NICEVILLE, Fla. -- When Fred Teutenberg missed his regular gig playing bass guitar in the church band, the pastor and the congregation sensed something was amiss.
News reports confirmed their fears, as the family perished when their private plane crashed coming home from a family reunion in St. Louis.
Teutenberg, his wife Terresa, and their five children died. Teutenberg's stepdaughter, 16, who lived in Missouri with her father, wasn't aboard, having stayed behind. Killed in the crash were daughters Emma, 2, and Ellie, 6, and sons Peyton, 4, Brendon, 9, and Will, 10.
The family had left the reunion early to make it back for church service Sunday when the right engine of the Cessna C421 failed Saturday night, Holly Baker of the Federal Aviation Administration said. The aircraft plummeted into dense woods in western Alabama and it took hours to find the wreckage in the remote area.
Friends from church in Nice-ville remembered the couple for their community involvement and their devotion to religion.
Terresa Teutenberg started the Discovery Learning Academy because she saw a need for quality day care in the community, friends said, and it grew to more than 150 students.
"They loved kids, they loved life and they loved every aspect of what they did," friend Brice Early said. "For Terresa, the brood she had wasn't enough so she took on 150 more through the day care."
The Teutenbergs coached youth soccer, which is how Early met them when they moved to the Panhandle about six years ago. He recalled Terresa coaching late into a pregnancy with youngsters in tow.