Edward J. Ochmanski, 77: Sports official, Air Guard veteran

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Edward John Ochmanski, 77, died unexpectedly Oct. 15 at Maine Medical Center, Portland.

He was born Dec. 29, 1935, in Augusta, the son of Franciszek and Michalina Popwich Ochmanski. Ochmanski was a graduate of Cony High School, Class of 1953. After graduation he enlisted in the Maine Air National Guard as an air technician in the 243rd Unit at Fort Williams.

His Air Guard service spanned 38 years until his retirement on Dec. 31, 1988, at the South Portland Air National Guard Station. Federal military decorations awarded were Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and the Air Force Training Ribbon. His Maine ANG awards were the Adjutant General Award, Silver Star to the State of Maine Honorable Service Medal, State of Maine National Guard Ribbon for Active Duty Basic Training and State of Maine Perfect Attendance Medal and Bar.

In 1961, he married Jayne Diversi, and resided in South Portland until shortly after her death in 2008. He was a loving, devoted and supportive father to Kimberly A. Cushing and his two grandchildren, Jessica Lynne and Mitchell David Cushing, as well as a beloved brother and uncle to the entire family.

Ochmanksi was well known in the Maine sports community as “Eddie O” for his involvement as a football official, baseball umpire and timekeeper of high school basketball at South Portland High School and the Cumberland County Civic Center.

He served on the Maine Football Board from 1959-2008 at all levels of the game from pee-wee to officiating 20 state championships, in eight of which he was the head referee. His Maine baseball umpiring career began in 1963 in South Portland National Little League. In 1969 he joined the Western Maine Board of Baseball Umpires. He worked playoffs in Little League, Babe Ruth League and American Legion Ball as well as high school tournaments both class A and B. He was also a regular on the collegiate circuit. He served as president of the Western Maine Board and as the board assignor. He was popular on the Twilight League and a favorite in the over-30 men’s league. He was an affiliate of the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame and served as the secretary. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 for his over 25 years of umpiring.

He was predeceased by his wife, Jayne Diversi Ochmanski, on July 5, 2008; two sisters, Josephine Barry and Rose Sipowicz; and four brothers, Frank, Stanley, Louis and Charles Ochmanski.

He is survived by a daughter, Kimberly Cushing, of Michigan; two grandchildren, Jessica Lynn Cushing and Mitchell Cushing; three sisters, Emily Quinn of Stratham, N.H., Helen Atkinson, of Bath, and Elizabeth and husband Richard Kidder, of Ocala, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours were held Oct. 20, at Conroy-Tully Crawford, South Portland. A memorial service was held at the chapel on Oct. 21 and burial held at the Maine Veterans’ Cemetery on Oct. 22.

Those who wish may make contributions in his memory to Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, Scholarship Fund, c/o Dan Douglas, P.O. Box 1062, Yarmouth, ME 04096.

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