FORT MYERS, Fla. — A family is mourning the loss of Lewis Midlam, who died in a solo plane crash near Tallahassee Friday night.
Linda Midlam said she’s shocked that her uncle is gone. “I couldn’t believe it happened. It still doesn’t seem real,” she said as she sobbed.
She said her uncle was returning from a trip in the Panhandle assessing homes struck by Hurricane Michael when the plane crashed. “He was just a really great guy. He spent his life at least here in Florida just trying to help people,” she said.
She said he meant to much to her. “Like a way older big brother to talk to. When I was a kid I remember seeing him during Christmas time. We would play Croquet with my dad and my uncles and everybody out in the backyard,” she said.
And she said this Christmas just won’t be the same. She said he also leaves behind a legacy of helping people across the state of Florida.
He owned LMC Engineering in Fort Myers. Midlam also said her uncle was a charter member and the first president of the Florida Structural Engineers Association. He also served in the military during the Vietnam War.
But his desire to serve didn't end there. She says he donated to non-profits in Southwest Florida including My Autism in Fort Myers. He also helped with hurricane recovery long before the crash.
“He and my cousin Tree, his partner, went up shortly after [Hurricane] Michael struck. They were down in the Keys after Irma. He started here in Florida in 1993 out of his garage on Pine Island.
Midlam said her uncle’s plane crashed within 15 minutes of leaving the Apalachicola Airport. She said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Midlam said her uncle’s body will be cremated.