Thurman Munson’s widow heartbroken for Vanessa Bryant: ‘I wish I could hug her’

New York Post | 1/27/2020 | Staff
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In the 40 years since Diana Munson lost her husband, Thurman, in a plane crash, she’s had countless conversations with fans who tell her where they were when the accident happened and she never stops them.

Rarely, though, does what happened on Aug. 2, 1979, come into focus as much as it did Sunday, when Diana and the world learned that Kobe Bryant had been killed — along with his daughter Gianna and seven others — in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles.

Sunday - Lot - Wounds - Diana - Phone

“[Sunday] opened up a lot of wounds for me,’’ Diana said by phone Monday. “It brought back that day very clearly. And it brought back a lot of feelings. Feelings I’ve tried to suppress for years. But it’s always there.”

Munson’s plane, which he was piloting, crashed short of the runway at Akron-Canton Airport on a Yankees off day after a series in Chicago. The Yankees returned to action the next day at home against Baltimore.

Munson - Canton - Aug - Bronx - Night

After attending Munson’s funeral in Canton on Aug. 6, they flew back and played in The Bronx that night. Bobby Murcer, who had eulogized Munson earlier in the day, won the game with a hit in the bottom of the ninth.

“It was surprising for me, the reaction fans had,’’ she said. “I look at the tapes from the fans at the Stadium from that night and you realize how much they loved Thurman, how much he meant to them and the impact it had, which I hadn’t fully understood.”

Bryant - Years - Presence - Lakers - News

Bryant, while having been retired for four years, was a still a presence around the Lakers, and after news of the tragedy broke on Sunday, thousands of fans showed up at Staples Center, many wearing Bryant jerseys to pay tribute — even though there was no game.

“My reaction was just like everyone else, since the whole...
(Excerpt) Read more at: New York Post
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