Andrea McArthur and her daughter Rachel loved going on adventures together. The latest one was a trip to Alaska, but the two women never made it home.
Andrea McArthur, 55, and Rachel McArthur, 20, from Woodstock, were among six that died Aug. 5 in a flightseeing plane crash in southeast Alaska.
Dana McArthur, Andrea’s husband and Rachel’s father, said his memories with them will last a lifetime.
“When I look at photos of my wife, I see that she has the greatest smile and her eyes can light up a room,” he said. “I’ll remember her as being someone who passionately cared for other people, fought for the underdog, and reached out to and cared for everyone, no matter the venue. It’s a similar story for Rachel, because she was a strong willed child and was a great decision maker.”
Dana McArthur said he and his wife met about 30 years ago at a Bible study. She was consistently involved with the Community Bible Study, an interdenominational organization that offers over hundreds of classes throughout the United States.
Andrea McArthur worked at Delta Air Lines for 30 plus years as a flight attendant, doing both domestic and international travel. Her husband said she loved going on vacation and enjoyed traveling.
“She had a passion for connecting and relating with people,” he said. “She was friends with everybody, and was sweet and gracious to everyone. She also loved to serve people like our son, Davis, who is Asperger’s autistic. She’s been passionate about, and advocated for mental health awareness and was involved in different programs for almost 20 years.”
He added that she was a devoted mom and a great wife who would do whatever she could for her kids.
Dana McArthur said his daughter, a rising junior at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, shared similar qualities to her mom, and was hard working and outgoing.
“She studied intelligence and national security studies at CCU,” he said. “One of her dream jobs was working with the NCIS in the D.C. area.”
Rachel McArthur was involved in various intelligence-related programs at school, and also studied Mandarin and Mexico and U.S. border relations. She was active in other organizations on the campus as well, and had just completed an internship at the Roswell Police Department in July.
As a freshman, she received the Intelligence Award at CCU, in recognition of her constant improvement, dedication, and hard work in the field of intelligence. She is the only freshman to receive this award. She was also a published author in immigration and security.
Andrea McArthur introduced herself to all of her professors, and enjoyed talking to them on a personal level, her father said. He said she loved having conversations with people on a deep level to get to know them better.
“They were passionate about enjoying and experiencing life,” he said. “One of the comforts for me through all this is they went into heaven together.”
Roswell Police remembered Rachel McArthur, also known as Rae, as a driven person who was always asking for more hours and seeking more experience than what was required of her as an intern.
“Our hearts are heavy with the news, and remain knit to the McArthur family as they navigate this unimaginable loss,” the department wrote on social media Aug. 9. “It was immediately apparent to all around her that Rae was aspirational, motivated, and determined to reach her goals. When her 2020 application had to be deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rae was undeterred and immediately resubmitted for the 2021 session. While working around RPD, Rae was particularly set apart by her driven desire for MORE.”
Dana McArthur said Delta Air Lines held a service Thursday morning at Hartsfield Jackson Airport to honor Andrea McArthur, and Coastal Carolina University held a service Wednesday night for Rachel McArthur. A celebration of life service was held Aug. 12.