Napa feels loss of 2 community members killed on vacation in Alaska

Napa is feeling the loss of two community members killed while on vacation in Alaska.

Mark Henderson, 69, and Jacqueline Komplin,60, were on a sightseeing flight that crashed with no survivors.

"To hear the news was devastating, everyone is in a state of shock," said Drene Johnson, executive director of Community Action Napa Valley.

Komplin has worked for the agency for almost two years. 

"She was a character, funny, happy, very dedicated to her job and her profession," said Johnson, "and a very good nurse, excellent nurse."

Komplin and Henderson were in Alaska on a one-week Holland America Line cruise.

The sightseeing flight over wilderness peaks, glaciers and lakes crashed Thursday, one day before the two were supposed to come home.  

"And she was so much looking forward to this trip to Alaska, that's the heartbreak for all of us having to say goodbye to her," said Johnson.

There were no survivors in the crash; the six victims include the pilot and three other tourists, including a mother and daughter from Georgia.

The single-engine plane crashed into a mountainside as it returned to Ketchikan from Misty Fjords National Monument, flying in poor weather with limited visibility.

Multiple agencies are investigating.

"They were amazing people, they touched so many people's lives in Napa," said a tearful neighbor, who spoke warmly of the couple.

On their porch, friends have left floral bouquets, cards, and baked goods.

Henderson was a Napa native and retired public defender.

Neighbors said Komplin was previously widowed, and raised her son and daughter in the Browns Valley home.

Both children are teachers, working overseas, and are en route to Napa after the tragedy.

"Jacque was the warmest person and it is so painful to have them gone," said the neighbor, who declined to give her name.

Komplin ran a program called Wellness on Wheels, adding a health component to the Meals on Wheels Program.

She supervised wellness checks for about 500 elderly clients during the pandemic. 

"She made everything fun, she brightened everything up," said Johnson, "but more important what she did for our seniors was invaluable."

Training videos show Komplin confidently explaining the program to new nursing graduates who would be making the visits.

"We grew to really embrace her and need her and she rose to the occasion, she was wonderful," said Johnson.

Before her vacation, Komplin dropped by the office with flowers for her co-workers.

"She was as adventurous as could be so she was really looking forward to Alaska," said Johnson sadly.

And Komplin had been messaging friends while away: "Talking about the beauty of Alaska and how she was having a great time on the trip."