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Edward Alton Luck

May 23, 1922 – July 5, 2010

Hampton Union, Friday, July 9, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Edward Alton Luck

NORTH HAMPTON — Edward Alton Luck died Monday, July 5, 2010, in Exeter Hospital with his daughters Alison and Shelley at his side.

Ed was president of Luck Enterprises and Shel-Al Campground on Lafayette Road, a family-owned business he and his late wife Dorothy (Collins) started in 1955.

He and his wife lived the American Dream, building the mobile home business from a single trailer into a major enterprise and the campground into a vacation destination for thousands of families over the years. As a self-made man, Ed’s generosity was legendary. One camper recently noted, “Ed would give the shirt off his back to total strangers, repeatedly.”

Born in Portland, Maine, on May 23, 1922, Ed was the son of the late Edward Alton Sr. and Irene (Locke) Luck of Norway. He attended local schools, graduating from Norway High School in 1940.

He proudly achieved the rank of Eagle Scout as a youngster.

He worked alongside his father, owner of the local IGA grocery story, and was known as “Butcher” because of his expertise in the meat department.

Ed’s early passion for basketball (a lifelong love that he shared with his grandsons) led him to play for Concord Business College, and later for the semi-pro Oxford Bears team.

He joined the Navy in 1942 and was stationed on a Landing Ship Tank (LST), where he saw action in the Pacific Theater of World War II, including Tarawa and Tinian. Years later, Eddie was a proud veteran and member of the N.H. LST Association.

After the war, Eddie returned home and worked as a truck driver for Sanborn’s Express, where he met his wife, Dorothy “Dot” Collins. They were married in 1947 and traveled the country while Ed worked on the transcontinental pipeline, installing gas lines in Texas, Ohio and the Carolinas. Moving to the Seacoast, he worked as a heavy equipment operator during the construction of Pease Air Force Base in Newington. In 1955, he founded Twin Town Trailer Sales, encouraged by his father’s similar work in Maine. Shel-Al was started in 1965, along with Granite Post Green in the late 1970s. He went on to develop and manage many other subdivisions and parks, including Hemlock Haven in Hampton and North Country Village in Center Tuftonboro.

Ed was proud to be a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner. He was a member of Star in the East Lodge No. 59 of Exeter, Scottish Rite Bodies Valley of Portsmouth —Dover, Consistory Valley of Nashua and Bektash Temple Shrine, Concord. He was also past president of the North Hampton Business Association.

His deep love of people has touched many lives throughout the Seacoast. He could talk to anyone and make them feel that they were the most important person in the room. His second home was his regular table at Betty’s Kitchen, where earlier on the day he was hospitalized, he was happily having his customary breakfast surrounded by friends.

Ed is survived by his loving family, daughters Shelley Cross and her husband, Robert, of Hampton; Alison Luck of Scarborough, Maine; grandsons Taylor Edward Cross and Spencer Robert Cross; and nieces Jean Meyers of Camden, Delaware, Jane Torres of Portland, Maine, Tracy Curran of Standish, Maine and Kim Collins.

He was predeceased by his wife Dot, who died in 2005 and his brother Hayward Luck.

Ed adored his family, and his grandsons Taylor and Spencer were devoted to their “Poppy.” He could always be found cheering them on at athletic competitions, faithfully attended their school events, and was able to travel to see each graduate from college.

Edward Alton Luck loved his family and his business — and was lucky enough to successfully combine both. Through hard work coupled with a warm smile and a big heart, he built a life well lived, and will long be remembered for his upbeat “can do” optimism, kindness and incomparable decency.

Visiting hours will be Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, 811 Lafayette Road, Hampton. Services will be Monday at 11 a.m. in the funeral home. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Interment will be in the Norway Pine Grove Cemetery, South Paris, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114.

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