Edward was born in Holdingford, Minnesota, to William and Mary Epsky. At the age of 11, he and his family moved to a farm near Clarissa. He attended a one-room schoolhouse where he was responsible for bringing in the firewood and getting the building warmed up before other students arrived. Later, he became one of the early students to attend the Clarissa High School.
Life on the farm was a lot of hard work. They farmed with horses, and it was a big upgrade when they went from a one-bottom, walk-behind plow to a two-bottom plow that required an extra horse. It was further complicated by challenges his family endured (illness and fire). Ed was a very kind-hearted man and some of the 'farm life' that put food on the table was very hard for him. He stayed and helped on the farm until he was in his 30s. At that point, his mom encouraged him to pursue additional education and not stay in farming. However, his perseverance and hard work continued throughout his life.
Ed attended Dunwoody Institute where he studied Carpentry. He worked his way through school by waiting tables downtown and working as a janitor at Honeywell. During that time he met Arlie. She was able to make enough messes to keep him coming over. Ed and Arlie were married in 1963. Also during this time, Ed was continuing to help out his family on the farm on weekends. His father passed away in 1962, and in 1963, he purchased the farm from his mother.
Once he finished his degree, he became a carpenter at Honeywell and eventually became a Group Leader. He picked up overtime hours (nights and Saturday Mornings) at work, and began leasing out the land as he transitioned the farm to weekend use. He put his carpentry skills to use nonstop; building, repairing and restoring their homes, buildings, as well as other projects. Rarely would there be a weekend when some board wasn't being cut.
Ed enjoyed planting large gardens. He also had a 1952 Oliver tractor that he loved. The garden was large enough that he could use his tractor to plow and disc. He looked for any possible reason where he could use his tractor. In his late 80s and early 90s he had a harder time getting on the Oliver, and migrated to mowing with his John Deere lawn tractor. He would spend many hours mowing and driving the lawn tractor as he worked on different projects around the farm.
He was easygoing, with a great sense of humor...and more than anything, loved to joke around with people. When he was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 72, he joked around so much with the hospital staff that, in their records, they had written "Patient claims to be 72 years old". After finishing with cancer treatment, he continued working fulltime at Honeywell until he was 75 years old.
In addition to farming, he enjoyed a lot of time with his family; fishing, picnicking, and travelling. The family took numerous trips together -and it always seemed like no matter where he went, (i.e. Florida, Arizona, Las Vegas), he ran into somebody from Honeywell.
Edward was preceded in death by parents; brother, Raymond (Ruth) Epsky; sisters Helen Epsky and Lorraine (Norbert) Berg.
He is survived by wife, Arlie; daughter, Mary Claire; son, Doug (Janet Kittelson); and sister, Rhea Thompson.
Mass of Christian Burial Friday, September 7th, 2pm with visitation one hour prior at the Church of St. William, 6120 - 5th St NE, Fridley.
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We always enjoyed watching add on his riding lawn more mowing the grass! We will miss having conversation with Ed at the mailbox! Blessings to your family!
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