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Edward (Ed) Wilfred Counter, age 83, passed away peacefully at home in Old Saybrook, surrounded by his loving family on July 9, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on April 30, 1936, in Middletown, and was the son of the late Wilfred and Helena Counter.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Judith (Judy) Bidwell Counter, a daughter, Eileen Stirling (Scott), and two sons, Kevin (Jane) Counter of East Lyme and Rob (Eva) Counter of Chester. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Tyler, Cory, and Haley Stirling of Easton, Julia, Sam, and Maeve Counter of East Lyme, and Emma, Claire, and Audrey Counter of Chester. He is also survived by his sister MaryLou Newcomb of Arizona. Ed was very proud of his family and will be dearly missed.
Ed met his wife Judy in Middletown when he was 16. They married in 1958 while Ed was in the Army and they soon were transferred to Fort Rucker in Alabama for flight training. His Army career took them to Texas, where he flew Huey helicopters and then on to Virginia. They eventually came back to Connecticut, where he was a Connecticut State Trooper and then he ran a maintenance facility for army aircraft on the east coast as part of the National Guard. In 1968 he joined Northeast Airlines to fly jets.
In 1971, he was briefly furloughed from Northeast while they were merging with Delta Airlines. During this period he worked hard to support his family by painting houses, delivering newspapers at UConn in Storrs, patrolling the local department store as a security guard, and adjusting claims at the Hartford Insurance Company in Hartford. He then became a part of Delta Airlines where he flew a myriad of aircraft out of Logan Airport in Boston, O’Hare in Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth in Texas, eventually finishing as a captain flying the Boeing 767 all over the world out of Kennedy Airport in New York until 1996.
After Ed retired from Delta, he spent a brief time as an engineer with the Essex Steam Train in Essex and then as a school bus driver for M & J in Clinton. Ed did enjoy various hobbies throughout his life, including catching for various baseball teams, motorcycles, playing the trumpet, golf, and tennis and sailing. He loved our family pets, especially our dog Penny and most recently Tucker. But Ed was most proud of his family, especially his grandchildren. He was affectionately known as “Bee” by his grandchildren and was a regular at the baseball and football fields, sometimes traveling an hour or more to attend. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his kindness and patience, his love for his family and his country, his faith, and his strong sense of right and wrong, not to mention his beautiful blue eyes.
The family will greet friends and relatives on July 14 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, 34 Main St. in Centerbrook. A funeral service will be held at St. John’s Church, 161 Main St., Old Saybrook at 11:00 a.m. on July 15. Burial will immediately follow at Riverside Cemetery, 59 Sheffield St., Old Saybrook. To share a memory of Ed, or send a condolence to his family, please visit www.rwwfh.com.
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