Edward L. Potter
September 24, 1947 – January 2, 2022
Ed was born in Buffalo, NY and lived briefly thereafter in Pittsburgh PA. In 1955 the Potter family moved to Pompano Beach, FL where Ed attended primary school and Pompano Beach High School. Although he was to travel extensively in his lifetime, he always considered himself a Pompano boy, and maintained meaningful lifetime friendships with his contemporaries from that era.
He discovered aviation at age 16 and never looked back, as flying truly was his life’s passion. A separate link will be posted detailing his remarkable flying career, beginning as an instructor based at Pompano Beach Airpark, then a charter pilot and then on to the airlines, where he flew briefly for Eastern Airlines before reaching what was for him the pinnacle, Pan American World Airways. At Pan Am he became a designated Check Airman and he also flew the White House press corps detail, receiving a Presidential Pin from President George H.W. Bush.
For many of these years, (late 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s) he loved being around the Pompano Beach Airpark, and in particular the aerobatic community at Pompano Air Center (PAC). He flew his Pitts Special at the Advanced competition level, and was an esteemed Unlimited judge and trainer at both the US National & International (England and Germany) levels. Again, he forged lifetime friendships among this skilled and adventurous group of aerobatic pilots.
In 1990, Ed moved to Boca Raton. After the sad demise of Pan Am in 1991, he created a successful Lear Jet charter business, (“The Company Jet”), before turning his talents to managing the Dermatology practice of his wife, Virginia Rae MD (“Dermatology of Boca”) until 2007.
As he loved the sky, so he loved the water. At a very young age he captained a small boat “Little Toot” in which he towed to safety other boats in distress in and around the Hillsboro Inlet. From 1983 to 2013 he made sure there was a boat in his life, culminating with his dreamboat “Alfie”, a 55’ Fleming. He guided her to the Bahamas, and several times along the eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine, lingering in the Chesapeake and also at his favorite location, on a mooring at North East Harbor, ME. His beloved little poodle Charlie was known at many marinas and moorings along the way. In some years during this period, we logged more time aboard ship than at home in Boca, including spending many winter months on the Alfie at our slip at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. Again, we were fortunate to make significant friends on the seaways and at ORC.
In the later years, Ed said more than once that he has no regrets, as he had done everything he’d wanted, and then some. He even bought the Porsche of his dreams in 2017, after waiting 50 years! However, he did say “I just wish I had flown more”. Thus, even as his health failed, he never lost his passion for flying, his curiosity about the world around him or his interest in technology. Above all, he always maintained his imagination, which enriched the lives of those around him.
He is laid to rest in Boca Raton Municipal Cemetery, in view of a high-flying American flag. That would please him.
He is survived by his loving wife, Virginia Rae.
Note: He avoided Covid-19 to the end, even helping many friends at Advent Lutheran Church of Boca Raton to access their vaccines when it was initially difficult to do so. Because of the present worsening surge in the pandemic, a funeral service was not held. A future post-pandemic gathering to celebrate his remarkable life will be held at Advent and announced on this website when such a gathering is considered completely safe, perhaps months from now. I hope you will come, if geographically feasible.
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