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The Grenfells

Since they were mentioned in Jesse Helms' letter to Boris Yeltsin, the Grenfells might be among the first people many think of when they wonder how and where the passengers of Flight 007 are now.  The family, Australian citizens, was on its way back to Korea after spending five weeks in Rochester, N.Y.  Neil Grenfell was Korean Marketing Director for Kodak, whose spokesman at the time, Henry Kaska, was quoted as saying in the Washington Post:  "He [Neil Grenfell] was very cordial, industrious, had an excellent relationship with our distributor in Korea, and was a good family man.  He was highly respected by the company."  Mr. and Mrs. Grenfell were located in the first class section, seats 8A and 7B of the 747; Stacy and Noelle were in seats 7H and 7J.

There has been some evidence that Noelle was placed in a medical technical secondary school in Khabarovsk at the age of 12.  See FAQ 10 for further information.

Concerning Stacy and Noelle, Senator Jesse Helms would write the International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors the following:

Iíll never forget that night when that plane was just beside ours at Anchorage airport with two little girls and their parents.

I taught them, among other things, to say I love you in deaf language, and the last thing they did when they turned the corner was stick up their little hands and tell me they loved me.

Iíll never forget that, and I know you wonít. Thank you for keeping it alive.

Former co-worker and friend, Richard Diggelman, recalls:

My family and I lived in Seoul from 1979-1983, where I was employed by Eastman Kodak as Marketing Director working with our Korean distributor, Doosan Industrial Co. In 1983 we were transferred to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was there that I first heard about the plane that was "lost" carrying the Grenfells.

During our last year in Korea, we were joined by the Grenfells. Being the only two American families from Kodak, naturally we became close friends. Our son was born in Korea in 1981, so he had two wonderful playmates in the Grenfell girls. Many pleasant weekends and field trips were spent in their company.  One especially poignant moment was when we saw the Christmas Card photo that I had taken of their family appearing in the national news reports of the attack.

Our recollection of the family is very positive. Neil was a very accomplished man, a musician, teller of great stories, good business man and devoted father. Carol was involved in many things in Seoul and was good company for my wife. Our shock was deep and reduced me to tears.


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Last modified: March 10, 2009

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