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Edward F. WaszakNovember 18, 1924 ~ July 1, 2017 (age 92)
Edward F Waszak, World War II Veteran, Author Dies at 92
Long-time resident of Crystal Lake, Edward Frank Waszak, 92, died peacefully at his home at The Fountains July 1, 2017.
Born and raised in Hammond, Indiana, to Frank and Clara (Przystas), Ed was inducted into the Army immediately upon graduation from high school. After basic training, he was admitted into the ASTP (Army Specialized Training Program) and was sent to Socorro, New Mexico, to study engineering at the New Mexico School of Mines.
With WWII in full swing in Europe, the Army cancelled the ASTP program in 1944 and attached the engineering cadets to the 12th Armored Division, headed for Strasbourg, France. Ed and his colleagues landed in Europe just in time to begin logistical preparations for the pivotal battle that would later be remembered as “Bloody Herlssheim.” During the retreat from the Herlssheim-Offendorf battles, Ed was captured by the German army and spent the remainder of the war as a POW in Stalag XI-B.
After the war, Ed completed his chemical engineering degree at Purdue University. He took his first engineering job at American Maize in Hammond, Indiana, where he met his wife, Therese (nee Krysinski).
In 1965, Ed began what would be a nearly 30-year career at Morton Chemical Company (A Division of Morton International). Working his way up through the ranks and taking him around the world more times than he cared to count, Ed’s career went from plant manager to executive vice president before his retirement in 1994.
Not content with an idle retirement, Ed reconnected with the 12th Armored Division Association. Intent on understanding the events he experienced as a young soldier from the vantage point of age and maturity, he voraciously read accounts and biographies of those involved in the War’s decision-making processes. He became the 12th Armored’s historian and wrote articles for the association’s newsletter for over a decade. These articles became three books of historical memoir: Hellcat Historian, Hellcat Historian II, and Hellcat Heroes.
Additionally, he was involved in the American Ex-Prisoner of War Association (Fox Valley Chapter) and often gave talks to local grade schools about World War II.
Ed is survived by his wife Therese, daughter Mary Ellen, sons Michael (Denise) and Daniel (Kimberly), and five grandchildren: Christian (Shannon), Brandon (Kathryn), Alexandra, Adam, and Emily. He is also survived by sisters Jeanette Meier (Everett), Elaine Wolfe (Robert), and Bernadette Massaro. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Ann Mazzocco (Leonard) and brother Richard (Ramona).
Visitation will be held Friday, July 7, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with prayers at 10:30 a.m. at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 419 E Terra Cotta Ave (Rt. 176) Crystal Lake. Procession will follow to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 451 W Terra Cotta Ave, Crystal Lake, for Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Windridge Memorial Park, Cary.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Right to Life of McHenry County and Journey Care of Barrington.
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Right to Life of McHenry County
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