Skip to content Skip to navigation

Colleen Deininger Described as a Cautious Pilot

Clockwise from upper left: Colleen Deininger, Melissa Deininger-Dickman, Emmarose Dickman and Alex Dickman. Credit: Proko Funeral Home.

Colleen Deininger, the Kenosha woman who died with three family members in a plane crash last weekend, was an experienced pilot who regularly practiced coping with doomsday scenarios, according to her longtime golfing partner. 

"If anything would ever happen, she wanted her reactions to be automatic," said Joan Hedden. With that in mind, Deininger would make a point to practice takeoffs and landings in bad weather, she said. 

Deininger's plane went down near the Monroe airport, killing all on board, including a daughter and two grandchildren. 

Witnesses told investigators that the plane was on fire before the crash. "It'll be interesting to see what they'll come up with," Hedden said of the investigators. "She took very good care of that plane," she said. 

Funeral services are to be held Saturday at St. Therese Church in Kenosha. A visitation will be held the night before at the Proko Funeral home.

The Kenosha realtor was never afraid to assert herself, friends said.

"She was a trailblazer, said Kenosha Ald. Holly Kangas, who knew Deininger for some 25 years. "Colleen didn't let anything stop her," she said. 

In the face of a gender-based backlash, Deininger established Kenosha’s first female-owned real estate firm in the late ‘70s.

A few years later, Deininger sued the Kenosha Country Club for prohibiting women from playing golf before eleven in the morning on weekends.

She co-founded the Kenosha Women’s Network to help women advance themselves.

She went to bat for a number of non-profits, including Easter Seals.

After earning her pilot’s license in 1994, Deininger started offering free flights for medical patients who were in need for one reason or another.

Funeral services for all four victims will be held Saturday at St. Therese Church, with visitation scheduled for the night before.