Donald J. Derocher used to say there was one thing that would keep him from flying.
“The day he stopped flying is the day there’ll be a hole in the sky,” was the phrase, his brother Bob said Wednesday.
It was Monday evening when the plane piloted by Donald J. Derocher, 73, crashed into the top of Onion Mountain in Canton, killing Derocher and wife Josephine, 74.
“Now I guess there’s a hole in the sky,” Bob Derocher said.
Bob Derocher said he is still shocked about the accident. His brother was “meticulous” about keeping the plane up to date and running and had numerous years' experience flying that route and others many times, even at night.
“I really couldn’t believe it; he’s such a good pilot,” Bob Derocher said.
The Derocher brothers grew up with five siblings in the Hartford area.
Donald and Josephine later lived in Tolland for many years before moving to Windsor Locks for a short time and then to Florida approximately three years ago, Bob Derocher said.
The couple had two kids, including a daughter who now lives in Canton, according to Bob Derocher.
In Florida, Donald Derocher love to disc jockey for senior centers. He also played bass and loved country and western music, Bob Derocher said.
Bob Derocher said his brother and sister-in-law shared a special bond.
“They were inseparable,” he said.
Compounding the family’s loss is the earlier death of the Derochers’ father, Donald A. Derocher, who passed away at age 96, just two days before the son who shared his first name.
The family will proceed with the senior Donald A. Derocher’s funeral Friday but will first gather on Thanksgiving.
Bob Derocher said, “We’ll have a moment of silence in honor of Josephine, my brother Donald, and my Dad.”