By Alex Haglund
Following Friday’s tragic plane crash, people in Nashville who knew the Gutzlers are coping with their loss. The Gutzlers were a prominent and social family and their absence will be felt acutely here in their hometown.
“Kim and Marty have always been sports-driven and school-driven here in Nashville. Their business has a huge impact. Our girls danced together. It was a true family friendship,” said Victor Lopez, who has helped to put up a website in Sailor Gutzler’s name, sailorgutzlerfund.com (see left).
“It evolved from being friends,” Lopez continued. “You come here in the community and you end up as family, that’s one of the positive impacts of being around Kim and Marty.”
“Marty treated everyone the same, he treated everyone fairly. He was a very energetic exciting person to be around. Kim and Marty, they had lots of friends,” Lopez continued. “
One of those was Nashville News sports editor Travis Volz, who described Marty and Kim Gutzler as two of his and his wife’s best friends. After communicating with members of the Gutzlers’ family, Volz talked about his friends with various television news crews, which he stated was a trying experience.
“Our kids went to daycare together,” Volz said, “we’ve known Sailor since she was 1. We started going to parties together, but we’ve just gotten closer and closer as time went on.”
“They were both fun and full of life. They could tell you a story and get you belly-laughing about it. Whenever there was a party and Kim and Marty were going to be there, you knew that you were going to have a good time.”
“They were very generous,” Volz said. “Kim would help you out with anything: short-notice babysitter, helping out at sports and family events. She was always game, she would always help you out.”
“If you knew them, they were friends,” Volz said. “They were just open, warm, great people.
Many of the messages of sympathy for Sailor or thoughts of her parents, Piper, or Sierra Wilder were posted on social media and condolence pages:
“Wow, don’t know what to say. I hope the best for the family. I am glad I got to know these amazing people even if it was only for a little time,” Darla Halfacre, Kim Gutzler’s Facebook page.
“You were taken from us way too soon….I wish I could give you a hug and see that beautiful smile of yours,” Hunter Hutchison, Sierra Wilder’s condolences page.
“A beautiful angel, and a wonderful family, so sorry for the loss, God bless you,” Marsha Dietz, Piper Gutzler’s condolences page.
“I will always miss you Sierra! You were an amazing person and a beautiful girl,” Matthew Sauerhage, Sierra Wilder’s condolences page.
“I can’t imagine what growing up would have been like without you as my best friend,” Tammie Maschhoff, on Kim Gutzler’s Facebook page.
The page that’s as close to an official page for comments, thoughts, condolences, messages and even photos to Piper as well as the departed is the Facebook page Fund for Sailor Gutzler
“We had over 6,000 messages within 24 hours,” Lopez said, talking about the Facebook page related to sailorgutzlerfund.com, which has become a forum for those who hurt following this tragedy, both those who were familiar with the family, and strangers who have been touched by the tragedy, many of them a long way from Nashville.
“The people from Nashville are on there, but some of these people commenting, they’re from New York, North Carolina, California, England. It’s amazing,” Lopez said.
“Hello Sailor! My name is Jackson. I am praying for you . I am 7 years old and your my hero! I live in Ga and my Nana and Papa live in Key West. Your in my heart Sailor!” Posted by Amber Arnold on The Fund for Sailor Gutzler Facebook Page.
“Our Hearts go out to this Brave Little Girl, when I read about it my heart broke and I just wanted to help any way could. I think that she is going to be a special person the rest of her life. It was a miracle what she went through.” Posted by Lynetta Sipos Bemis on The Fund for Sailor Gutzler Facebook Page.
“Sending love and prayers from Newburyport, MA. Is there an address to send letters/gifts to Sailor? My daughter would like to send something.” Posted by Lori Towle on The Fund for Sailor Gutzler Facebook Page.
“I just sent a donation to Sailor’s fund. I’m a commercial pilot with over 26000 logged hours. I’m so impressed with how well she kept her ‘wits about her’ under such sad and disheartening circumstances. I’ve mentioned to a few of my friends…..for her to survive this accident, the Lord must have something really great planned for her.” Posted by Jimmy Faris on The Fund for Sailor Gutzler Facebook Page.
“I don’t know you or your family, but this tragic story affected me so much. My heart bleeds for this little girl, Sailor. Poor baby!” Posted by Cheri Green on The Fund for Sailor Gutzler Facebook Page.
To see more messages, or to find out more news from the family as it is posted, please visit www.sailorgutzlerfund.com or the Facebook page Fund For Sailor Gutzler.