It is with great sadness that the family of Edmund (Ed) Dudek announce that he passed away on January 30, 2021. Ed was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 9, 1924 to Michael and Anna Dudek. His early years were met with hardship, as at the age of 6 years old, his mother died unexpectedly. He lived with his father for a few years, however it was in his teens that an incredibly special family took him in, in exchange for his help at their business, Novak's Bakery. Until the end of his life, he always spoke fondly of the Novak's and the delicious goodies from their bakery. That early foundation began his love affair with sweets and he never turned down anything sweet. He always ordered his dessert first when eating out so that he could be assured he had room for it.
At the age of 17, the country was deeply involved in WWII and he left school and joined the U.S. Navy. He proudly served his country for 4 years as a Gunners Mate in the Pacific. He shared a few war stories over the years. The most memorable was that of his ship being bombed in the middle of the night and how he jumped overboard into the Pacific to await rescue. Ed was proud of his country and instilled in his daughters and grandchildren respect for the flag that he fought for.
After the war, Ed returned to Chicago and began working in the local steel mills. It was during this time that he met his bride, Rosemary. They were married in 1954 and a couple of years later, welcomed their first daughter, Margaret. Seeking a rural area to raise their family, they relocated to Michigan and Ed began his 35+ year career as a carpenter. He built numerous structures in the West Michigan area. Over the years, he proudly pointed out the places he built, often sharing a story about the work itself or one of his many coworkers. As time went on, Ed and Rosemary welcomed 3 more daughters, Mary, Josephine and Catherine. The family ultimately settled in Marcellus and enjoyed a peaceful life in the country. When not working, Ed enjoyed gardening, woodworking, and playing with his girls. Family was the center of his being and he was a kid at heart. At family functions, you would often find him surrounded by all the kids and the family dog.
As the girls grew up and married, he was promoted to Grandpa with granddaughters Ashley, Megan and Haylee; and grandson (finally a boy), Alex. He was a babysitter, cheerleader, playmate and constant guide to them all. Offering advice whether solicited or not. They all knew they had grandpa wrapped around their little finger.
In 2011, wife Rosemary passed away and Ed moved into an assisted living facility. It did not take him long to settle in with his fellow residents and staff. He was known as the jokester and loved to bring joy to all he encountered.
Ed was healthy until this last year and sadly with the social and physical isolation of the COVID restrictions, his health steadily deteriorated. He passed of natural causes after a life well lived. He will lovingly be missed by his four daughters and their spouses: Peg (Dale) Kwasniewski, Mary Dudek, Jo Dudek and Kate (Gavin) Inman. He will also be deeply missed by his four grandchildren: Ashley and Megan Kwasniewski, Alex and Haylee Inman.
A prayer service will be conducted by Father Michael Hazard at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel on Friday, February 5 at 3:00 pm. Visitation will follow from 4:00 â 6:00 pm. A private burial service for the family at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek will be held in the spring. Memorial contributions can be made to Talons Out Honor Flight. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.
The funeral home has created a beautiful picture slideshow and it may be viewed at https://vimeo.com/508558740