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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014


The Associated Press: Profiles of Pa. health-club shooting victims

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

By The Associated Press

Profiles of the three women killed Tuesday night in the mass shooting at a health club south of Pittsburgh:


Heidi Overmier, 46, of the Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, was sales manager at Kennywood, the area's largest amusement park. Colleagues remembered her Wednesday as a behind-the-scenes orchestrator who helped keep the park operating — from coordinating school trips to organizing special events.

"Heidi's love of life, friendship, and dedication to excellence in all areas of her life will long be remembered," the park's general manager, Jerome Gibbs, said in a statement.

Overmier, who grew up in West Mifflin, another Pittsburgh suburb, was the youngest of five children and had worked at Kennywood since 1998. She attended Penn State University, according to her profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn.

"She would help anyone in the neighborhood. She was very, very active in her church," Overmier's brother, Jim Stapf, told WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh. "We're going to miss her dearly. Now she's with her younger brother and her dad. And we're going to pray now."

Other surviving relatives include a son, Ian, 15. A memorial site dedicated to her on Facebook already had nearly 200 members by Wednesday afternoon.

Neighbors described Overmier as friendly, resourceful and a hardworking single mother who took pains to take care of her modest home, landscaping and building a small rock wall along her front lawn by herself.

Anna Marie Mauti, who lives across the street, fondly recalled Overmier's frequent visits to her front porch to chat.

"She was fantastic, the best (neighbor) you could ever have ... You don't find them any better," Mauti told The Associated Press. "Why didn't he shoot himself and get himself off this earth" before Tuesday's tragedy.



Elizabeth "Betsy" Gannon, 49, of the suburban community of Green Tree, lived most of her life in the two-story brick house where she grew up. She loved to exercise and was frequently seen walking her red Labrador retriever, Lady, around the neighborhood.

"That dog's gonna miss her," said Carl Rady, a retired truck driver who lived next door to her for 35 years and thought of her as a daughter. On Tuesday night, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was summoned to the medical examiner's office to identify her body.

"She never had a bad day. She was always friendly to people," he said.

For the past 13 years, Gannon had worked as an X-ray technician at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Patrick J. DeMeo, the hospital's orthopedic surgery chairman, said in a statement that she was "a wonderful, caring person whose smile would brighten the day of both her colleagues and patients."

"Her life," DeMeo said, "touched that of so many others."

Close friend Mary McVay Fensel was at Gannon's house Wednesday, consoling Gannon's boyfriend. "She loved people, did right by people," she said. "Just cared for the well-being of others."

To read more, visit Google.


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