DEMOTTE — Helen Mudd, a former EMT for the Keener Twp. Ambulance Service and the former Steinke Ambulance in Rensselaer, passed away Nov. 19 with her family at her side.
Mudd and two children of her children, Chuck Mudd and Julie Gunter, helped her build a roadside memorial in 1995 near the site where American Eagle Flight 4184 crashed into a muddy field in rural Roselawn Oct. 31, 1994.
Mudd petitioned the county to place a permanent memorial at the site. She painted and named every cross, as well as maintained the upkeep and the landscaping for the memorial, which had a cross for each of the 64 people aboard the plane who perished that day. Three crosses remain at the site, where a new memorial wall was built for the 20th anniversary of the accident that changed aviation practices.
She and her children also donated food for a dinner held after each of annual memorial services held at the site by the family and friends of the crash victims. The dinners were given for the families, who often traveled far to visit the site in northern Newton County, at the Roselawn United Methodist Church.
Gunter said her mother carried on this tradition for 18 years.
Mudd was an office manager/physician’s assistant for a cardiac and nephrology office, and a nine-year member of the Indiana 500 Medical Staff. In 1985, her medical team was chosen to attend the closing ceremonies for the 1985 Pan Am games by the staff of Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine, for which she was quite proud.
Gunter said, “We thank Risen Community Church and Pastor Jared Mathison for a beautiful service for mom, Hillside Funeral Home, Connie Kuiper and his grandson, Michael, for taking care of mom during this time, the Indiana Patriot Guard and the Risen Community Church Women for the delicious dinner.”
Mudd passed at 2:33 a.m. on Nov. 19, with her children Donald Gunter, Karen Gunter, Julie Gunter and Chuck Mudd at her side.