Checker....this is all I could find so far; today was the memorial, but haven't found an obit. There might be a name, etc. in one of the articles that might verify things for you. (The second article says his mother's name is Mildred.) Maybe by now you have read all this.....
Thursday, September 20, 2001 - A suited and stoic Matt Dahl, his lapel and tie tacked with his dad's flight service pins, moved quietly to give his uncle a bear hug. Hang in there," the 15-year-old told Bill Heiderich as he patted his back.
"He's everything good his father was," Heiderich said, face clenched against the tears that have become so common.
That good, from fixing a neighbor's leaky roof at midnight to treating every co-worker with respect, was extolled Wednesday as 1,300 friends, family and a sea of men and women in gold wings and navy blue uniforms said goodbye to United Airlines Capt. Jason Matthew Dahl.
He is one of Colorado's connections to the world's worst act of terrorism, a Ken-Caryl Valley resident who was at the controls of Flight 93 when it was commandeered by hijackers Sept. 11.
Dahl's plane is the only one of four to crash into a rural field instead of a bustling workplace, possibly due in part to his actions and those of four heroic passengers.
"His war has been won. He is free," the Rev. Jan Erickson-Pearson of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church told the standing-room-only crowd that included Gov. Bill Owens at West Bowles Community Church.
West Bowles is no stranger to memorials prompted by the unthinkable. The Cassie Bernall Youth Building stands next to the sanctuary, a reminder of the slain Columbine High teen who called the church her second home.
Many were moved to tears even before the service as they watched a big-screen photo montage, which included Dahl in several cockpits. Each image seemed to underscore Dahl's love for flying and, even more so, his love of his family.
Dahl, 43, was remembered as the most comforting and comfortable of friends. As a child he had no fear of introducing G.I. Joe in a neighborhood full of Barbies, and as an adult his neighbors knew him to come impeccably dressed to eat dinner but be just as willing to provide the perfect tool and help you get dirty. Many a Ken-Caryl home bears evidence of his skill, friend Dan Hatlestad said.
Dahl's personalized United Airlines stationery stood ready Wednesday to take mourners' thoughts and prayers, each sheet deposited into square flight bags that will make no more journeys.
One note simply read, "Thank you."
"I have no doubt, Jason, that you're up there teaching angels how to fly," eulogized Sam Corsello, who, like Dahl, pumped gas and washed airplanes in college to make money they'd spend on aviation fuel and aircraft rentals.
The captain's 5-foot-8 height was a source of ribbing, and he would playfully maneuver to get higher than others in pictures.
"You are the tallest man I've ever met in my life," Corsello said.
Dahl was the one, friends said, you wanted to call at your highest high and lowest low. He invited folks without Christmas plans to spend the holiday with his family.
In a recent conversation with a friend, he could hardly contain his excitement over his fifth anniversary, which he would have celebrated Friday. He bought his wife, Sandy, a baby grand piano.
A memorial has unfolded about 2 miles from Dahl's home, where a sign at the development's entrance proclaims: "God Bless America and Our Hero Jason Dahl."
Fading flowers surrounded pictures and messages and jars containing the residue of candles that had burned themselves out.
"He's altered my life forever," said Robert Hardy of Newport Beach, Calif., a 24-year friend who met Dahl by taking flying lessons from him. "I'd like to live life the way Jason lived his. His greatest resource was his friends."
Many say Dahl's legacy is already evident in son Matt.
The Chatfield High student rose, looked out from the podium and said, "Good God, there's a lot of you!"
Then he invoked his most prized childhood memory, nightly readings of Dr. Seuss' "The Sleep Book," doing his best to imitate his hero's silly voices.
""Ninety-nine zillion, Nine trillion and two Creatures are sleeping! So . . . How about you?'
"When you put out your light, Then the number will be Ninety-nine zillion, Nine trillion and three.' "
"Good night, Dad."
