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Remembering ‘Possum Stu’ one of the Watsonville plane collision victims

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION-TV)- Two planes collided at the Watsonville Municipal Airport Thursday, leaving three people and a dog dead.

Stuart Camenson, 32, was piloting a single-engine Cessna 152 while practicing touch-downs and liftoffs on the runway at the airport, according to his family. " He had already successfully completed four that day and was about to complete his 5th when he was hit by the other plane," said his parents, Steve and Lori Camenson.

Read more: Three victims in Watsonville Municipal Airport midair collision identified

Known as "Possum Stu" by friends, he received his pilot's license in June of 2020. He had begun his pilot training in 2017, loved flying, and would do it often, said his family.

Stuart will forever hold a very dear place in our hearts.  We feel his loss tremendously and will never stop loving, remembering, and feeling his presence.  Stuart’s goofy spirit and fun nature brought so much joy into our lives and the lives of everyone he met.  Stuart’s zest for life led him down countless paths where he explored passions and talents, improving himself and enriching the lives of those around him every day.  He approached everything and everyone with wholehearted love and thoughtfulness.  He was a once in a lifetime son, brother, and friend.  His loss will be deeply felt by an immense community of people who loved him and were loved by him.

Camenson Family

Stuart graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2016 with bachelor's degrees in chemistry, mathematics, and earth science. During his senior year at UCSC, he began working in the IT department at the college.

The University of California Santa Cruz confirmed with KION that Camenson was employed by the university. He is listed as an Information Technology Specialist in the university directory.

We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and mourn the loss of Stuart Camenson, Carl Kruppa and Nannette Plett-Kruppa. Stuart graduated from UC Santa Cruz with degrees in chemistry and Earth sciences and went on to work in our Division of Information Technology as an information systems analyst. Our thoughts are with their family and friends during this difficult time. 

UC Santa Cruz

Stuart was a "renaissance man" that could do it all. He held all sorts of interests and whether it was "flying, printmaking, jewelry making, painting, singing, dancing, acting, playing many instruments (guitar, banjo, saxophone, clarinet, piano, mandolin), dj-ing, yoga, meditation, surfing, scuba diving, beer making, cooking and baking, reading, traveling, hiking/camping," he wanted to learn and do it all, said his family.

"Stuart was extremely passionate, in his relationships and his interests. He loved people dearly, and anyone he met reciprocated the feeling," said the Camenson family. "People were drawn to his goofy spirit and fun nature. He was kind to everyone and would gladly help anyone in need. He was a lifelong learner and never stopped gaining new interests and trying new things.

Stuart leaves behind his parents, Steve Camenson and Lori Camenson, sisters, Sarah Camenson and Jenna Camenson, and countless friends that "shared a family love."

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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