NORTH YARMOUTH — Edward Francis L’Hommedieu, 71, died in a plane crash in Biddeford April 10.
On May 22, 1939, he was born in East Meadow, Long Island, N.Y. As a child he developed a love for flying airplanes, and earned his pilot’s license before he could legally drive.
While attending college in Arkansas, he met his future wife of 44 years, Jeanne.
After serving briefly in the U.S. Navy, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force and piloted B-52s in Thailand during the Vietnam War, and received two Distinguished Flying Crosses.
Taking his family with him, he transferred to Belgium, and later to England, until he finally retired from service.
When his children returned to the United States for college, they settled in Maine, and he moved to Yarmouth to be near them.
He continued his passion for flying, and started an airline in the U.S. Virgin Islands, growing Dolphin Air to 90 employees until it was devastated by two hurricanes in 1996.
Subsequently, he returned to Maine and continued flying small aircraft all over the world. Despite being held hostage in Liberia and troubled by broken heaters over Greenland, he remained dedicated to flying.
After his wife Jeanne’s death in 2006, he shared his travels with Elaine MacGregor.
In order to stay closer to his children and grandchildren, he began flying shorter flights throughout New England.
He was flying his twin-engine Cessna from White Plains, N.Y., to Biddeford Municipal Airport on April 10 when his plane clipped a tree and landed on a house, setting off a fire that destroyed the home and the plane. The National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the crash.
Survivors include his daughter, Heather Perreault, her husband Steve, and grandchildren Allison and Fiona, all of Auburn; his son, Chris L’Hommedieu, his wife Julie and grandson Benjamin, all of Auburn; a brother, Ray, of Long Island, N.Y., and a sister, Lorraine, of Tampa, Fla.; nephews and nieces; and many friends.
A wake was held April 19 at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 20, at 8 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 326 Main St. ,Yarmouth. All are welcome.
Please visit lindquistfuneralhome.com to view a video collage of his life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with his family.
Memorial donations may be made to daedalians.org.