Denver Post staff writer Kevin Simpson contributed to this report. http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,6439%257E152850,00.html
United pilot always stood tall
1,500 recall life of flier, father lost in hijackers' thwarted mission
By Robert Sanchez and Owen S. Good, News Staff Writers
LITTLETON -- It was a remarkable funeral, as any service with 1,500 mourners would be. Most of them were pilots, who crossed great distances to remember one of their own.
But when these pilots, in their blue flight blazers and gold wings, stood Wednesday to sing God Bless America, it was obvious Jason Dahl was someone more than the captain of a lost aircraft.
He was a hero, Gov. Bill Owens said.
Terrorists had taken over United Airlines Flight 93 last week to use in a suicide attack, possibly on the White House or the Capitol. But the flight ended in a western Pennsylvania field, Dahl and 44 others dead, and their nation spared the destruction of another symbol.
"One of the most selfless acts of courage came from Capt. Dahl himself," Owens told the congregation at West Bowles Community Church near Dahl's Ken Caryl Ranch home. Dahl and his passengers "sacrificed their lives to save hundreds, possibly thousands, of others."
Owens presented Dahl's mother, Mildred, with a U.S. flag that flew over the state Capitol Friday -- the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. He kissed her on the right cheek and shook her hand.
"Jason was our rock, and now he's not here anymore," said Dahl's sister, Carol Heiderich, before the service. "I keep expecting him to come through the door and make it all right."
Dahl's flight, from Newark, N.J, to San Francisco was one of four hijacked Sept. 11. It was the only one not to strike its target, bittersweet solace on a day of unimaginable destruction. Dahl, co-pilot Leroy Homer, five flight attendants and 38 passengers were killed.
"Jason was a good person," a child wrote to the family in a letter displayed inside the church. "I know he was thinking of you while he was flying the plane."
The "good" was crossed out with red marker and replaced with "great."
More than 1,000 United pilots and flight attendants from across the country packed the church.
They looked at Dahl's Little League baseball uniform adorned with the name "Giants." They saw the shirt he was wearing Jan. 16, 1974, the day he soloed a Taylorcraft L-2. He was 16.
Three-dozen photographs showed Dahl with his son, Matthew, and stepdaughter, Jennifer Blackford. Dahl smiled for the camera and hugged his wife, Sandy, in a wedding picture from Sept. 16, 1996.
"Jason planned a big party at his house for their fifth anniversary," friend Rob Hardy said, his voice cracking. "He was going to buy her a baby grand piano. He never got to do it."
A similar piano sat on a stage next to a large portrait and a model United 767 jet angled in permanent ascent. The power-guitar anthem of Top Gun, Dahl's favorite movie, soared over the speakers.
Dahl, 43, had a good-natured hotshot streak, but his fellow aviators did all the bragging for him Wednesday.
"When you get more than one pilot in the room, you've got to ask a question: Who's the best pilot you ever saw?" David Dosch, told mourners. "Well, the finest pilot I ever saw was Jason Dahl."
United pilot Sam Corsillo, who went to San Jose State University with Dahl, said the two competed to see who could appear taller in photographs. The pair did whatever it took, standing on tiptoes, stairs and even jumping.
"Jason, my friend," Corsillo said. "You're the tallest man I've met in my entire life."
While Dahl revered his profession, mourners said his family and friends always came first. There wasn't a house on his block that he didn't repair. He was at all his son's school events.
"Remember that I have love for you that will transcend time and bridge any distance," read a Christmas card Dahl gave his son.
At the bottom, Dahl wrote a message: "These words express so well how I feel -- please always keep them in mind. Merry Christmas, my son. With love and respect, Dad."
The feelings were mutual. Matt smiled at the gatherers.
"There are a lot of people here," he said.
Matt quickly broke into tears while sharing a story about his father reading Dr. Seuss rhymes at bedtime. He read through a few favorites, laughing, sniffling.
Matt softly closed the cover.
"Good night, Dad."
[This message has been edited by diann (edited 09-20-2001).]