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Vicki Yancey

Vicki Yancey, of Springfield, was an eager worker and an even more eager traveler. The former naval electronics technician, bound for a business conference in Reno, Nevada, was on the first of what she hoped would be many trips for Vredenburg, a Washington-based defense contractor for which she worked. 

She wasn’t supposed to be on American Airlines Flight 77. However, ticketing problems delayed her departure on an earlier flight, and she made it onto the American plane with minutes to spare. When she called her husband, David Yancey, to let him know, each said, “I love you,” before hanging up. 

The 43-year-old mother of two daughters – Michelle, 18, and Carolyn, 15 – loved politics, figure skating and the beach. 

In 1991, she wrote a letter to the Washington Post lamenting the demise of the one-income family. That led to an appearance before the Senate Finance Committee, where she testified about the struggles of middle-class families. USA Today, CNN, and PBS followed up with stories. Above a picture of her on her Web page, Yancey wrote: “I love politics – here’s me testifying before the Senate Finance Committee in 1991. What an exciting day that was!”