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Ipswich woman among the dead in Florida airport shooting

PUBLISHED: 19:48 20 February 2018

Olga Woltering

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A great-grandmother from Ipswich was one of five people killed by a former soldier in a shooting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it has emerged.

Olga Woltering, aged 84, was raised in Ipswich and went to Priory Heath Secondary Modern School in the town before moving to the US. It is believed she lived with her husband Ralph, a former US Air Force serviceman, in Georgia.

It has been reported she was in Florida on her way to a cruise to celebrate her husband’s 90th birthday.

The Catholic Church of the Transfiguration in Cobb County, Georgia, which Mr Woltering had been a member of since 1978, said she was "so charming, calling everybody 'Lovey' or 'Love' in her unmistakable British accent".

Father Fernando Molina-Restrepo said: "Olga was one of the most joyful, loving, caring and committed people I have ever met. This is a horrible tragedy for everyone here at Transfiguration, especially because Olga was so loved.

"Olga and Ralph have been members of our Transfiguration Family since October 1978.

"May God give consolation to all of the victims of this tragedy and may God give eternal rest to those who died. Especially to our beloved Olga. Peace."

Esteban Santiago, 26, a former National Guard soldier from Alaska and an Iraq War veteran, is accused of carrying out the bloody killing, which also left six people injured.

Friends who attended church with Mrs Woltering spoke of their shock and horror at her killing on social media.

Jerry De Varennes wrote: "Tragedy hit too close to home today. Transfiguration Church lost a very loving and caring woman in the Ft Lauderdale airport attack. Prayers lifted up for the soul of Olga Woltering and her family. Prayers also lifted up for a crazy and cruel world."

Virginia Moran added: "So very sad, Olga's ever present smile was infectious and brightened any day, she will be deeply missed and my prayers are with Ralph, her family, all those she touched, and all who were impacted by yesterday's senseless action."

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