Boise woman killed in California skydiving accident was a ‘free spirit,’ loved ones say

Nicole Blanchard
·3 min read

There was “just something different” about Sabrina Call, friends said. Her smile was contagious, and she could make anyone laugh.

“She found the good in everybody,” said Cindy Phillips, who befriended Call in high school and remained close friends with her for years. “She was just a genuine person.”

Call, 57, died Saturday in a skydiving accident near Lodi, California, according to San Joaquin County officials.

Call grew up in Boise and had recently moved to Watsonville, California, with her husband, Mark “Shoobie” Knutson. The two had met years earlier, but married last fall after reuniting.

“This was the happiest year of her life, which is sweet,” said Call’s daughter, Delaney Call, in a phone interview.

Call graduated from Borah High School in 1981 and moved to California in her 20s. She took up skydiving, inspired by her father’s skydiving with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Call also lived — and skydived — in Hawaii before returning home to Boise in the mid-1990s when she was pregnant with Delaney.

She earned her degree at Boise State University and worked in radiology as she raised her daughter. Though skydiving took a backseat, Call still found time to sneak away for the occasional jump, Delaney said. She also filled her time with gardening, pottery and travel.

Sabrina Call, in the teal and green suit, links arms with her husband, Mark “Shoobie” Knutson, in green, during a group skydive. Call was an avid skydiver with more than 2,100 jumps to her name.
Sabrina Call, in the teal and green suit, links arms with her husband, Mark “Shoobie” Knutson, in green, during a group skydive. Call was an avid skydiver with more than 2,100 jumps to her name.

Phillips said Call was “a funny friend” — she might not make it to every dinner invitation, but she was always available to help on tough tasks, such as mulching a friend’s garden, Phillips said.

“She had a great sense of adventure: traveling, meeting new people, going places,” Phillips said.

The two met their sophomore year at Borah High and quickly became close. Though they briefly lost touch as Call relocated, their relationship resumed seamlessly when Call returned to Boise.

“The minute we got back together, it was like all those years had never been there,” Phillips said. “I’ve never had a friend that I was so close to. (She was) like a sister, a full sister.”

Phillips recalled a quote from Call: “Our lives are a beautiful journey if you surround yourself with beautiful people.” And Call had done just that. She had friends around the world from her travels, Phillips said, and in the past few years, Call and Phillips had also reunited with a group of friends from their Borah High days. They affectionately referred to themselves as “the Posse,” said friend Barbara Miller.

“Sabrina was beautiful, loving and sweet. She had the gift of tuning in to people fully, making them feel special (and) loved by her,” Miller said in an email. “Her contagious smile and unwavering passion for life and friends will live on in all of us for the rest of our lives.”

Sabrina Call, front left, poses for a photo with her group of friends, affectionately called “the Posse.” The women first met as students at Borah High School and recently reconnected. Call died in a skydiving accident near Lodi, California, on April 17.
Sabrina Call, front left, poses for a photo with her group of friends, affectionately called “the Posse.” The women first met as students at Borah High School and recently reconnected. Call died in a skydiving accident near Lodi, California, on April 17.

Together, the women enjoyed camping, fishing, rafting and just spending time together.

Phillips and Delaney said Call was a “free spirit.” She had moved back to California about a year and a half ago after reconnecting with Knutson, who makes and manufactures skydiving equipment. The two had first met when Call lived in California in her 20s, and she began skydiving frequently again in recent years. She had more than 2,100 jumps to her name, Delaney said.

Delaney said she feels inspired to take risks and have adventures like her mother did.

“My mom’s life makes me want to live a more full life,” she said. “(Her death) could be some scary thing where people might not want to skydive or do that risky, crazy thing, but that’s what she would’ve wanted people to do.”