‘Thanks Dad. On the plane to Ethiopia.’

Those were Angela Rehhorn’s last few words to her father, sent in a text.

Angela Rehhorn

Answering the phone early Sunday morning, Roland Rehhorn heard the words no parent ever expects to hear.

“Angela was on the plane. It went down. There were no survivors.”

The Boeing 737 Max 8 was en route to Nairobi when it ran into trouble just six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

Angela Rehhorn

Danielle Moore (L), Micah Messent (C), and Angela Rehhorn (R), were all killed in the Ethiopian plane crash on Mar. 10, 2019 (Photo courtesy: UNACanada/Twitter)

Angela was on her way to her next adventure in Kenya. She was meant to attend a United Nations Environmental conference. She never arrived, and now her family is left trying to come to terms with their loss.

“We’re used to Angela coming and going, but always coming back,” her mom, Joan Vincent says as she tries in vain to hold back the tears. “It’s been a little tough, because, of course, we haven’t heard from her, and there’s still a little bit of that expectation that the phone will ring.”

Her family describes the 24-year-old Orillia woman as being fun-loving, totally selfless with an infectious smile and beautiful soul.

Angela Rehhorn

She travelled to Belize, and both of Canada’s coasts, to volunteer, learn and work with wildlife.

“She lived her life exactly how she wanted to without any regrets. She had an amazing life,” says her older sister, Shantel. “She lived her life for her, pursuing her passions, and what she wanted to do.”

Angela graduated from Dalhousie University with a degree in marine biology. Her work with the Canadian Wildlife Federation led her back home to Orillia. Her family admits her heart was always torn between her passions, among them, surfing, diving, and travelling the world.

Angela Rehhorn

“Angela was a happy kid. She wanted to change things in the world, but she wanted to be happy and have fun and adventure and do cool things like climb mountains, and scuba, and swim,” describes Joan.

Her mother says Angela loved her adventures, but always came home to her tight-knit family.

Angela Rehhorn

Angela Rehhorn is pictured with her niece, Lily.

Roland says he doesn’t know if he will ever get on another plane but admits he wouldn’t change the life his daughter lived. “I wouldn’t regret any of her decisions. She did love to fly.”

Her family doesn’t know whether they will be able to repatriate her remains, but her father says, if nothing else, he hopes to recover a token he once gave her.

“I gave her a little medallion when she went off to university, and it said I will always be with you. I would like to see that back."

Angela would have celebrated her 25th birthday next month. Tributes from friends continue to pour in on social media, as everyone tries to come to terms with the sudden loss of this full-spirited young woman.