CA to Tampa, FL, and was the only entrant to complete the race in an antique airplane.


Lu Purdy


Mary Jane McKillip - May 15, 1935 - November 14, 2000
Mary Jane McKillip, 65 of Fraser, CO and Rio Verde, AZ, died November 14, 2000. Mary had been a member of the Colorado Chapter for many years and was very active in our Mile High Air Derby. Before she came to Colorado in 1980, she had been in several other chapters around the country. She was born in McCook, NE.


Eddie Elizabeth Meetze Whistle - March 21, 1926 - 1999
Air Racer and Round-the-World flyer. Eddie joined the 99s in 1980. She was killed in an crash following at air race. Her husband, Paul, also died in the crash.


Eugenia Rothrack "Deedo" Heise - ?? - July 24, 1982
Eugenia joined the 99s in 1946 with the Wisconsin Chapter. She was International President 1959-1961. She moved to Colorado and joined the Colorado Chapter in 1969. Her husband, Dr. Herman Heise, founded the Flying Physicians in 1955. They created a home movie of Deedo "learning" to fly, entitled "Flighty Lady."


Donna Tracy Myers - March 22, 1915 - ??
Donna joined the 99s in 1939. Her husband John was one of the founders of the original Frontier Airlines. She was International President 1967-1969.