Milestone marriage in the sky for local woman - Republic-Times | News

Milestone marriage in the sky for local woman

By on January 10, 2018 at 12:06 pm

“As one life ends, another begins.”

Delta Air Lines flight attendant Holly Rick of Waterloo and pilot Gene Peterson united in marriage on board the airline’s final 747 passenger flight last Wednesday.

Rick, a 1982 graduate of Gibault Catholic High School, first met Peterson on the upper deck of a 747-400 flying U.S. troops to Kuwait in 2009.

“Since then we’ve spent years flying this airplane together around the world. In a lot of ways we really grew up on the 747, so it’s a fitting salute to say goodbye with this milestone,” Peterson explained in an article on

Rick and Peterson maintained a long-distance relationship as single parents living in different states since that special day nine years ago.

“Every month Gene and I would look at our schedules and bid on flights together and every once in a while we’d get to fly together,” Holly said. “There were times where we wouldn’t get on the same rotation and we’d be apart for a month and a half, but for us, it just worked.”

Rick said her now-husband knew the flight director in charge of arranging the final 747 flight for Delta. He made plans for the couple to get married on that historic flight.

“We thought, ‘Hey, why not?'” Rick said.

The 747 is being phased out for lighter, more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient jets such as Boeing’s 757, 777 and 787. Boeing will continue to manufacture the 747 aircraft for cargo operators.

The plane’s farewell voyage last week traveled from Atlanta to Pinal Airpark in Arizona, which serves as a boneyard for civilian commercial aircraft…>>>

Read the rest of the story in the January 10, 2018,  issue of the Republic-Times.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.