Michael Kamprath last saw his best friend, Luis "Lou" Marina, on July 10, when Marina was the best man at Kamprath's wedding.
The last time the friends spoke, Kamprath was trying to figure out a time to come to Steamboat Springs, where Marina had moved in August.
"He was very happy about moving to Steamboat. You know, he would call me and tell me that he walked 200 feet from his house and could go fishing," Kamprath said.
"One of the best pictures I have of him is of him holding up a very large fish he was proud of. We used to fish together a lot."
Kamprath said Marina was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing and occasionally hunting.
Marina died Saturday when the Lancair Columbia 350 airplane in which he was a passenger crashed north of Walton Peak near Rabbit Ears Pass. Pilot Greg Kyprios, 41, of Steamboat, also died in the accident.
Kamprath said he thought Marina was about 32 years old. Marina's wife, Tracey, declined to comment about her husband.
"We didn't need to talk everyday, but we were close," said Kamprath, who lives in San Francisco. "He was my best friend. He was a good person. The shock of it all makes me at a loss for words."
Kamprath said Marina did not have a pilot's license but that he had been a test pilot. It was not unusual for Marina to fly in planes similar to the one he was in Saturday.
Kamprath met Marina while serving in the Air Force in Albuquerque, N.M. Marina was a captain in the Air Force.
After his time in the Air Force, Marina went back to school to earn a master's degree from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Marina earned his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State University.
After graduating from the Fuqua School of Business in 2004, Marina moved to the Detroit area, where he and his wife worked for Ford Motor Co. Marina managed the purchasing of precious metals.
One thing that always stood out about Marina was how much he adored and loved Tracey, Kamprath said, recalling a story about when Marina decided to ask Tracey to marry him.
"He was hunting in New Mexico, lying in his tent at night, when he decided there was nowhere else he would rather be than with Tracey. He left the hunting party, went home and proposed the next day," he said. "He loved her. He loved being with her."
Kamprath said the couple was excited to move to Steamboat after Marina accepted a job with KittyHawk Partners, a management consultant group for high-tech and aerospace leaders. Kyprios was Marina's boss, Kamprath said.
Ed Magee was a student with Marina during their two years at Duke University.
"If we ever needed someone to stay up at all hours of the night on something, he was the one struggling it out," Magee said. "He was always willing to help others; he was always willing to go that extra mile."
Magee said the business school has been shaken upon learning about Marina's death. Many students received e-mails from the school's dean alerting them about the accident.
"He was a warm, friendly, kind person. He was so giving," Magee said.
Magee's favorite memory of Marina came from the first day of orientation at Fuqua, when every student was asked to introduce himself or herself and say something unique.
"My fact was that I had been a Supersonic in the U.S. Marine Corps, which not a lot of people are. Well, Lou went after me, and he said, 'I've actually been a Supersonic, too.' That got a chuckle out of some people," he said.
"He is tremendous loss to the entire Fuqua community. Everyone who knew him is reeling from this."
-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org