Transcribed from the Ellensburg Daily Record, Ellensburg, WA, December 1, 1947, page 4:

Officer Finds Body of Friend Aboard Plane

SEATTLE, Dec. 1–(AP)– Sheriff’s Capt. Adam Lyskoski, one of the first officers to reach the scene of yesterday’s tragic crash of an Alaska Airlines plane, told grimly today of removing the body of a woman from the plane.

“I recognized her. I have been a friend of her husband for many years and a guest at their home many times.

“She was Mrs. Virginia Stitsworth, wife of Detective Robert Stitsworth of the Tacoma police department.

“Bob and his 15-year-old daughter came up. They had been waiting at the airport to welcome her. I said: ‘I’m sorry Bob, but that is her.’ He looked under the blanket. It was his wife. The little girl began to cry.”

Stitsworth himself told how he and the girl, Marilyn Harden, 15, his wife’s daughter by a prior marriage, had made many fruitless trips to the airport during the last five days in anticipation of his wife’s return from a two months professional engagement in Anchorage. She was widely known throughout the Northwest as a singer under her professional name of Virginia Grafton.

“I knew my wife was aboard,” Stitsworth said. “She’d written me a week ago Thursday: ‘I’ll get out of here just as fast as they can get a load of passengers.’

“The plane landed, then went off the edge of the field, and a column of smoke went up. Marilyn and I drove to the place. ‘Ski’ (Lyskoski) had just taken my wife’s body out of the plane. I looked at her hand extending out from under the blanket. On it was the engagement ring I gave her, and another ring she always wore. Marilyn cried.”

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