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Ed was reunited with his beloved wife Marge in eternal life on Saturday Oct 14, 2017. They had been married over 71 years and were separated for just 4 weeks. He was born in 1921 to his Pap, Victor Charnitz, and Rosalia Nagler Charnitz, both immigrants from Austria.
He grew up in Milwaukee and shared many stories about his shenanigans as a youth – from burning a field to find a golf ball he and his brother lost, to setting off firecrackers hanging out of a boy’s back pocket, to riding their bikes while hanging on to the back of a streetcar to save pedal power. His success in life can be attributed to his incredible work ethic and his natural mechanical ability. His attention to detail was legendary. He took pride in the fact that any job he did was a job of perfection and could accomplish anything he set his mind to. His children always said “My Dad can fix anything”.
His career started at a young age when he began selling newspapers on a street corner during the depression. After years as an auto mechanic, he became a fleet manager for the US Dept of Defense. After retirement he did many projects for family and friends and worked numerous summers for the JCC Rainbow Day Camp building and repairing structures.
Ed was a proud Veteran of WWII, serving in the Battle of the Bulge. He particularly liked being part of the recon team to scout new locations to set up communications for his heavy artillery unit. He earned several medals of honor. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the army never left him.
While in the army, he and Marge were introduced as pen pals. Their romance blossomed into a long distance courtship while he was overseas. They wed on May 13, 1946. They were blessed with 5 children and took great pride in their accomplishments. Making the house on 66th Street the family home was a lifelong project of his always building or fixing something. His first grandson arrived in 1993 and brought him such joy! Learning twins were joining the family tripled his smiles. He was able to enjoy them up until his very last days. Some of his favorite times were teaching his grandchildren about tools, golf, sheepshead and fishing, and passing on his many axioms of life. He excelled at outsmarting squirrels and was a gifted storyteller. He loved to tell elaborate and imaginative tales sometimes true but more often not. He always kept family and friends laughing with his endless silly jokes. His humility, dedication to family, and the quiet trust he placed in God will be our forever inspiration.
Dad will be deeply missed by his children Edward (Mardi), Lynn, Mary, Gerry (Ellen) and Jim (Lisa). Bapa will be forever in the hearts of his grandchildren Matthew, Allie and Bo, Gerry’s stepson Jeremy and his boys Josh and Jacob, along with many nieces and nephews. Sisters-in-law Carol Charnitz, Marie Waldhart and Helen Edlebeck join in celebrating Ed’s life. Vic (Julie) Charnitz, Bob Charnitz and Sally (Johnny) Brenner welcomed their brother to their midst. The departed Beyerl girls, their brothers and spouses greeted him in heaven along with loving nieces and nephews Jeanne, Joey, Jim and Gary.
Services will be held at the Milwaukee Catholic Home St. Anne Chapel, 2462 N. Prospect Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211 on Saturday, October 21, 2017. Visitation from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, followed by Mass and a luncheon.
Private burial at St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church Cemetery, his parish for over 60 years.
In lieu of flowers, change the oil in your car and check the air pressure in your tires. He would have wanted that. Memorials gratefully accepted to Habitat for Humanity.
To our Dad and Bapa — we love you, and we know we will see you again.