Funeral, funds set for Richmond hot air balloon victims

Published: May. 16, 2014 at 3:15 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Two members of the University of Richmond women's basketball team staff killed in a hot air balloon crash last week will be laid to rest out of state.

The university announced services for Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis Wednesday, hours after a memorial service was held on campus.

Doyle, the associate head women's basketball coach at the University of Richmond, will be laid to rest in Pennsylvania. A life celebration will be held on May 27 in Philadelphia followed by a mass the next morning in Southampton.

A wake for Lewis, the team's director of basketball operations, will be held in Buffalo on Friday with a funeral the next morning.

Two funds have been set up in the women's memory. Checks should be payable to the University of Richmond and designated to the Ginny Doyle Memorial Fund or the Natalie Lewis Memorial Fund. They can be mailed to University of Richmond, Spider Club, 28 Westhampton Way, University of Richmond, Va., 23173.

The university also announced it would hold a joint memorial service after classes resume in the fall.

The NTSB continues to investigate the crash, which killed the women, along with hot air balloon pilot Daniel Kirk.

Click here for full coverage of the #hotairballoon tragedy:

The crash came during the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival at Meadow Event Park. The remainder of the festival was subsequently canceled.

Doyle was a two-time all-conference player at Richmond who graduated in 1992. She led the Spiders to the 1991 CAA Championship and NCAA Tournament and is the program's career leader in free throw percentage. She set the NCAA Division I record for consecutive free throws made with 66, a mark that stood for 18 years.

Leave your thoughts for Ginny Doyle:

After graduation Doyle joined the  Spiders' staff for 16 years. The Spiders had nine winning seasons, including a trip to the 2006 NCAA tournament and a first-ever appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship final in 2009, during her 16 years at the university.

Leave your thoughts for Natalie Lewis:

Lewis was a championship swimmer and four-year varsity letter winner at Richmond, serving twice as team captain. She was on three Atlantic 10 swimming championship teams, as well as a student government cabinet member and Spider Scholar Athlete when she graduated in 2011. She began her professional career with Spider Athletics in 2012.

Kirk was a veteran balloon pilot, with more than 30 years experience. He worked as a pilot for Starship Adventures, which offered scenic hot air balloon flights over the DelMarVa area of the Eastern Shore. 

Leave your thoughts for Daniel Kirk:

Kirk claims he has "29 plus years" experience in a YouTube video published nearly two years ago of him training a beginner to fly a balloon.

His father, Donald, told NBC news his son was a retired lieutenant Army colonel who served in the military for 37 years. He called the crash "just a freak accident" saying his son was always very cautious.

Services information for Ginny Doyle

Tuesday, May 27

Life Celebration, 7- 9 p.m.

John H. Givnish Funeral Home

10975 Academy Road

Philadelphia, PA 19154

(215) 281-0100


Wednesday, May 28

Silent Prayer, 10-11 a.m.

Mass, 11 a.m. to noon

St. Bede the Venerable Roman Catholic Church

1071 Holland Road

Southampton, PA 18966

(215) 357-5720


Cards for Ginny Doyle may be sent:

c/o Raymond Doyle

40 Ronald Drive

Holland, PA 18966


Service information for Natalie Lewis 


Friday, May 16

Wake: 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.

Amigone Funeral Home

1132 Delaware Ave.

Buffalo, NY 14209

(716) 883-9200


Saturday, May 17

Funeral Service, 10 a.m.

St. Rose of Lima Church

500 Parker Ave.

Buffalo, NY 14216

(716) 834-6688


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