Born: April 8, 1924
Death: October 3, 2013

On Thursday, October 3, 2013 at the age of 89, a choir full of angels took Ed home. Ed was the son of Joseph and Anna Stefaniak, born in Maple City, Michigan on April 8, 1924. Ed always felt blessed that he had such loving parents. His mother, Anna, died while Ed was just a boy and it saddened him deeply. Ed was one of 10 children; 3 sisters, Rose, Clairie, and Gert; six brothers, Johnny, Chet, Joe, Al, Larry, who fought and was wounded in World War II, and Ray who died in the Korean War; father, Joseph; step-mother, Mary and brother-in-law, Nick Waclawski (who Ed considered a brother), preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary Jane. Ed grew up on the northeast side of Grand Rapids, attended St. Alphonsus grade school and graduated from Creston High School in 1942 where he lettered in baseball and football. After high school he went straight into the U.S. Navy (1942 – 1945) where he was assigned as a communication specialist on the Navy destroyer 667. Ed chased German U-Boats in both the Atlantic and Mediterranean Theatres, and dodged Kamikaze pilots in the Pacific. The Destroyer 667 took some hits during the war but never sunk. The grace of God brought him back to us. When Ed returned to Grand Rapids it was a broken foot on a construction job that would change his life forever. After breaking his foot he went to work for the law firm that was investigating his accident, and as destiny would have it he meet his wife Mary at the same time. Ed launched a successful career as a claims agent for Kemper Insurance and later American States. He retired from American States in 1988. Ed was married to his one and only sweetheart, Mary, who died in 1999 just short of 50 years of marriage. Ed is survived by his three wonderful daughters, Chris (Bob) Worth of San Diego, Sue (Gordon) Medendorp of Grand Rapids and Mimi (Larry) Ward of Grandville; granddaughter, Ashley (Andrew) Rasikas and treasured great-granddaughter, Fiona Jade and several nieces and nephews. Ed also has two long time pals, Chet Hodkowski and Al Gebhardt who are among us today and he felt blessed to have both as friends. Ed loved river fishing so it’s fair to say that the steelhead, browns, rainbow and brook trout won’t miss him a bit. Ed was a man of faith whose wish was to be cremated with a private service to be held by his family. All of his daughters, their spouses, his granddaughter and his great-granddaughter have felt blessed to be a part of his life on this earth. To the staff of Clark Rehabilitation Center and Hospice, Ed’s family would like to give a special thank you.

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