Airmen killed in plane crash died ‘doing what they loved’, funerals told

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The funerals of airmen Aidan Rowsome (58) and James Price, (70), who were killed when their their single-engine BRM Aero Bristell NG5 plane crashed near Athy, Co Kildare, have taken place in Dublin.

Both funerals were told the men’s families and friends could take solace in the fact they had died flying, which was something they loved.

The funeral of Mr Rowsome in the Church of St Laurence O’Toole in Stillorgan heard he was a man “a man who lived life”, an accomplished skier, a football fan who loved to travel to matches with friends, a devoted husband and father, a technology enthusiast and of course, a pilot.

Mr Rowsome, who was vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa operations for US firm SmartDrive Systems, lived in Kildare but was originally from Stillorgan in Dublin.

Welcoming Mr Rowsome’s remains to the sound of the Neil Diamond song “Mr Bojangles” which Mr Rowsome encouraged his friends to learn, Very Rev Fr Peter Johnson said the funeral was a “celebration of his life”.

Fr Johnson said Mr Rowsome had “lived a full live” and “a life worth celebration”. Mr Rowsome had died while taking part in a pleasure flight, doing something which he had greatly loved, Fr Johnson said. But he said Mr Rowsome’s life was also that of a man of faith.

‘Respected by everybody’

Gifts which were brought to the alter during the ceremony included Mr Rowsome’s copy of Bill Clinton’s autobiography “My Life” , his wedding ring, his earphones, an Aer Lingus Gold Card, his passport and his pilot’s licence.

Speaking through a friend, Mr Rowsome’s wife Marie said he had been a man who was well known for “filling the room with his presence and was loved and respected by everybody”.

The chief mourners were Mr Rowsome’s wife Marie and daughter Nadia. They were supported by his brothers Paul and Noel, sisters Helen, Maureen and Olive, and extended family.

The funeral of Mr Price, a former Aer Lingus employee from Ballinteer, Co Dublin, was held in St John The Evangelist Church on Balinteer Road, Dundrum.

The chief mourners at Mr Price’s funeral were his wife Denise, children Alan, Joanne and Aoife and grandchildren James and Afric. A former trainer of pilots, his funeral was attended by many people from the wider aviation community, many of whom he had instructed.

Mr Price’s funeral was also told he had died doing something he loved and which he was passionate about.

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