Saturday, September 29, 2007

The weather looks great

Well, today is the day and the weather looks great. I look forward to meeting as many of you as show up. To those who cannot attend today, but who have sent cards, flowers, etc... thank you for your loving support.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Just a heads up about this whole Evite thing

Dear friends and family,

Due to my unfamiliarity with Evites, I did not invite people, per se, using their email addresses to send them to the Memorial RSVP Page. A few people pointed this out to me, and I wanted to redress the situation.

This does not mean you can't come. This does not mean you cannot RSVP. What it DOES mean, is that you cannot RSVP, then use the Evite to tell your friends about this Saturday. Just send your friends to the page, if you think there is someone out there who may not know, and who would like to attend.

The URL to send your friends is:

Once again, we ask that everyone who might be there this Saturday RSVP so that we can ensure enough food and drinks.

Please, don't bring gifts of food or flowers (Christian, me, will have to find a place to put them, and his small condo won't fit much), just make a donation to one of Brooke's favorite causes if you feel so moved. A caterer will be handling the event.



New photos up on Flickr from Merry Bruns

Merry Bruns sent in some new photos which I posted on Flickr.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Karen's cat, Simba, is in need of a loving home

Please note that Simba has been adopted (10 October 2007).

Dear Friends,

Simba, Karen's Maine Coon kitty (high resolution photo), is in search of a new home! He is currently in the care of a Maine Coon rescue group in Maryland, and would love to find a loving, permanent home to settle into. He is a large, three-year old purebred Maine Coon who looks just like a little lion. He is vocal, friendly, and in good health. He enjoys being around people, and likes the occasional pat. He prefers to find an ideal vantage spot in a room to observe all activity from, rather than cozying up in a comfy lap. He does not like to be picked up, at all! We are not sure about his compatibility with other cats and dogs, but we think he would enjoy their companionship and the interaction. He is strictly an indoor cat and needs to remain as such. He is a sweet kitty!

Click on the picture below to see Simba's Petfinder posting:

Click here to find out more about adopting Karen's cat, Simba on

Rescue group's information:

Organization Profile: MCRescue, Frederick, MD
Contact Email:

Potential adopters should live within 2 hours of the DC area.

In Lieu of Flowers, make a donation to a worthy cause

For anyone who would like to make a gift to memorialize Brooke, we ask that instead of bringing flowers on Saturday, you please make a donation in his name to one of the following three charities, all of which were causes and interests close to his heart: Boy Scouts of America (endless summer weekends spent "doing something" with a coterie of boys trailing behind); Conservation International (Dad was an avid outdoorsman); or Woolly Mammoth Theatre (later in life, Dad became a very active patron of the local DC Theater scene).
Our heartfelt thanks to all who choose to remember Brooke in this way.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Memorial Service for Brooke Stauffer, Saturday, September 29, 2007.

Dear Friends and Family:

The Stauffer Kids have decided to hold a Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Brooke Stauffer on Saturday, September 29, 2007. Christian will be posting a link to an "Evite" on this blog (take a look on the right-hand side of the blog beneath the top photo), and it would be hugely helpful just in terms of planning if you could RSVP to the Evite so we know how many people to plan for. Posting your response on the Evite would be immeasurably easier than you calling or e-mailing us to let us know you are attending, so if possible we ask that you do so.

Karen's family will hold a separate memorial service for her in the Washington, DC area during the beginning of November. Details about that will be posted on the blog as well. Of course, as Karen and Brooke shared a life together, certainly she will feature in Brooke's service, as he will in hers. And everyone who wants to attend either or both is welcome to. For those of you who best remember Brooke and Karen "together," we hope you will plan accordingly. However, the families have collectively decided not to hold a "joint" services, as such.

The details are as follows: an "open house" will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2007 at Brooke and Karen's house (1115 E. Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003, bordering on Lincoln Park). Detailed driving directions and a map will be posted in the near future. The house is near Eastern Market, and RFK Stadium. As parking can be tight on Capitol Hill on the weekends, you might plan to take the Metro (orange line to Eastern Market, or Red Line to Union Station). For out of town guests, there are plenty of hotels a 10-minute cab ride away. We suggest you search in the Union Station vicinity.

The Open House will be from 12pm - 5pm. We hope that you will come and drop by for as long or short a time as you are able to, to laugh, cry, and share memories with us and each other about Brooke (and Brooke and Karen). Food and drinks will be provided. At some point during the afternoon, we will take the opportunity to eulogize Dad.

As many of you know, Brooke was not at all a religious or spiritual man. We completely respect your choice to mourn or grieve in whatever way you feel is most appropriate, and all thoughts and prayers are always very much appreciated. However, in keeping with Brooke's wishes, the Memorial Service will be secular in nature, and we hope that you can respect its non-religious atmosphere.

