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Edward Winslow Sr., 1927-2023
The story of Ed Winslow’s long life among us is not a sad story of someone who never quite figured out how to live a happy, full life — it’s the total opposite. Ed was a humble, prideful man who had always had his priorities straight, and lived life to the absolute fullest.
From his earliest years being raised on a farm, Ed was very gifted with his hands, and could build or fix anything that he put his mind to. After his stint in the Navy, Ed owned and operated a very successful gas station and car repair shop in Virginia. But, he wasn’t all-work, no-play. He used his exceptional mechanical skills to help his friends race go-karts, and even won multiple trophies himself as a talented driver. He also honed his excellent waterskiing skills on nearby waterways, mastering the skills of skiing backward, and with a friend, carrying a young woman on his shoulders while skiing. Because the woman was not his wife, and his wife was there at the time, Ed did not do that twice after demonstrating he could do it. Ed’s full life in Virginia did not last long, as he soon realized all the work he was doing just didn’t leave him enough time to go fishing.
When Ed moved to Michigan, he became a highly sought-after car mechanic who daily demonstrated his skills and integrity. He was the one to call if there was ever anything wrong with your car. If it could be fixed, he could fix it at the fairest price you could ever find. While Ed was more than happy to retire when the time came, his loyal customers did not celebrate the occasion.
On his properties in rural Belding, Ed was as happy as a human can possibly be. He filled his life and property with animals of a number and type not seen since Noah. At various times, he had ponies, cows, pigs, chickens, geese, dogs, cats, and more. Included in the bunch was a huge pig named Clarabel that loved apples Loretta would give her. If she escaped her pen, a couple of apples, and a ride around the property on a spare car hood that Ed had laying around would make her happy to go back in her pen. His gentle demeanor played very well with the assortment of animals, some as nasty as the third goose on the ramp to Noah’s Ark. Famously, one of Ed’s last pets was a cat named Cat.
In his later years, Ed could often be found in his garage puttering and tinkering. He was also a very skilled woodworker. He built and refinished countless items, including a humidor, tables, dressers, beds, wagons, birdhouses, and more. Never known to waste anything, he even saved the circular chunks of wood created went he drilled holes into the front of birdhouses in an old coffee can. That can, and his woodwork will be yet another legacy that will carry on into future generations, and not just because he seemed to use an excessive amount of screws.
He also loved hunting and fishing, and working on his property. He was endlessly clearing his land, and with the idea that winter always seems to be here or coming in Michigan, he channeled his inner eager-beaver and created a truly impressive stack of firewood every year. He was also continuously clearing the brush around his deer blind, although the land would often fight back by smearing poison sumac all over him. In the end, Ed would usually win the fight, but at times his swollen face made it look like he took a few good shots. A skilled hunter, Ed made a unique first impression on his future son-in-law Dan by shooting a pesky muskrat about 100 yards away — from inside his house as they were getting ready for a get-to-know-each-other dinner.
Through it all, Ed never lost sight of what really mattered – his family. No matter what happened during the day, Ed would often end the day sitting next to his wife holding hands. And, as she often did, if asked him if he wanted a slice of pie, he would answer: “I might have me a piece of pie.”
He considered his biggest accomplishment to be his son Eddie, someone he said any father would have been proud of. Ed lived his whole life seemingly with the mission of being the most loving husband, father, grandfather, friend, and provider he could be, while keeping his priorities straight.
Edward was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Marilyn Anthony, Laurete Walsh, Barbara Wolfe, Clarence Winslow, and James Winslow.
He is survived by his loving wife, Loretta; children, Justine and Daniel Betz, Edward Jr. and April Winslow; grandchildren, Mallory and Jessica Insley; great-grandchildren, Evalyn, Graysen, Sebastian, Mia, and Sage; and his sister, Shirley Tiedt.
Funeral services will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at Johnson-Feuerstein Funeral Home. Visitation will take place Monday evening from 5- 7 and also on Tuesday from 10-11 AM prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Belding Library.