BIDDEFORD — Edward Francis L’Hommedieu of North Yarmouth, died on Sunday, April 10, at around 6 p.m. He left this world doing what he loved.

He was born in East Meadow, Long Island, May 22, 1939, to a fiery Irish mother, and quiet father, a skilled carpenter. As a child, he put into gear a passion that few attain in such abundance at such a non-abundant age. With eyes to the sky, and excuses for his absences, he won his pilot’s license before he could legally drive.

After college in Arkansas, Ed served briefly in the Navy, and transferred to the Air Force. At college he met his wife of 44 years, Jeanne, who left the world in 2006. The Vietnam war took him to Thialand, his family in tow so he could kiss the kids goodnight, knowing that each could be his last flying B-52s in service of his country, and of freedom.

The recipient of two Distinguished Flying Crosses, Ed forewent career in favor of family.

Leaving promotion promising FB-111s, he took his family first to Belgium, then to England, where he retired from the service. There, he proved he could excel at anything, becoming Dean of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University overseas, exploding the school’s size and scope.

The kids, returned to the U.S. for college, ending up in Maine. Ed followed, moving to Yarmouth. From there, he started an airline in the Virgin Islands. Boasting 90 employees, Dolphin Air was devastated by two hurricanes in 1996, and Ed returned to Maine, where he continued his obsession with the skies.

Flying small aircraft from all over the world, Ed endured being held hostage in Liberia and broken heaters over Greenland, delivering other people’s planes, all in service of his passion. After Jeanne’s death, he shared his travels with Elaine MacGregor; she took right seat; anchor to his improbabilities. The effects of age changed his priorities; the rudder stick took backseat to kids and grandkids. Spending more time with both, Ed did shorter, safer charter flights in the New England area.

On Saturday, April 9, Ed saw his son for the last time watching him in a musical in Lewiston, and saw his daughter and grandkids at his home. Sunday, flying a twin engine aircraft on a charter flight returning to Portland, he decided to stop in and see a friend in Biddeford. In flight, he called, making dinner arrangements.

His friend waiting at the airport, Ed turned on final, likely thinking of steak. An engine failed. His instincts took over. Finding a less populated area, he turned the nose. Clipping a tree, the plane flipped and landed on a house, engulfed in flames, his friend watching. By the grace of God the home was empty; Ed left the world doing what he loved, his son at a cast party, his daughter home with the kids. Three worlds. One candle flickering to dark.

Ed leaves behind a daughter, Heather Perreault her husband, Steve and grandchildren, Allison and Fiona of Auburn; a son, Chris L’Hommedieu his wife, Julie and grandson, Benjamin, of Auburn; a brother, Ray from Long Island; a sister, Lorraine of Tampa Fla.; and nephews, nieces, friends and acquaintances; all knew of him by love and by lore. All less complete, immeasurably.

Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.com to view a video collage of Ed’s life and to share your condolences, memories and tributes with his family.

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