Many, many thanks for the outpouring of love and support that we and Karen's family have received during this terrible ordeal.

- Hilary

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A touching and wonderful email from folks who met Brooke and Karen on Mackinac Island

I received this email on the blog account today. Two people who met Brooke and Karen on Mackinac Island wrote us their recollections...


Let me start by saying how sorry I am for your loss. I was quite shocked to hear of the crash.

My wife and I had flown into Mackinaw Island on the 22nd of August arriving around 3:30pm. We met Karen and Brooke while waiting for a taxi from the airport to our respective hotels. As the taxis on Mackinaw are horse drawn carriages sharing a ride is not unusual and we discussed flying and our respective trips while waiting for the cab and during the ride into town. There was a bit of joking about the amount of luggage we (were not) carrying versus the collection of bags Karen and Brooke had with them :-) Karen seemed pretty outgoing and animated, Brooke a little more reserved - perhaps quietly amused would be a good description.

In a rather odd coincidence we both called a cab on the 24th for the ride back to the airport - so we shared the ride again. I discussed with Brooke my work with industrial controls and that I had probably read several of his articles in the past. Brooke was telling me about his new book.

On reaching the airport we loaded our aircraft and then Karen showed me the Trinidad. I did not board her aircraft but did take a good look at the plane and the control panel. The aircraft appeared to be in good condition. Karen took a look at my plane (a Liberty XL2) and then returned to preflight the Trinidad. I did notice Karen talking with several other pilots who landed while we were at the airport - I believe she was checking on the cloud ceilings. I departed Mackinaw IFR at 1:17pm and saw the Trinidad on the ramp at that time. I am assuming that they departed shortly thereafter based on the time of the accident.

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures from the trip - I wish now that I had one to share with you. Karen and Brooke were relaxed and happy - a nice couple enjoying themselves. Brooke was gracious enough to walk over to my plane before we departed and hand me his business card and said to send him my address and he would forward a signed copy of his book to me. I thought that was a very nice gesture - and from what I have read of him it was also quite normal.

It was a pleasure meeting Karen and Brooke. If I can be of any assistance to you please let me know.


Mark Radabaugh

There are new recent pictures of Brooke and Karen up on Flickr

Paul Seefedlt sent in pictures of Brooke and Karen visiting the family on August 18-22, 2007, and these photos were taken on Tuesday or Wednesday of that week. These are probably the most recent pictures we have of them, and I am happy to see they spent good times with the family prior to August 24th.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Muskegon Chronicle wrote a recent article about this story and they have suspended dive operations

The Muskegon Chronicle posted a story yesterday. They interviewed Kathleen and the author makes the claim that the MSP have suspended dive recovery operations. I have not yet spoken with the detective in charge of the investigation but I will confirm the details of this story later today.

Update 12:03 EDT

I talked with the Dive Commander, Sgt. Larry Schloegl, this morning, and yes, they have suspended active searching. If something comes up (literally or figuratively) they will investigate, but they are not sending boats and divers out.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kathleen's update on her visit to Bois Blanc Island

Dear All,

Basically, there is no news on Karen and Brooke. We drove up to Cheboygan on Wednesday and took the 8 am ferry the next day over to Bois Blanc Island. I was appalled at the expanse of water between the Island and the mainland. I didn't realize until I was looking at it what a very large area there was to search. To give you a better idea: it takes the ferry 45 minutes to cross from downtown Cheboygan to the marina on the Island.

We were met at the boat landing by the couple who first heard the explosion from the plane. His feeling about the sound was that the plane exploded in air. I talked with George (other owner) about this and he says that there is no history of in-air explosions with this plane, but he will research that. Also, I thought an explosion might have occurred when Karen switched fuel tanks in mid-flight, and a spark ignited the fuel. George says she was supposed to switch tanks on landing, and if not then, before she took off again. He does not buy the in-air explosion idea.

While we were on the island, the Michigan State Police were searching the area. Their staging area was at the Mackinac City Marina. In the photo, you will see about eight SUVs, two boat trailers and there also was a covered trailer carrying their diving gear. We could just barely see the two boats from the home of the observer.

On our return to the mainland, on Friday morning we went over to the Cheboygan State Police post. The debris that has washed up is being collected there. Thursday morning, the back seat of the plane washed up. It is a bench seat, about three feet wide. George says that seat is not attached to the plane, it just sits on the floor behind the pilot and copilot seats. Another seat also washed up. From pictures of the Trinidad on the web, it appears to me it is a seat, not a seat-back. We were told it has an 'R' on it, so it may be the right-hand seat. Also in the collection were some personal items of Karen's, including a bra and a pair of shoes. There also was a flip-flop that looked as if it could be Brooke's. And the rest of the debris was the window/door frames we have seen on the blog. I was not allowed to take a photo of the pile of debris.

