Those close to Nancy Parker and Franklin Augustus handle a tough loss

Those close to Nancy Parker and Franklin Augustus handle tough loss

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - While much of New Orleans mourns the losses of Nancy Parker and pilot Franklin Augustus, for some the tragedy is doubly painful.

Both were active members of a community who worked hard to make a difference, and for those who knew both, the loss is tough to take.

As the memorial grows outside of FOX 8, so does the disbelief that New Orleans has lost two shining lights.

Carlton Dufrechou, the general manager of the Causeway Bridge talked with Nancy Parker on many occasions.

“The story is not the numbers it’s the people behind it, Nancy went to that depth, that’s what she was doing with Franklin,” Dufrechou said.

Dufrechou is also a pilot, who knew Franklin Augustus well. Augustus used to fly with Dufrechou’s father.

“Dad had an old Messerschmitt, and we crossed paths a lot at air shows, in the 80′s and ninties,” Dufrechou said.

Walt Pierce is a former managing editor at FOX 8, starting at the station in the late 1990s, around the same time Nancy did.

“Nancy was just remarkably wonderful, but it’s true. What you saw on the air was what you saw in person,” Pierce said.

He, like Dufrechou, also knew both Nancy and Augustus.

“Franklin was doing what he loved to do, and he was doing it since he was 19,” Dufrechou said.

Pierce knew Augustus for years, working with him on anti-drug crusades conducted through the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and its special reserve deputy unit.

“He started this character, the super hero, and accompanied [Sheriff Marlin] Gusman. On Halloween, Franklin would come out and do a message to kids on the dangers of drug abuse," Pierce said. “That was his thing.”

Though both men, along with this community, have lost good friends, both said they hope Nancy and Franklins’ message lives on.

“Individuals can’t be replaced,” Dufrechou said. “There’s always someone else, but not Nancy or Franklin, two soul dedicated to their mission. Thank goodness my path passed with both of them, and I’m better for it. And the community is better for it.”

Parker and Augustus both died Friday (Aug. 16), when Augustus’ stunt plane crashed. He was an experienced flier and one of the subjects of a story she was working on.

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