Sparse raindrops fell on San Juan Island as families and friends paid their respects to three recently passed local pilots on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Friday Harbor Airport.
At about 2 p.m., soldiers performed an honor guard ceremony in commemoration of Lee Allen Brewer at his memorial. Brewer was a longtime resident of San Juan Island and a retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He passed peacefully on Thursday, July 19 at the age of 94. Brewer penned the autobiography “Kick the Tire and Light the Fire,” which details his life during the depression in West Seattle and his service as a navigator flying missions over Japan in World War II and F-86 fighters in Korea.
At around 5 p.m., a service for Lou Coleman was also held at the airport, near his office at Aero Classic Aviation. Coleman, as well as islander David King, did not survive an Aug. 2 plane crash on Lopez Island. The county coroner told the King family the crash appeared to be accidental, though both men were experienced pilots.
Coleman purchased a 1951 Piper Pacer in 2006 and received his certification as a flight instructor in 2012. He started his Friday Harbor flight school in 2015.
King was also honored at Coleman’s service, while his obituary states that a separate memorial will be planned in September. King learned to fly in 1964 and became instrument rated six years later. His plane, which crashed on Lopez, was a Mooney M20J.
To help Coleman’s family cover the costs associated with his loss, donations can be made at Islanders Bank in account 1749, called the “Lou Coleman Fund,” as well as a GoFundMe account at www.gofundme.com/lou-coleman-fund.