I am attaching photos, and I left them large so you can see the detail. If anyone has a problem with the size of this email, let me know and I will send the photos in smaller groups.

1. A view of the east end of Bois Blanc Island from Point Nipigon on the mainland, just east of Cheboygan.
2. The police staging area at Mackinac City marina.
3. One State Police search boat searching the area.
4. Two search boats in the area.

It has been suggested to us by one of the divers that the Dive Commander in Lansing has to make the decision as to whether the search will continue this week. I have a call in to him to find out what the status actually is. It has also been suggested to us that if he is going to downgrade the search, we should call our Michigan congressperson. So as soon as I get the status I will move forward.

I'll keep you all posted when there's more news.


Friday, September 14, 2007

No recent news for Friday. Hilary sent in some more photos

We have no recent news as of today. A reporter from the area near where Karen's mother lives is airing a story today or tomorrow, locally in Michigan. If we can get a video of it, we'll post it.

Hilary sent in some more photos today. Have a quiet and safe weekend. We'll post what we know here when we get more information.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Merry Bruns sent in some wonderful photos from a picnic

Merry (Karen's best friend) sent in some wonderful photos from a picnic they recently had at the Carter Barron. These are the last photos Merry took of Karen and Brooke, Mike (her husband) and Merry had had a great picnic with them at Carter-Barron, and they all saw "Love's Labors Lost."

Wednesday's update - cruddy weather in Cheyboygan, divers going home for today

Hi All,

We talked to one of the divers this evening. Said they were just putting the boats away. He also said it was raining hard and the waves were about seven feet; said they weren't sure they would get back to shore. They were out all day today, and they found some metal pieces, but they didn't investigate because the weather was so bad. They will go out tomorrow morning at 7 am, and their target will be those pieces.

We are driving up to Cheboygan tomorrow and will take the ferry over to Bois Blanc Island. I have emailed Mike White (Ed. note: from the Bois Blanc Is. online community board) to let him know, and he says he and the man who heard the plane will meet the early boat, and we can go from there. We also plan to stop in Mackinaw City, where the divers' boats dock.

We're going up there (it's a 5 hour drive) basically just to look around and see the lay of the land. I'll take some photos, just in case there's something to see.

The weather here in Michigan is getting colder. The search boats are having a harder time of it. We pray for their success in finding the plane.

Love to all,

Monday, September 10, 2007

The MSP are still looking today, and there are a few new pictures up

Dear all,

I spoke with the Michigan State Police (MSP) this morning, and wanted to let everyone know that they are searching for the plane as I write. There is no new news to speak of, beyond that.

Some family and friends sent in some photos that I posted on the Flickr account. I will post any photos you wish to send in.

Any news of a memorial service will be posted here, so keep an eye out. The wonderful guest book comments and emails are heart-lifting, and everyone very much appreciates them. I hope everyone had a restful weekend, as I know many of you with children have them back in school now.

Friday, September 7, 2007

NFPA's Mark Earley wrote a nice tribute

H. Brooke Stauffer, NFPA Electrical Section's Chairman, and Fiancee Missing after Plane Crash

By Mark Earley, P.E.

I know that many of you have been following news reports that indicate Brooke Stauffer and his fiancée, Karen Dodds, were reported missing on a flight over Lake Huron . I am sad to report that some aircraft wreckage has been found; however, the search is still in progress and we remain hopeful.

Brooke has worked in the electrical industry for most of his career. He had spent many years at NEMA, the Smart House Development Venture, worked for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, and most recently, the National Electrical Contractors’ Association. He serves on the National Electrical Code®’s (NEC ®’s) CMP 1 and NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace®. He has previously served on CMP 2, CMP 20, NFPA 70B, Electrical Equipment Maintenance®, and NFPA 73, Electrical Inspection for Existing Dwellings®. He is the Chairman of the NFPA Electrical Section.

Brooke cares deeply about the electrical industry. He was the driving force behind the formation of the Inspection Initiative and the Electrical Code Coalition, which both sought to strengthen electrical inspectors and to promote adoption of the NEC.

Brooke is an accomplished writer. He has written for a number of magazines. He has written a couple of novels, including a science fiction novel for children. He also wrote a handy pocket travel guide to the Washington , DC area. Most recently, he wrote several books on the NEC.

Brooke also completely rewrote the National Electrical Code Style Manual. This was a tedious and thankless job. However, it is now readable and very user friendly.

Those of us who attended this year's World Safety Conference and Exposition remember his smooth and articulate leadership of the Electrical Section's business meeting.

