Plane Crash Takes Life of Flying J Founder



 

March 17, 2003

OGDEN, UT – On the afternoon of Saturday, March 15, 2003, a tragic accident took the lives of two key figures in Flying J’s history. Founder and Chairman of the Board, O. Jay Call, was flying former vice president and current board member, Richard E. “Buzz” Germer, along with Germer’s wife, Ilene, to Sun Valley, Idaho when the plane Call was piloting disappeared off the radar screen. Weather conditions prohibited search and rescue efforts until early Sunday morning at which time the wreckage was found just outside of Hailey, Idaho, approximately five miles south of Sun Valley. There were no survivors. The cause of the accident is unknown. The crash is currently under investigation.

 

Flying J, an Ogden, Utah, based corporation was named after its founder who was also an avid pilot. JayÂ’s charismatic personality, inquisitive nature and fetish for cleanliness started a company that has become a leader in the nationÂ’s highway hospitality industry and the largest retail diesel marketer in North America.

 

Richard E. “Buzz” Germer, retired in December 2002 as vice president of supply & distribution and president of Big West Oil. His commitment to Flying J, fun-loving personality and compassion for others have left a permanent mark on the company.

 

Of the 10 million privately held companies in the U.S., Flying J had the distinction of being ranked number 45 among ForbesÂ’ 500 Largest Private Companies in America with 2002 annual sales exceeding $4.6 billion.

 

Flying J’s president and CEO, J. Phillip Adams, said, “The unimaginable loss to all of us at Flying J is mostly the shared loss of three of our best friends. We extend our love and sincere concern for their families.” He went on to say, “Jay and Buzz have had a huge and lasting impact on Flying J and Jay would want us to continue moving forward on the path of growth and commitment that we’ve been on. But what is most important right now is the support we can provide Jay’s wife and children.”

 

Call is survived by his wife, Tamra, daughter Crystal Call Maggelet, and son Thad Call. The GermerÂ’s are survived by their three children, Kim, Kyle, and Katie Germer.

 

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