Mourners gather to remember the professor who died Friday

Andrew Pritchard

Hundreds of mourners filled a hotel ballroom and lobby in St. Paul late Monday at a visitation for Mary McEvoy, the University educational psychology professor killed Friday in the crash of Sen. Paul Wellstone’s plane.

Pictures of McEvoy – including one of her with Wellstone, autographed by the late senator – lined a hallway, and Irish dance music played as many of McEvoy’s friends and colleagues displayed her picture on buttons.

Many in attendance also wore green-and-white Wellstone campaign stickers.

“She was an extremely uplifting person,” said Marc Mitchell, special projects director for the campaign.

Mitchell said McEvoy embodied the expression that life is 10 percent what happens and 90 percent how a person responds.

“I think for her it was more like one-to-99,” he said, “and that’s how her family will cope with this.”

A large portrait of McEvoy stood at one end of the ballroom, surrounded by candles and flowers, while a slide show of McEvoy’s life was shown continuously nearby.

“Everybody here considers her family,” Mitchell said.

Fourth District DFL Chairman Randy Schubring said he heard McEvoy’s will requested her memorial be held in a union facility with handicapped access, a dance floor and a spotlight.

“She was just a firecracker,” he said, adding that many friends thought McEvoy would one day run for office herself.

No cause determined

through steady snow, investigators continued searching the wreckage of Wellstone’s plane Monday.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators released no information about the cause of the crash at a press conference on Monday, saying only that the investigation is proceeding.

Frank Hilldrup, the investigator in charge of the effort, said NTSB teams had removed some plane components and were compiling the aircraft’s maintenance history.

“There will be a full tear-down of the engine and the propellers,” he said.

Hilldrup also said the plane did not have the cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder – the so-called “black boxes” – found on large commercial jets.

Ten or 12 investigators remain at the crash site, Hilldrup said.


Andrew Pritchard covers state politics and welcomes comments at [email protected]