Edward Legg, a teacher, coach and University of New England board member who also served as vice president for university relations at UNE and represented Kennebunk in the Maine House of Representatives, died on Sunday. He was 71.

Mr. Legg was a member of UNE’s board of trustees from 1996 to 2001 and co-chaired the UNEqualed Vision Capital Campaign, the first major campaign after its merger with Westbrook College. He was vice president for university relations at UNE from 2001 to 2006. His obituary, published in Wednesday’s paper, says he led fundraising efforts to build state-of-the-art biomedical and marine science facilities, resulting in the creation of hundreds of jobs in southern Maine.

Mr. Legg left UNE in 2006 and pursued a seat in the Maine House as Kennebunk’s representative for District 141. As a legislator, he worked to secure research and development bonds for northern New England’s first dental school and a school of pharmacy.

In a statement posted on UNE’s website, President Danielle Ripich said Legg was a “passionate advocate for education” and a “personal champion” for UNE.

“He remained a close friend and supporter until the end,” Ripich wrote. “We will miss Ed’s big-as-Texas personality, generous spirit, and laughter that filled every room fortunate enough to have him in it.”

Mr. Legg served one term in the Legislature from 2008 to 2010. He was a lead sponsor for seven bills and co-sponsored two others.

“He was really productive and really respected by people on both sides of the house,” said Ann Legg, of Kennebunk. “He developed meaningful legislation and worked hard to get it through the House.”

Mr. Legg was remembered by his family Tuesday as a man who strove to make a difference in people’s lives. He was a dedicated teacher and coach, who worked as headmaster at Hyde School in Bath. He taught government and coached championship teams in basketball, wrestling and football.

“He conveyed that historical perspective and that vision and duty that they could make the world better,” his wife said. “He totally believed in the potential of his students.”

Ann Legg recalled his passion for music. In his early years, he directed and wrote songs for “America’s Spirit,” a traveling musical that performed in venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Circle in the Square in New York City. His wife said he wrote 60 songs.

“He had this musical genius that he didn’t know he had until it was needed,” she said. “One thing that amazed me was that he had the worst singing voice of anyone I’ve heard. He listened to music a lot. He listened to lyrics a lot, too. … In the middle of the night, he would pat me on the shoulder and say I got a melody. I would score the line of the melody and he would put the words to it.”

Mr. Legg and his wife were married for 49 years. She talked about his adoration for his children and his belief in her.

“We had an honest relationship,” she said. “I’m an artist and he had a pretty good eye for art. He would come in and say things that would knock me on my heels. Once, he criticized a painting, saying it wasn’t as good as another one I did. His perception was correct, but it didn’t go over well at first. We were planning on having spaghetti that night. I told him to cook his own spaghetti.”

That night, she made her husband his favorite – spaghetti.


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