PARKER, Colo. -- Those closest to the pilot killed in Friday night's plane crash are sharing memories of his life. Dr. Robert Marquis lived in Mesa County with his wife and worked as a veterinarian at the Tiara Rado Animal Hospital that he opened in Grand Junction.
Flying was a passion for him as well as volunteering with the Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team. Todd Holmes, the president of the team and a long-time friend of Marquis, told FOX31 about their friendship.
The two both started volunteering with the search and rescue team at the same time and have done countless missions together. He describes Marquis as a kindhearted, superb man who just wanted to help people and animals.
"He was a very passionate person who loved life and loved critters and he was just a stupendous person and I'm going to miss him a lot," said Holmes. "He was just the greatest volunteer. We do this all for free and he was always there and willing to help whenever he had the time -- just the kindest soul you’d ever meet."
Holmes called his friend an experienced pilot, often using his skills and plane to transport animals that needed treatment in other parts of the state.
"My kids would fly in that very plane that crashed. I rode with him several times in his plane with me and my kids. He just loved flying and it was a hobby for him and a tool for his work as well. He'd flown for many years. I'm just really shocked that this has happened," said Holmes.
It was unclear where Marquis was going Friday night because a flight plan was not filed.
The rest of the Mesa County search and rescue team, about 43 people, plan on helping out Marquis' family when it is ready to accept help. He says the team plans on eventually filling a shadow box with memories of Marquis with the team.