Patient Referral

Former pilot gets to fly one last time as a final wish

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - A Lee's Summit man got a wish of a lifetime Friday morning.

Fred Marchel, a 91-year-old former pilot, took off from the airport he worked at for 25 years for one final plane ride with his daughter.

His caretakers at Crossroads Hospice in Kansas City granted him one final wish.

He got to ride on a Beechcraft King Air 350 alongside his daughter and a few other friends and, for 45 minutes, got fly over a few sights like downtown Kansas City.

“To be able to reconnect with his old buddies at the airport that he worked on the board with and then to go up in flight is just beyond measure," Fred’s daughter Beth Marchel said.

Marchel became a pilot in 1941.

After the flight, he gathered with his caretakers and family for pictures and had few complaints about his final flight.

“The plane was wonderful,” he said. “It was just a bit tight."

Brendaliss Gonzalez can be reached at