St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Edward L Wilson (2/5/48-1/30/13)

A good friend of mine, Ed Wilson, of Cushing, WI. passed away earlier this week. I knew him from grade school, high school and as a neighbor over the years.  We had gotten back to being friends in the past few years as we both retired and had more time to visit. A few years ago, I helped him steer his way into treatment for cancer, that, for a couple of years went away.  This fall he started radiation for a brain tumor and completed that in December. But in January, he started having bleeding in the brain, and after gettting weaker, passed away.  He was single, and an interesting friend to have.

I talked to him in November, before coming to Pine Island for the winter.  He was enthused that he was going to be 65, Feb 5,2013, and he could get on Medicare, to help with his medical bills.  He was trying to figure out the supplemental insurance that went best with Medicare.  My advice was to stick to his current company as with his cancer as a pre-existing condition, it might be difficult to find another company to help.   Ed was 2 days short of getting into Medicare--he died on the 30th of January, with Medicare to start Feb 1.

Ed worked most of his life for the US Post Office in the Twin Cities.  He told me he worked in the background, sorting boxes, mail or something like that.   He never married, and retired early so had a few years of retirement to enjoy life.

Ed liked to tell me about traveling. He loved cars and his particular joy was to rent a new different model and drive it for a month or so as a try out.  He told me that he wished his health would be good again and he could take a long trip driving out west through the mountains and enjoying the scenery.

Ed stopped in at the Polk County fair and visited with Margo and I in the school house each year. He submitted a few of his photos each year to the competition, never winning first place and always puzzled by the photos that did win.  "Do you really think that photo is better than mine?" he  asked me several years in a row.  I commiserated as mine never one a prize either.

I hadn't really visited with Ed for many years since HS, other than to see him at Memorial Day at Wolf Creek, or the Spring Bash, or other community events.  Then our history society put on a Cushing Tigers baseball reunion some years ago.  Ed's father and uncles and probably grandfather were all Tigers.  Ed was a real fan.

As I remember in school, Ed had asthma, and so was limited in being able to be in sports.  He was a dead shot for free-throws and probably would have been an avid athlete had his breathing not been a problem.

Ed was thrifty and saved his money and lived inexpensively on a personal level.  He was quite an investor--not only in the stock market but in trading commodities. He told me that he had done quite well, until the 2008 crash when he lost quite a bit (he never defined what that meant).   It did not stop him from continuing to invest, but with the loss, and some medical bills, he gave up his apartment in the cities and moved to the family home in Cushing, where he could be seen walking across the street to check the grain markets at the Co-op, picking up the local newspaper to read the business news and visiting with the folks who were out and about in Cushing.  "With Social Security, a Post Office Pension, and when I get Medicare, I should be able to live comfortably even though I lost some of my retirement money in the crash."  I used to kid him a little about investing, but I think it lent a little excitement to his otherwise quiet life.

After his first round with cancer treatment, a brush that included a feeding tube and being very sick, he turned more seriously to Christianity.  He told me that he felt that those folks praying for him and his own relationship with God were important in getting through cancer and giving him comfort.  I think he tried to live an honest, decent and quiet life and succeeded very well.

After Christmas I got a card from him with a note wishing Margo and I better health in the coming year.  I had sent him my Christmas newsletter updating him on Margo's chemotherapy.  The note he added to the card thanked me for helping him during the early sessions of his own cancer treatmetnt (I drove him several times to the Fairview and went in with him to try to help understand what the doctor was saying--I worked 25 years at Mayo and could understand medical talk a little).  I sent back a note with an update on us.  When I read Ed's note, it seemed as he was thanking me one more time, just in case something happened to him before we were back up in March to catch up with each other.  

 It reminded me of the last time that Dad and his cousin Seldon visited--both in their late 80s. They lived many hours apart, so saw each other only at the family reunions each year.  They said good bye to each other, shaking hands and then looked each other in the eye for a time.  I watched and saw a deeper meaning.  Understanding they quite likely would not see each other again in this life, the last two cousins of their generation were saying goodbye one final time. They said nothing.   Years of being childhood cousins, raised in the same neighborhood, church, remembering their fathers who were brothers, then marrying, raising families, separated by distance and dimmed by age, the connection was still strong. Dad died before the next reunion, but he had said his good bye.

Our world shrinks as we lose those who we knew from childhood. For some reason, even though we haven't seen a school chum for decades, when we meet them  again, we connect in a way that we really never do with those we meet later in life.  My own life is diminished with the loss of my friend Ed.  His funeral is 2 pm this Monday at the Cushing Lutheran church -- if the weather is good, I hope to drive up. A funeral for an old friend like Ed is really just a reunion and a chance to recognize that he mattered to us.

   Edward L. Wilson Obituary Link

Edward (Eddie, Ed) Lloyd Wilson of Cushing, WI, died peacefully on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born in St. Croix Falls, WI to Lloyd and Marjorie (Sandstrom) Wilson.  He was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Cushing.  He grew up there and attended Cushing Grade School.  He had an enjoyable childhood with many ball games played in the Wilson front yard.

Eddie graduated from St. Croix Falls High School in 1966.  He then began a 30 year career with the U.S. Post Office.  His last place of employment was at Metropolitan Airport.  Eddie had an apartment in St. Paul but came home to Cushing on weekends.

Some of his hobbies and interests were photography, traveling to the western states, renting cars, college sports, Corvettes and motorcycling.  Ed even made a trip to Sturgis.  His daily routine was coffee at Holiday, doing the word jumble in the daily paper and going to libraries to read.

Eddie was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Marjorie.  He is survived by his sisters, Sandy (Dale) Olson, Karen (Jim) Berg and Meridee (Bill) Hable; nephews and nieces, Todd and Mike Olson, Greg and Kerry Berg, Jenny Hable and their families.

A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at First Lutheran Church in Cushing, WI with Rev. Julie Brenden officiating.  One hour of visitation will precede this service.  Music will be provided by organist, Carol Medchill and quartet, 4 His Glory.

Online condolences may be left at  or  Please return to these websites for updated information or call Bruce Rowe at 715-472-2444.