Edward “Eddie” Laverne Clements, Jr.
September 13, 1948 – July 22, 2018
On July 22, 2018, Edward “Eddie” Laverne Clements, Jr. passed away unexpectedly while doing what he loved – flying airplanes, helping kids, and working as a volunteer for the HAWK organization, at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Eddie Clements was born in Pecos, New Mexico on September 13, 1948. He was the third child of Voline Loretta and Edward Laverne Clements, Sr.
Raised in Grand Junction, Colorado, Eddie attended Grand Junction High School and graduated from Mesa College with a degree in business. He eloped with Shirley Lyons to Las Vegas, Nevada on a December day in 1973. They were married 44 years at the time of his passing.
Through a school program, he worked for Don Wagner at Wagner Aviation. Later, he supervised the parts department at Monarch Aviation. He purchased Frostline Kits, a textile company, and moved it to Grand Junction in 1984. In addition, alongside Shirley, he ran The Grand Junction Balloon Port, a hot air balloon business.
In his retirement, he helped found HAWK Aviators, a high country aviation workshop for kids. He loved the skies, a good conversation, and sharing his pride in his children. He appreciated a good joke, and the bad ones, too. He excelled at crafting the best strings of cuss words.
He recited the balloonist prayer many times for passengers of his flights, and the words are appropriate, now, more than ever:
- The winds have welcomed you with softness.
The sun has blessed you with its warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter
And set you gently back into
The loving arms of Mother Earth.
Eddie was preceded in death by his mother, Voline; father, Ed, and brother, Bill. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; children, Sereneti Smolha (Kasey), Christina Hovland (Steven), and Tres Clements (Erika); grandchildren, Britton, Karissa, Ella, Kinley, Sofia, and Niklas; sister, Shirley Giles (Gary), and sister-in-law, Pat Clements.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to HAWK Aviators in Eddie’s name at hawkaviators.org.
A celebration of Eddie’s life will be held on Saturday, August 25 at 5:00 p.m. at the Mack Mesa Airport in Mack, Colorado.
We would appreciate receiving any memories you have of Eddie. Please email them to [email protected]
Images and thoughts from friends: Remembering Eddie Clements
Beth Stanton, Gone West: Remembering Eddie Clements, EAA AirVenture, 27 July 2018, https://hawkaviators.org/gone-west-remembering-eddie-clements-from-eaa-airventure/