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Sgt. Desiree Loy

February 1, 1959 – August 27, 1985

Atlantic News, 1985

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Sgt. Desiree Loy, 26, of 454 Marcy St.. Portsmouth, died Tuesday, August. 27, 1985, in an air tanker crash at Beale Air Force Base. She was born in San Angelo, Texas, Feb. 1, 1959, the daughter of Joann E. (Miller) Loy of Portsmouth and Clifford Loy of Newburyport, Mass.

Sgt. Loy had resided in Hampton most of her life, was a 1977 graduate of Winnacunnet High School and of the University of New Hampshire in 1984. In the summer of 1974, she toured Europe with America’s Youth in Concert.

Joining the New Hampshire National Guard in 1978, she was stationed with the 157th New Hampshire Air National Guard Refueling Group at Pease Air Force Base. Sgt. Loy was a student in “cross training at the time of the crash, being taught to be an in-flight refueling boom operator for the KC-135 Stratotanker.

Prior to her becoming active in the Air National Guard, she worked as a paralegal secretary for an attorney in Boston.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by her friend Earl Cook of Malden, Mass., her paternal grandmother, Margaret Loy of Lake Placid, Fla., and an aunt, Nettie Miller of San Francisco, Calif.

Services were held Tuesday, Sept. 3, at the United Church of Christ in North Hampton.

Memorial donations may be made to the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, P.O. Box 196, Stratham, N.H. 03885.

Arrangements were made by the Ronald A. Remick Funeral Home.

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DESIREE LOY, offered by student Nick Bridle:
[Written by Sheila Nudd]

Desiree Loy was a former student and a friend, a good friend. When I began teaching in Hampton, Desiree was a sixth grader who loved dogs, horses, music and learning. As a seventh grader, Desiree was a soloist in the first performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Desiree starred in the 8th Grade musical, Winnie the Pooh. She also won the American Legion Memorial Day essay contest that year. At Winnacunnet [High School], Desiree Loy was involved in cheerleading, yearbook, student council, Madrigal Singers, and was voted most talkative and most talented.

In 1975, Desiree toured Europe with America’s Youth In Concert sponsored by Princeton University. In 1979, she sang with the Rhode Island College chamber singers at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 1981 and 82, my young friend Desiree won Air Guard Scholarships that financed her paralegal studies at UNH. 1983 found Desiree caring for patients at the NH State Hospital. That was also the year that she completed her training as Boom Operator and received her wings. In her spare time she could be found working as a volunteer at Prescott Park, or for Pro-Portsmouth, or at Market Square Day. She also volunteered at the Stratham SPCA. While Desiree was at UNH, she campaigned very hard for safe parking facilities for the Kari-Van drivers, whose days began at 5:30 AM. She was successful in that effort. Desiree provided the world with a special warmth and glow.

Desiree was a loving and thoughtful daughter who would leave notes and poems for her mother when she came home from her shift as Emergency Room nurse at midnight. My friend Desiree lived and loved well. My last recollection of Desiree is in early August 1985, just two weeks before her death. She was preparing to head out to California for training. Nothing excited her more than flying, not even the passion for music that we had long shared. We had lunch in a small Boston restaurant to celebrate the friendship that we had maintained for 15 years. Little did I realize that that would be our last conversation. Desiree Loy was killed in the crash of a KC-135 Aircraft at Beale Air Force Base in California on August 27, 1985. Her remains rest in Hampton at the High Street Cemetery.

John Gillespie Magee, pilot and officer penned these words about his love of flying. They were quoted at Desiree’s memorial service. The last part of the poem reads:

“Up, up the long delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with eager grace
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

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