A California man used a cross-country flight last month as an opportunity to show support for his flight attendant sister who was dying of cancer.
After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February, Southwest Airlines flight attendant LouAnn Alexander was forced to abruptly retire from the career she had enjoyed for more than 30 years.
Her brother, Rex Ridenoure was taking a flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles to visit her at a hospice center in Phoenix when he came up with a different way to turn the flight into a farewell celebration.
Ridenoure described his beloved sister and her terminal diagnosis during a short speech to the cabin over the aircrat's PA system, asking for the crew and passengers to write her notes of support and encouragement on the drink napkins.
By the end of the flight, Ridenoure received 96 notes from passengers on board.
“I’m just still amazed that given the opportunity…even total strangers will reach out and show a lot of empathy and concern,” he told the Arizona Republic. “I think, given the right situation to connect, people will express their feelings, share stories.”
He later posted a video of the notes on Facebook to give LouAnn and her loved ones a glimpse of what the passengers had done:
2016 Mar 12: Napkin LUV from Southwest Airlines Flight # 4463
Here's a flyover video of the 94 napkin notes for LouAnn from the passengers and crew on the "Leaving LUV for LouAnn" flight. See the photo album for images of these wonderful notes.Posted by Rex Ridenoure on Sunday, March 13, 2016
Ridenoure then followed his post up with an entire photo album dedicated to his sister and her farewell flight.
LouAnn died Monday hospice care, the Arizona Republic reported.
She leaves behind two daughters, who lost their father to lung cancer three years ago, Ridenoure told the newspaper.