Metro Vancouver couple, brother mourned following Alaska plane crash
Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019 11:44AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2019 8:52PM PDT
Distraught friends of Ryan and Elsa Wilk say the husband and wife were still living in the Lower Mainland when they left on an Alaska cruise over the weekend. The couple died in a mid-air crash while on a float plane sightseeing excursion Monday afternoon along with Elsa’s brother, Louis Botha.
Of the six victims, the Wilks were the only residents of Canada. Botha, who was 46, lived in San Diego.
The Wilks were still living in Port Coquitlam as they waited for their new home in Salt Lake City to be ready before making the move to Utah, according to long-time friend Frank Lerch.
“They’d bought it a few months ago but their move was postponed because of issues with the house,” Lerch told CTV News.
He says he and his wife practiced taekwondo with the Wilks and all were black belts.
Ryan’s biography on website of NuData Security, a Mastercard company , says the online financial security expert, 39, had worked at StubHub before joining the company as “Vice President of Delivery – Customer Success," and that he’d previously worked at Universal Parks and Resorts in Hollywood and Orlando on their ecommerce loss prevention teams.
“He has been a cherished member of the team and will be deeply missed by colleagues right across Mastercard and NuData,” read a company statement.
Elsa’s LinkedIn profile outlines her expertise in marketing various technology companies, while her friends are keen to highlight her friendly nature and competitive spirit.
“She touched a lot of lives and there are a lot of people hurting today,” said teammate Brianne Rigetti.
They were on the BC Women’s pattern team together and had competed for the world cup in taekwondo. Rigetti wants Elsa, 37, to be remembered as a caring friend who always reached out.
“Even when you didn’t know you needed her, she was there. Time and distance never had an effect on the friendship.”