A man originally from Norfolk and his wife were among the 49 people killed Wednesday in a plane crash in Laos.
Joel Babcock and his wife, Angelin, a native of Malaysia, were among the passengers on a Lao Airlines turboprop plane that hit a bank hard before skidding into the Mekong River in Pakse, Laos, on Wednesday, according to news accounts.
The Associated Press reported that the aircraft ran into extreme bad weather conditions and crashed, killing the crew and all 49 people onboard.
The Rev. Glen Wapelhorst, pastor at Christ is King Church in Norfolk, said Babcock was the son of Maurice and Corinne “Corky” Babcock of Chicago, formerly of Norfolk.
“He had been a part of Christ is King since he was born,” Wapelhorst said.
Joel Babcock was 10 when he moved from Norfolk with his family for Asia.
“He had a deep love for Laos and Malaysia,” Wapelhorst said. “He was a Christian entrepreneurial businessman who loved Laos.”
Maurice Babcock was the first teacher at Christ is King School in Norfolk, teaching from 1983 to 1998, Wapelhorst said.
Joel was the oldest of four children. Maurice and Corky Babcock now live in Chicago, where Maurice teaches at a Bible college.
The other children are Amelia Babcock, of Norfolk; Timothy Babcock and his wife, Jules, of Colombia, Mo.; and Danny Babcock of Chicago.
In 1998, the Daily News did a feature story on the Babcocks and their four children. At the time, they had been accepted to go with a non-profit organization that sends English teachers to Asia.
Joel Babcock was named to the dean's list at Northeast Community College in Norfolk in the fall 2006 and spring 2007 semesters. On a business profile, he said he earned a degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.