An upstate assistant superintendent who died in an August plane crash in Shirley was remembered Sunday at a memorial service as a dedicated educator with a "special connection to everybody."

"She always complimented my outfits, always," student Morgan Heinrich told News12 at the event for Jane Unhjem, which took place inside a packed Goshen High School auditorium. "She would also come to our volleyball and our basketball games and cheer me on."

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Unhjem, 60, was the Goshen Central School District's assistant superintendent for curriculum. She died in August in a fiery plane crash in Shirley.

The accident also claimed the life of David McElroy, 53, who was piloting the single-engine plane. Her husband, Erik Unhjem, survived the crash, suffering burns that force him to wear a glove on his hand but few other injuries.

"I can only say I'm a walking miracle. I can't explain it," Erik Unhjem, 61, told News12. "I don't understand it. I don't have a scratch. I just have my burns."