A shocked and saddened community this week mourned the deaths of two young couples and began efforts to help care for the seven orphans left behind.
Erik Nunn, his wife, Tanya, and their friends and neighbors Craig and Michele Wilson, died in a plane crash Saturday as they were returning from an anniversary celebration in Las Vegas. The Federal Aviation Administration said the four-passenger Piper Cherokee Nunn was piloting clipped power lines and crashed in flames about 20 miles west of the Las Vegas airport they had just left. There were no survivors in the crash, the cause of which is under investigation.
Nunn, 37, was the Oakley Planning Commission chair and a candidate for the District V seat on the County Board of Supervisors. Wilson, 36, was a BART police officer.
The Nunns leave behind four children, ages 4 to 9; the Wilsons leave three children between 3 and 14. Grandparents and other family members are now caring for the children.
This is a great loss for our community; a huge, huge tragedy, said Oakley City Councilman Brad Nix. All of us at the city are casting about for what we can do, especially for the children.
A pair of accounts, the Nunn Children Trust Fund and the Wilson Children Trust Fund, have been set up at Oakley's Bank of the West, 2195 Main St. in Oakley.
The phone number is 925-625-2211. And the BART Police Officers Association in Oakland has established The Children of Craig Wilson Trust Fund. Call 510-464-7182 for information.
Community members arrived in droves to offer condolences this week at the couples' homes they lived just a few houses apart. Nunn was remembered as a leader, a man of integrity and a man of God.
He was the pastor of New Lifeline Ministries Church in Oakley, members of which helped look after the children and did chores at the Nunn house this week. Around town, the flag flew at half-staff at Oakley City Hall, while black ribbons were placed on Nunn's campaign signs.
BART officers were also wearing black ribbons this week in honor of Wilson. BART Police Chief Gary Gee issued a statement that said This is a tremendous loss to the BART police family. Officer Wilson was a bright, dedicated and promising member of the force. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family in their time of grief.
Curtis Faletti coached the Wilsons' oldest daughter in soccer.
It's a very tragic thing. They were such a close-knit family, and the mom (Mrs. Wilson) played on my wife's softball team, so we got to know them that way, too. The kids were always at the games watching their mom play. As a parent, (Mr. Wilson) was always there on the sidelines to see his daughter play. It's very sad.
Oakley City Councilmember Kevin Romick said a resolution would be introduced at the next council meeting to rename Dewey Park to Nunn-Wilson Park. Honor guards and other special observances were being planned for upcoming city meetings, as well as for the city's anniversary celebration this weekend.
Election officials have yet to determine what will become of the District V election. Nunn finished as the second of five candidates in the June primary, as was set to face incumbent Federal Glover in November. It's possible that the third-place finisher, Antioch school board member Gary Agopian, will take Nunn's place on the ballot.
Services for the Wilsons were to be held Thursday; services for the Nunns were pending at press time.