Rites Scheduled Today for Plane Crash Victim Barbara Gellman

Times Staff Writer

Services will be held today for Barbara L. Gellman, who died when her twin-engine plane crashed into a fog-covered ridge Monday in Alameda County.

Although a positive identification is pending, “there’s no doubt who it was,” said Irwin F. Gellman, her husband. “I wish there were. It was her plane. The only person who flew my wife’s plane was my wife.”

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot of the Cessna was warned three times that she was flying too low. The plane disappeared from the radar screen of air traffic controllers and crashed at 11:25 a.m., Alameda County Deputy Sheriff Louis Lozano Jr. said. The FAA is investigating the crash. “Why she was flying too low, I don’t know,” Irwin Gellman said. “She was a very careful pilot.”


Barbara Gellman was traveling from John Wayne Airport to Oakland to meet a publicist to discuss details of a round-the-world trip she planned in her plane, which she hoped would set records.

While flying was her hobby, Mrs. Gellman, 43, practiced law and was owner of VIP Properties Inc., a real estate firm. She lectured nationally on real estate law and syndication.

Born on Oct. 5, 1945, in Baltimore, she grew up in New Jersey, where she attended Dwight School for Girls. She graduated from Indiana University and attended Georgetown University Law School and George Washington University in Washington.

She worked as an assistant attorney general with the state of Maryland before moving to Newport Beach with her family in 1977. She was active in the League of Women Voters and the Master Chorale of Orange County.

A chapel service will be held today at Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Newport Beach. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Harbor Christian Church of Newport Beach, 2401 Irvine Ave.

Barbara Gellman is also survived by her children Susan, 16, Scott, 12, and Charles, 10; her father, Horace Schwerin, and brother, Bruce Schwerin, both of New Jersey.