Pan Am Bombing Victim’s Joy of Life Is Remembered

Times Staff Writer

It would be easier to remember Jocelyn Reina for how she died, in the bombing of Pan American World Airways Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, than how she lived.

But to those who knew her, Kimberly Ann Jocelyn Reina will always be remembered as a young woman with the forgiving heart of a child, a gentle “beam of light” who flourished in a world that often seems consumed with hate.

Reina, who was 26 when she died in the Dec. 21 bombing, was mourned Saturday in a memorial service at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Cypress. An overflow crowd of more than 200 people--family, friends and Pan Am co-workers--packed the Church of Our Fathers to hear Pastor David A. French eulogize Reina as “one of God’s people, one who chose the good and the right thing.”

“Jocelyn was a person who walked in the light,” he said. “Sometimes pure evil touches the caring life. We all make the choice between good or evil.”


French urged the crowd to resist evil and instead “ask and pray for justice, and hope that those who perpetrated this evil will be brought to justice. She (Reina) would call us away from all hate and bitterness.”

Reina was among the 259 passengers and crew aboard the New York-bound Boeing 747 who were killed when a bomb exploded, sending the jumbo jet crashing into the village of Lockerbie, where 11 people died on the ground.

An international hunt has been launched to determine who was responsible for hiding the bomb on the plane. Several Arab and Islamic extremist groups have claimed responsibility, but the identity of those responsible has not been determined.

Reina, born May 26, 1962, in Harbor City, was a Pan Am flight attendant on the jet and had been living in London.

Jim Foohey, a longtime friend from Los Angeles, said he will always remember Reina because “she was like warm sunshine on a cold and rainy day. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it’s true.”

The nature of her death, he said, left him at first “in shock, then it turned to tears and now anger.”

John W. Reina, one of the victim’s three brothers, said the tragedy left him filled with grief, but it also brought back memories of a happier time when he used to compete with his kid sister for slices of leftover pizza.

“She would leave a note on the refrigerator saying, ‘John, don’t eat the pizza.’ Of course I’d eat it. Then I’d leave her a note that said, ‘Kim, I didn’t see your note so I ate the pizza.’ ”

Reina said his little sister’s passion eventually turned to acting, and she appeared in numerous Shakespeare festivals and worked briefly as an actress in commercial advertising. It was then, when she was considering acting as a full-time profession, that she formally changed her named from Kimberly to Jocelyn.

“She loved songs,” he said. “And she said that just because the name changed, the melody wouldn’t change. Well, Kim’s song was one of joy and happiness. And whether Kimberly or Jocelyn, the melody stays the same.”