Duane Ernest Maheu, 80, West Salisbury native
AMITY, Maine — With great sadness, we announce the passing of Duane Ernest Maheu, 80, of Amity, Maine, on Jan. 12, 2020, after a brief but devastating illness.
He was born in Middlebury, Vt., son of the late Ernest and Lucienne Maheu. He is survived by his current wife, Tana Maheu, and by his first wife, Laura Gray and their three children, Valerie Maheu, Victoria (Mark) Leighton, and Vanessa (Jay) Burt; sisters Ann (Jack) Dalton and Joan (Ron) Johnson, and brother Bruce Maheu; three grandchildren, Griffin and Dylan Leighton and Martha Burt; brother-in-law Murray (Anne) Pratt and their children Angela Pratt and Teresa (Liam) Gannon; as well as several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his mother-in-law Betty Pratt.
Duane was an avid and skillful pilot, aircraft maintenance inspector and mechanic, and flight instructor. He also did ground school instruction for the ROTC. He learned to fly his first airplane at the age of 5, sitting on his Uncle Alphonse’s knee in Middlebury, and never looked back. His mechanical licenses and inspection authorizations were self-taught through practical work experience and home study.
His career involved mostly crop dusting, flight instructor, and maintenance work on many types of airplanes; however, he was perhaps best known as the crop duster in the Houlton, Maine, area for more than 30 years, spraying potato fields in Aroostook County. He also sprayed blueberry fields in Maine and apple orchards in Vermont.
His final career was as Director of Maintenance for the Sewall Company in Old Town, Maine, where he maintained several twin-engine aircraft.
Duane leaves behind a loving family and a large legacy in the flying world; he will be very much missed. There is no funeral planned; there will be a memorial/burial service held in the spring in Middlebury, Vt. ◊
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