Edward A. Wrona

Edward Adam Wrona passed away on Friday, March 2,2012, and is finally at peace. He was born in Salamanca, NY, to Anthony and Katherine Bandura Wrona, on February 22, 1923. Raised on a farm by immigrant parents, he developed a love of the land and nature; he understood hard work and generosity. Ed graduated from Salamanca High School in 1941 and began work as a cabinetmaker for Fancher Furniture Co. He volunteered for service in World War II in January 1943, serving in the quartermaster corps with the US First Army in Europe. He participated in five campaigns, including the Normandy Beach landings and the Battle of the Bulge, earning five campaign stars and a commendation during the Battle of the Bulge. He qualified for the European Theater Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal and received an honorable discharge in November 1945. Ed was extremely proud of his military service. His stories from that time, both difficult and humorous, were threaded across the rest of his life and shared many times with family and friends.

Ed married Mary A. Thompson at St. Patrick's Church in Salamanca on September 27, 1947. Theirs had been a true partnership across a loving, faith-filled, adventuresome 65 years. They shared a love of music and singing, enjoying their large extended families, playing pinochle and traveling. They delighted in the building of many long, enduring friendships.

Ed graduated from Bigelow Sanford Carpet School in Connecticut and became an assistant manager at Hunt Furniture Co. Bringing the family to Whittier, California, in 1957, Ed embarked on a career of self-employment in carpet sales and installation. He approached his business with integrity and curiosity - with a keen eye for color and design, and with a precision and artistry that became sought after in the Southern California area. He was active in leadership at St. Gregory the Great Parish and the Carrollton Speech Training Club serving as its president in 1963. Ed was a reader, a philosopher and deep thinker, a theological explorer, and one given to pondering the foibles of human nature. He was a do-it-yourselfer, cabinetmaker, fisherman, hunter and a merry trickster who delighted in surprising many with a harmless prank or play on words. Ed and Mary retired to Ashland, Oregon in 1986 and became active at Our Lady of the Mountain Parish and with The Happy Campers RV Group.

Most of all Ed was a dedicated family man. He gave his 5 children all of himself and his qualities live on in them, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He called his kids his 5 aces though would never declare which was the wild card. Tributes from his children and grandchildren were read to him across his last two days. They reveal great respect, delight, love and gratitude for imbuing all of us with his strength and love. (He wondered what the fuss was about!) In addition Uncle Ed will be missed by numerous nieces and nephews who cherished him.

Ed is survived by his wife, Mary; children, Kathryn (Stephen) Brooks, Edward (Dianne), Susan, Christine (Rob) Giallongo; and grandchildren, Joshua, Jeremy, Marijean, Carianne, Paul, Pamela, Adam, Connor, Eliza and Luca; and six great-grandchildren (with one on the way); brother, Leo and sister Sandra Skiff. He was preceded in death by his son, Gregory; parents; sisters, Mary and Pauline; and brother, Tony.

Services will be held at Our Lady of the Mountain Catholic Church on Thursday, March 8, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.. This will be preceded by a rosary at the church at 9:00 a.m.. He will be buried at the Eagle Point National Cemetery with full military honors.

The family wishes to thank Joy Brace for her wonderful support of our parents in this last year, Asante Hospice, particularly Carrie Cantu, RN, for their deep kindness and compassionate expertise, and finally the many friends who gave solace, generous assistance and truly put into action their love and respect across the last six weeks.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to can donate to the House Ear Institute, 2100 W 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90057.

Arrangements are by Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home, Ashland, OR. www.litwillersimonsen.com.