A local orthodontist and his wife are being remembered by the many families they served.
Dr. Gary Cohen and Nancy Cohen were killed when their small plane crashed Monday in a rural area north of Birmingham around 2 p.m.
The Cohens had a place in Destin, FL, where they had visited last weekend. They were returning home when the worst happened in the middle of stormy weather.
"Both of them were full of life just incredible people," said Dr. John Deason, with Perkins Drugs.
Nancy Cohen worked at Perkins Drugs in Gallatin. Co-workers there were in tears Tuesday after learning about the tragedy. Deason said they received a message Monday from Gary Cohen, asking for prayers as they headed back home.
"Andrew, the owner, received a text from them saying the weather was bad and they wanted prayers for safe travel," Deason said.
According to the Cohens' flight plan, they took off from Destin at abound 12:44 p.m., and they were supposed to arrive at the Sumner Regional Airport at 3:34 p.m.
But at some point, the Cohens changed direction over northern Alabama and began heading south. Gary Cohen radioed to air traffic controllers that his Mooney M20 single-propeller aircraft was in trouble.
That was the last anyone heard from them, and the plane's wreckage was later discovered in a field in Cullman County, AL.
Patients like 17-year-old Ashley Tuttle said Gary Cohen was one in a million.
She got her braces in the sixth grade and had them removed two years later.
Now, Tuttle is a senior in high school, but she saw her orthodontist just a month ago.
"It was so fast I didn't expect it at all," she said. "I was telling him I went to Washington over the summer. He was excited and gave me a cupcake because it was my birthday."
Those who knew the Cohens said they were kind people, wonderful professionals and loads of fun, doing what they loved, together, even in the end.
"They were fortunate to get to go together, because they loved each other so dearly. But they will be missed," Deason said.
The Cohens were longtime members of First Baptist Church Hendersonville. A pastor said they were members who were also servants who will be greatly missed.
"They were involved in a lot of things. They were leaders. They did things that touched a lot of lives," said the Rev. Richard Gaia.
Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration were back at the site of the plane crash Tuesday, looking for clues into what could have happened.
Gary and Nancy Cohen leave behind three adult children and two grandchildren.
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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