Ed died on August 15th, 1998, from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 64. Although it was a condition from which he suffered for several years, Ed was always one to be thinking of helping others. Very few of his classmates were aware of his situation when Ed attended our fortieth reunion just ten months earlier. His warm smile and gentle humour were there as always.
Ed attended RRMC and RMC and trained successfully as a pilot. The August, 1956, Pilot Graduation Magazine records that he managed to complete the three summers without putting a single "peril" into the boneyard. He was, however, famous for rendering aircraft unserviceable at the drop of a hat (any hat!). He was well known, too for his ability to cram ten people into an Austin and take them up any mountain. He at las t broke down and went half shares on a grounded "bomb" in his last summer of Basic Pilot Training. Ed must have gone through cars rather quickly, because while at UBC for a year after RMC, he loaned Andy and Mary Rose Gagne his Volkswagen so that they could go on a honeymoon!
Sadly, for his flying days, Ed was "ceased training" after a car accident injury and he remustered in March, 1959, to Tech CE. He subsequently served at Stations Winnipeg, Calgary and Ottawa where he took his release on 5 June 1964.
A Civil Engineer, Ed took up employment in the Federal public service. He had a distinguished record in several government departments. Some of his notable contributions included an analysis of production and operational problems with Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) for Search and Rescue (SAR), and a Canadian SAR system evaluation for the SAR Association and the International Committee on Search and Rescue.
Ed was very active in his church and volunteer organizations, most notably Habitat for Humanity. A fellow parishioner had these things to say at Ed's funeral. "What I dearly loved about Ed was his sense of humour. In fact he had a great one. We had many a humorous moment and a good laugh… Over the years Ed par ticipated eagerly in all of our activities. He was generous when generosity was needed. He was helpful when help was needed… Ed was a quite man. He was supportive without letting the world know. He was the type to help out without needing the credit".
Ed came from a long line of Scottish ancestors and he spent much time exploring and developing his family tree. This led to the organization of a great gathering of the Lowthian Clan. A Highlander to the end, the funeral service was opened and closed by the sound of the pipes. It was well attended by his classmates among many, many others. The Class of '57 will miss Ed. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Joan, his former wife Shirley and their children (Bill, David and Anne), their grandchildren (Taylor and Aimee), Ed's stepchildren (Mori, Cindy and Lisa) and their grandchildren (Frankie and Liv) and his brother, James Neville Lowthian. His younger brother, Frank Roberts (Bob) Lowthian, predeceased Ed. Ed was a husband, father, grandfather and colleague to be proud of!
Author: 3834 Wm. J. Broughton
Published in Veritas magazine, Spring 1999
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