Funeral services set for Thorp native killed in Costa Rica plane - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Funeral services set for Thorp native killed in Costa Rica plane crash

UW-Stout Athletic Department UW-Stout Athletic Department

Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Funeral services are set for Amanda Geissler, the Thorp native who was killed in a plane crash in Costa Rica on New Year's Eve. 

A Memorial Mass will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Chippewa Falls. Following that, a celebration of her life will held from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Leinie's Lodge in Chippewa Falls.

As we've previously reported, Geissler is a graduate of Thorp High School and University of Wisconsin - Stout. According to her obituary, she later earned her MBA at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. At the time of her death, Geissler was working for Backroads, a travel company that specialized in unique outdoor activities. 

Geissler was one of 10 Americans killed when the plane they were aboard crashed just after takeoff in Nandayure, a region in Costa Rica's Guanacaste province, located on the Pacific coast. 

The family is asking donations be made to the Amanda Geissler Memorial Fund. They plan to use the money to start a foundation in honor of Amanda. 

Posted: January 1, 2018

UPDATE: The family of Amanda Geissler has put out the following statement regarding her death in a Costa Rica plane crash.

Since May, Amanda Geissler was working as a personal vacation travel leader with a company that shared her same passion for adventure. She was able to see many beautiful places across the world in just a few short months. Her last placement was in Costa Rica where she led families during their Christmas holiday on a tropical adventure including seeing an active volcano, 400 foot waterfall, and many beautiful beaches. She was very excited to be working with families, and was eager to enjoy the sunshine, warm weather, and ocean waves. Amanda is hard to describe in a short paragraph or a simple word or phrase. She was so much more than that. Her passion for life and adventurous spirit allowed her to truly live and experience more in her 33 years of life than many have the opportunity to. Amanda’s love for the outdoors, setting goals and crushing them, and adoration for her family and friends are like non-other. Amanda was one of the most mentally tough athletes around, and her desire for “what’s next” always turned into a check mark on her list. Amanda lived her life with no regrets and inspired so many others to consider the same. She is loved by many, and with a heavy heart it will be hard to say goodbye. If Amanda could leave us all with one thing it would be – write down whatever it is you want to do…and make it happen.

Thorp (WQOW) - The Thorp Police Department has confirmed a Thorp native, Amanda Geissler, was killed Sunday in a plane crash in Costa Rica. 

Police told News 18, Geissler is a graduate of Thorp High School, and her dad still works in the district.

Geissler was one of 10 Americans killed when the plane they were aboard crashed just after takeoff in Nandayure, a region in Costa Rica's Guanacaste province, located on the Pacific coast. 

According to KSTP-TV, 

Geissler, a Thorp, Wisconsin native and a point guard at Wisconsin-Stout from 2003-07, had worked for Backroads since May of 2017, according to her Linkedin profile.

"She had such an amazing gift for life," said Mark Thomas, the head women's basketball coach at the school the past 31 seasons. "Nothing rattled her. She wasn't afraid of anything. Even if she failed at something, she didn't view it as a failure. It was just a reason to get back up and try again."

Geissler and her sister Lindsey were both members of teams that won three-straight conference titles from 2004-07. And she served as a team captain in both her junior and senior seasons.

"She was always a person who had a genuine love for life," said Erin Sullivan, the school's associate athletic director and an assistant women's basketball coach from 2003-07.

"She dreamed big and she wanted to live a life filled with adventure. A life filled with travels."

Sullivan said that was what brought her to Costa Rica.

"She wanted to see the whole world," Sullivan said. "And she wanted to show other people the whole world too."

A family in the suburbs of New York City said five of the other Americans dead were relatives on vacation. They identified them as Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their sons Matthew, William and Zachary, all of Scarsdale.

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Rabbi Jacob Luski of Congregation B'nai Israel said Monday that victims' relatives had informed him that four members of his congregation were also on the plane.

"It is a tragedy that the Drs. Mitchell Weiss and Leslie Weiss and their two children, Hannah and Ari, died in that terrible crash," he said. "They were a wonderful family who will be missed."

At a news conference Sunday, Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, said the Nature Air charter crashed shortly after taking off just after noon Sunday from Punta Islita on a planned flight to the capital of San Jose. He said investigators were looking into possible causes.

Back in Menomonie, Thomas said a number of Geissler's former teammates were gathering Monday afternoon to remember her.

"She's one of the greatest people I've ever been around," he said. "Amanda had an amazing way of touching all of our lives. Whether it was by passing a basketball, through her personality, or for whatever other reason. She had a huge impact on so many people here.

"My heart just aches for her family. They're such an amazing group of people. Her Mom and Dad were so wonderfully supportive of their daughters, and of our entire team. You couldn't ask for better parents as a coach."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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