WITZKE: Edward of Walkerton, formerly of Chesley

Website PictureEd was a quiet man, yet he garnered respect from those around him. His love for Mary and his family was next only to his love for God and the Bible. Ed shaped and molded, braced and carved his loved ones, guiding them by example with patient, steady hands into the adults they are today.

The youngest of four boys, Ed was born and raised in Chesley, to Polish immigrants Peter and Bertha (Rotz) Witzke. His parents, brothers (Alexander Peter, Adolf Bernard and Herbert Eric) and family were influential forces in his life. He owned and operated his own Contracting Business, Ed Witzke Ltd., from 1953 until he left Chesley in 2012. This included rough and finish carpentry, plumbing, heating and electrical. It seemed that whatever Ed turned his hand to, he could do.

Being a friend of Mary’s brother, Edward had a passing acquaintance with Mary. It took a few times of asking Mary to marry him until she finally agreed. On November 4, 1960 Mary Martha and Edward Oscar were married before a judge at the court house in Walkerton. During their married life they lived in four different homes in Chesley, all built by Ed.

“Success is a four letter word. It’s spelled W-O-R-K.” With this innate philosopy, Edward Oscar Witzke, a perfectionist, carefully measured twice and cut once, patiently planed, sanded and varnished his works of wood. And he did so with his family and community, as well. Ed fashioned a grandfather clock for each of his children and many others. He also crafted much of their furniture. Besides being talented at all the trades Ed had a beautiful singing voice and loved to play the piano, having taken lessons as a child and again as an adult. His two favourites places to be were at home or at the shop.  He was a faithful elder to the church that met in his home and he loved each one that met there. One of his favourite hymns in later years was “Was it For Me”.

He made a hobby of photography and learned to develop and print photos at home. He also learned to make bread, buns and pies.  His favourites were rhubarb and pecan pies – indeed anything that was sweet!

Dementia stole many things from Ed and his family. However, one blessing of his illness was that Ed verbally expressed his love for his family and his wife. His face would light up at the sight of Mary. After 8 days in hospital, Edward Oscar Witzke, devoted family man and accomplished woodworker, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Walkerton on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 in his 85th year.

Beloved husband of Mary Martha (Strba) Witzke. Loving father of Douglas Peter and Shelly of Palgrave; David Joseph and Pauline of Lurgan Beach; Dennis Edward and Leanne of Richmond; and Diana Mary Witzke and John Bohde of Orlando, Florida. Edward will live on in the hearts of his grandchildren Jordan, Taylor, AnnaKatrina, Alexander, Emily and Jack. He leaves behind his sister-in-law Dorothy Witzke of Kincardine and brother-in-law John (Muriel) Strba of Kingston as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Edward was predeceased by his brothers Alex (Martha), Adolph (Elsa) and Herbert (Lillian) Witzke, brother-in-law Joseph Strba and his parents.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Friday from 6 – 9 p.m. where a funeral service celebrating Edward’s life will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 10 a.m.  Interment in Chesley Cemetery.

Memorial donations to the Alzheimer Society were appreciated as expressions of sympathy.



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