COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – A Cottonwood Heights couple is being remembered as “probably the best parents that have ever existed” the day after they died in a plane crash.
John Brent Wells and Tara Wells died Wednesday when the plane they were in crashed on approach to Camarillo Airport in Southern California. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.
Their daughter, 26-year-old Emily Taylor Wells, told KSL her father was a longtime pilot. She said he had worked as an electrical engineer at Hill Air Force Base and her mother was a speech therapist in local schools. They retired last year and planned to enjoy as many experiences as they could.
“He was never wasting a moment. He always was on to the next adventure, whether it was snowshoeing or skiing. My mom too. The minute she retired, she was so good at making friends,” she said.
Emily said aviation had always been her father’s passion. He had built another airplane, an F-1 Rocket, and they had flown together.
“I flew with him in that plane back and forth to Idaho a couple of times. It was really something special,” she said. “I’ve never seen my dad so happy. Sharing flying with other people is what made my dad feel on top of the world. I think when it was me that he could share it with, it was really special,”
Emily said her mother was passionate about helping children in the schools where she worked.
“It really made a big difference for a lot of people and she just devoted her whole life to it,” she said. “She really enjoyed her job. Not everybody can say they enjoy their job,”
Emily said her parents had a way of putting things into perspective.
“I had a talk with my dad right before he passed away and he just said how he wished people would stop worrying so much about everything else that doesn’t really matter and just actually spend time living their life and doing things that make life worth living,” Emily said.
She said they left a lasting impression on countless people in the community and that she could not have asked for better parents.
“They’re just some of the most genuine and kind people. I feel really lucky that they were my parents because not everybody gets to have parents like I had,” she said.
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