obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00


A man who devoted his life to working hard for his family, Eduardo Velazquez created a lifetime of special moments with those he loved. He was a man who treated others with respect, especially women, and saw to it that the women in his life believed they deserved to be treated with respect as well. Although he adored his children, Eddie just may have argued that being a grandfather was his greatest reward. His family and friends would have loved more time with him, but will be forever grateful for the time they shared together. Eddie will be deeply missed while his memory remains a lasting treasure for generations to come.

In the years that followed WWII, the island of Puerto Rico’s character was shaped by social, political, and economical changes. A major migration to the United States began in the late forties as people were looking for a better life after the perils of the Great Depression and WWII in addition to heavy recruitment by the United States Armed Forces and several United States Companies. It was in 1947 that a young couple from Moca, Puerto Rico, celebrated the birth of a healthy baby boy on June 10th. Baby Eduardo was the oldest of 13 children born to his parents, Nicolas and Paula Velazquez, and was raised alongside his siblings, Pedro, Brunilda, Angel Antonio, Jose, AnaLuz, Jamie, Carlos, Jorge, Claribel, Manuel, Maria Teresa, and Nicholas. His mother stayed home to care for their bustling brood while his father worked in some local sugar cane fields.

Although he only received a formal education through the sixth grade, Eddie was a student of life who quickly learned the ways of the world. Life was full of trying times that became teaching moments to Eddie as he was one to learn from everything around him. As someone who took his role as the oldest seriously, he left school in order to work in the sugar cane fields to help bring additional income into the family.

Life was forever changed for Eduardo in 1963 when he became the first in his family to immigrate to the United States, initially arriving in Chicago. From there he drove to Wisconsin where his mother’s sister lived. Eddie settled into a place on Holton Street on the Eastside. As the oldest in his family he felt responsible to find a better way of life for himself and his family, which he found in Milwaukee. Eddie began working at Western Leather Tannery where his work was exemplary. He always said, “Working is my living,” as his work ethic was unmatched. In fact, he also said that he didn’t feel like a man if he didn’t work. After working at the tannery Eduardo worked in the foundry at Aluminum Casting before settling in at Shur-Line Paint Supply.

In addition to his main work Eddie also worked side jobs, and it was through his work at a local tavern that he met a young girl who captured his heart. Her name was Norma Torres, and she was the daughter of his employer at a tavern on the Eastside of Milwaukee. Eduardo was nine years her senior, but the couple was quickly smitten with one another. They were married on November 8, 1972, and began their family with the birth of their daughter, Marisa, on December 4, 1972. Although Eddie was a faithful family man who was hardworking, generous, and big-hearted, he struggled with an addiction to alcohol. In 1975 his marriage ended in divorce, but he was forever grateful for the precious daughter they shared.

Throughout his life Eduardo made friends with ease. He met Irma Suarez at work in 1974, and they became fast friends. Their friendship deepened through the years, and they officially began dating in 1981. They shared life together and their relationship produced a daughter, Ana Marie, in 1987. Irma also had a daughter, Maria, and a son, Luis, from a previous marriage whom Eduardo loved as if they were his own children. He was selflessly generous and wanted the best for his children. Eddie was also very protective of them, constantly looking out for their welfare. He was always respectful of women and taught his daughters to be respectful, too, and to make sure people respected them in return. Like most men, Eddie never liked to see the women in his life cry. The love for his children greatly deepened with the birth of his three grandchildren Julian, Drake and Jayani. “Tata,” as he was affectionately called, loved them greatly and firmly believed that it was his job to spoil them.

A genuine family man, Eddie took on the added responsibility of caring for his mother with the death of his father in 1989. He continued to look out for her until her death just this past March.

There were so many things that made Eddie a unique man. He was not afraid to voice his opinion, was straightforward, and enjoyed a good debate. Eddie loved entertaining family and friends, and he was always more than willing to share a meal and a song with everyone. His generosity was evident in the way he was always wanting to help others. As his friends and family can attest, if he had it he would give it.

Eddie and his loved ones were given a tough pill to swallow when he became suddenly ill on January 28th of this year. He entered Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital and was diagnosed with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which was a result of the long struggle Eduardo had with alcohol beginning at a young age. He never left the hospital, but God graciously gave him three months to spend with his family and friends. It was surrounded by his family and friends that Eduardo died.

Life will never be the same without Eduardo Velazquez here, but the precious moments he shared with his family and friends will never be forgotten. We will remember him for his hardworking nature, his spirit of generosity toward others, and his respect for everyone, but most of all we will remember Eddie for his unending devotion to and love for his family.

Eduardo Velazquez died on April 26, 2012. Eddie’s family includes his wife, Irma Suarez; daughters, Marisa (Terry Bolan), Maria Suarez, and AnaMarie Velazquez; grandchildren, Julian Bolan, Drake Bolan, and Jayani Velazquez; and twelve brothers and sisters. Visit with Eddie’s family and friends on Thursday, May 3rd, 4:00 PM – 7:00 p.m. at the Funeral Home. Funeral Mass, 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 4th at St. Francis Church, 327 W. Brown St. (corner of N. 4th & W. Brown Sts.). Interment to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. Please visit where you can leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.

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