Funeral held for pilot and politician Gene Damschroder, Sr.

ELMORE, Ohio -- The first of six funerals was held Thursday for victims killed in a fatal plane crash last Sunday near Fremont.

In Elmore, the plane's pilot, Gene Damschroder was remembered as a friend and a remarkable man.

News 11's Dick Berry has the report.

Friends, family and political colleagues come to pay their final respects to Gene Damschroder.

The former state representative is buried next to other family members at the Harris-Elmore cemetery.

Friend Jerry Schoenfeld tells us, "He's the kind of man... if he says his word, he's gonna keep it. Gene's always been that way."

Gene was piloting a plane Sunday with five others on board when it crashed shortly after take-off. Nobody survived.

Gene had just left the Fremont airport that he founded and owned. Many private pilots he trained came to the funeral with fond memories.

Friend Mark Roosen says, "He was a man who would help anybody. You needed help, he'd be there for you."

Overhead at the cemetery, planes fly by in tribute. A helicopter comes too, tipping it's nose in honor of Gene's years as a naval pilot.

Friend Lenny Wheatly says,  "He was here. He saw it. He would have thought they were great. He was here I'm sure."

That's why others came too -- for a man they say was one of a kind.

Gene Damschroder was 86 years old.

There were two other burials Thursday at the Harris-Elmore cemetery. Bill Ansted and his daughter Allison were laid to rest. Both were passengers on the Damschroder plane.

The NTSB is expected to release a preliminary cause of the crash soon.

Posted by LS