25 August 2020 | Adventist firefighting pilot Tom Duffy was assisting efforts to battle a wildfire in Mount Hood National Forest when the helicopter he was in crashed on Monday. The forty-year-old was killed in the accident.
According to U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Rachel Pawlitz, Duffy was flying a Type 1 K-Max helicopter while dropping buckets of water on the White River Fire.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and the forest service air and ground resources responded rapidly to the scene of the accident.
“The Adventist community in Bozeman is heartbroken by this tragic loss,” says Elden Ramirez, the Adventist Church president for Montana, according to the Gleanernow. “Our love and prayers are with Tom’s family and loved ones. Tom has a long history of dedicated service as an Adventist leader here in Montana and the Northwest and will be deeply missed.”
Duffy had served on the executive committee of the Adventist Church for Montana, as well as that of the North Pacific Union. He also served on the Adventist board of education in Montana.
Duffy attended Mount Ellis Adventist Academy and later played basketball at Montana State University, featuring in a 2001 article by The Missoulian about his Sabbath observance while playing college basketball.
Duffy is survived by his wife, Robyn, and their three children.
Image: Tom Duffy (right) and his father (left), Mark, on a flight together. Image credit: Gleanernow.