Brooke is an accomplished writer in another unique way. In this day of modern email communication, he is known for his hand written notes and cards. Several people that I have spoken to this week had stories about an uplifting card that they had received from Brooke. If you had a young child, Brooke would send him/her an autographed copy of his science fiction book.

Karen Dodds is a talented graphic artist who serves as president of Dodds Design, a graphic arts company that designs web sites and brochures. I have known Karen for a few years. We have had a few long conversations about our mutual love of flying. Brooke and Karen developed a passion for exploring the country by air. I enjoyed the time that I spent with Brooke and Karen immensely. They are a great couple!

Brooke has two sons, Christian and Gregory and a daughter, Hillary.

Brooke is a good friend to many in this industry on a professional level and a personal level. Please keep Brooke and Karen in your thoughts and prayers.

Brooke’s son Christian set up a blog where he is providing updates on the search. You may find it at:

You can also send a note of support to the family on the blog.

Information may also be found on the NECA website

Another piece of wreckage found on Bois Blanc Is.

This has not yet been confirmed by the MSP, but the individual who found earlier pieces of the wreckage on Bois Blanc Is. reported that he found more wreckage last night, while looking for flowers on the coastline. You can read his post here. (Go to the last post)

He has reported this to the MSP, and we'll let you know what more we find out.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

From Kathleen, the final update for this evening.

Hi All,

Unfortunately, there are no developments for today. The State Police were not out yesterday and they are not out today. Today they are "regrouping" and re-analyzing their work so far. They have covered about 7 to 8 square miles of lake bottom in the designated area. They have found nothing of Karen's plane. Also, no more debris has washed up.

They will now go to their command group in Lansing and see if they will get the go-ahead to search tomorrow.

We found out this morning that they are still searching for the remains of the University of Michigan medical team plane that went down a couple of months ago in Lake Michigan. So we asked the State Police how long before they say 'no more searching.' Our contact at the State Police says "We never give up" and they will continue to search until the remains are found. Period.

NFPA website mentions Brooke

The NFPA online newsletter has posted a paragraph about Brooke.

ANSI posted an article about Brooke--No news this morning

ANSI added a story about Brooke and Karen on August 30th, that his assistant sent me this morning.

I spoke with the investigating detective this morning, and the dive teams are not currently in the water. They are consulting with the University of Michigan which provides them with detailed maps of drift patterns and currents in the Great Lakes, to narrow down their search area further. No new debris has washed ashore, making this process more difficult.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Please email me photos you want added

I have received some photos of Brooke and Karen and posted them. However, due to the inherent bias of being Brooke's son, I do not have nearly as many photos of the two of them together, nor enough of Karen, and would happily add any that friends and family would like to share to the Flickr account. Feel free to email me.

John Grau wrote a post about Brooke on his blog

John Grau wrote a post about Brooke on his blog, NECA Transmissions, and I wanted to let everybody know where to find it.

All of us at NECA are saddened by the sudden loss of Brooke Stauffer. He presumably died in a private plane accident on August 24, although the plane’s wreckage has not yet been found.

Brooke was NECA’s Executive Director of Standards and Safety for 12 years. When his predecessor, Charlie Hart, retired after 40 years of service to NECA I thought that we would never find another person to fill his shoes. But Brooke did so, and he set a new standard of his own. NECA was privileged to have him serve our association.

Working with the National Electrical Code is an exacting job, and Brooke was a leader in shaping that Code. He was recently appointed to head the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Electrical Section—both an honor and recognition that Brooke was one of the nation’s top code experts. He also created and sheparded the development of the NECA National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS). NEIS was a brand new venture for NECA, and its success was largely due to Brooke’s efforts. He was a popular speaker at electrical inspector conferences and earned a reputation for promoting high quality, safe electrical installations.

You would expect someone like Brooke to have a strong technical background, but he was a writer first and foremost. He authored a number of books for NFPA and regularly wrote interesting and compelling articles and reports.

I am sure Brooke would claim that the greatest achievement in his life was raising three wonderful children and watching them become successful adults. He was a great father, engaged and supportive of his children’s activities and interests. His fiancée Karen Dodds was just as outgoing and engaging as Brooke. I always enjoyed sharing a table with them at various industry events.

Brooke was one of a small group within the office that I regularly grab a sandwich with at lunch. It was pretty quiet around the table today. We all have our memories of good times with Brooke, and we all miss him.

No searching today, bad weather.

Dear all,

We hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend. We expect no news today as the weather has hampered the resumption of search operations. We will of course post whatever we know here, so keep looking. This was the email I received this morning:

Hi All,

We just talked to the Michigan State Police and they advise us that the search has not been suspended, but the divers are not out today, more because of the wind rather than the rain.

They are regrouping and they plan to go back out tomorrow or Thursday. We will keep you posted.