The loving heart of Edmund S. Szypulski stopped unexpectedly on September 23, 2020 at 3:33 pm – the hour of Divine Mercy on the Feast of Padre Pio. A quick and easy death- a grace bestowed on a faithful servant.
Ed was born the second of ten children to the late Alice Pearl (Kaczmarek) and the late Edmund Felixian Szypulski in Steubenville, Ohio. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his twin, John, who died shortly after birth; and his daughter Erin. Ed’s death marks the first break in the circle of ten.
He was an incredibly delightful, occasionally difficult and extremely complex man. He made his family and friends laugh every day. His wit and joy was irrepressible, occasionally obstreperous, and often masking his depth of wisdom and knowledge. He loved to inject humor into even the most difficult of situations. Most friends and family will long remember his robust laugh.
His talents and abilities emerged early. He was a performing singer (along with his sister, Martina) throughout their community at age 8. His oil paintings were being sold by age 10; his acting skills began in grade school and flourished in musical theatre on into adult life. Some of his favorite roles were Curly (Oklahoma!), Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance), Billis (South Pacific) and Amal (Amal and the Night Visitors). Ed’s exuberant personality was well suited for these energetic theatrical roles but his all-time favorite activity was football. He was awarded Outstanding Offensive Lineman and the nickname “Ironhead” in high school; after an airborne helmet cracked and broke when it landed on his head! He went on to play college football at age 17 at the University of Nebraska under during Coach Bob Devaney’s tenure. He didn’t bulk up during his freshman year and transferred on scholarship to a smaller school: the University of South Dakota. He gained significant size the next season and continued to play football until he was injured. This led to pursuing other competitive outlets over the years. Ed took up karate, tennis, swimming, biking, golfing and dog showing.
It was in South Dakota that Ed and Trish met and married and he began his career in 1968. Ed earned his Masters’ Degree in Speech Pathology, a second Masters’ in Audiology and was ABD for his Educational Specialist Degree. His dual profession as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologist was his passion. He worked various settings, mostly public schools and later private practice. He was a Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist-a highly specialized methodology for teaching deaf children and adults to listen and speak following cochlear implantation. It was amazing to watch him work with the tiniest of clients, some as young as 15 months, as he guided them from their silent world into speaking normally.
Raised in a strict but loving Polish-catholic family, Ed was always deeply spiritual and even attended St. John Vianny Seminary for one year. One of the reasons Trish fell so deeply in love with him was because of his religious convictions. Wanting religious unity in their lives, she converted to Catholicism and was ever grateful for Ed’s gentle, not pushy, spiritual leadership in their marriage. These last 5 years, as he was challenged with multiple health issues, his faith never wavered, but actually deepened. He dedicated himself to being a Prayer Warrior, rising very early to spend hours in prayer and study. Although limited physically, he persevered with his exuberance for life, with his ever-present wit and with his JOY in the Lord: J-Jesus, O-Others, Y- Yourself.
That is how he lived- and I was so privileged to be loved by him and so blessed to be his wife! I am Trish Szypulski, one of the most fortunate of women. Rest in the arms of Jesus, my beloved Ed.
Ed’s loving survivors include his faithful and loving wife of 51 years, 5 months and 4 days, Trish Szypulski; their children Aleshka Szypulski (Brevard) and Edmund Jhanek Szypulski (Bremerton, WA); Aleshka’s four children, all who call him Dzadziu (Polish for Grandpa) are Atlas Cleveland, Odin Cleveland, Argo Cleveland and Vesta Cleveland. His 9 remaining siblings: Martina DiBacco (John), Nan Szypulski-Lewis, Raymond C. Szypulski (Marion), Alicia DeCaria, Vanessa Szypulski, Denise Bennett (Pat), Cheryl Snyder, Joseph Szypulski (Kat) and Munya Andresen (Rick). Ed was also “Uncle Eddie” to 28 –plus nieces and nephews.
He also greatly enjoyed the current grand-dogs: Harrison (Great Dane) and Zelda (Standard Poodle) and grand-cats Cricket and Delphi along with 7 very tame chickens that visited him every morning.
A Funeral mass was held on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Shawn O’Neal officiating.
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