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A local animal shelter or rescue
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Life Story / Obituary
Edward William Bawden passed away Sunday, October 24 at the age of 87 after years of congestive heart failure. Born June 6, 1934, in Ironwood, Michigan, Ed was the only child of Louise (Gerry) and James C. Bawden. He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood in 1952, and went on to graduate from Gogebic Community College. From there, he moved to Chicago to attend Illinois Institute of Technology, studying insurance. After completing that program, Ed went into the army and served two years, primarily in Germany. Following his military service, Ed went to work for Great American Insurance Co. While managing his territory out of Columbus, Ohio, he met Mary Agnes Harlett at a church dance. They were married September 19, 1959. While moving up within the company saw them live in Louisville, Kentucky, they ultimately ended up in Grand Rapids in the early 1960s, where Ed worked for Aetna and then Grinnell-Row Ins. Agency, eventually becoming a co-owner. Ed and Mary enjoyed 44 wonderful years of marriage, until her death in 2003. Ed was blessed to find a second love in his life in Lorrie Mrozinski. They married in 2007 and enjoyed nine years together, before her death in 2016. Ed always enjoyed a full life, with his children and grandchildren. He was a member of a number of clubs, groups and organizations. Ed was also very proud to have been an active member (and past president) of his local Kiwanis club. He was very gregarious and had friends across the country. He loved to travel, across the U.S. and especially England and Germany. We kids remember all those trips in the summer, in the station wagon, traveling to the U.P. to see Dad’s mom and down to Ohio to see Mom’s parents on the farm. A memorable trip home from Ohio found our station wagon lose its muffler about halfway home. Since it was Sunday, the muffler just got wired up underneath, with a coat hanger, so it was no longer dragging, but it was a very loud second half of the trip. Dad always wanted to stop at those dusty old antique shops on the way; we hated them. After we became adults, suddenly it was great going to antique stores with him! Ed was very proud of being the son of an iron ore miner and the grandson of Cornish immigrant copper miners. He was a member of Faith UMC, was a valuable bass singer in several choirs and was a lifelong Republican. He was a big reader, enjoyed crossword puzzles, old cars and Route 66, WWII history and presidential history - we have photos of him with Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, and others - and of course his keen interest in his family’s roots in Cornwall, England. Ed loved his pasties and sweet baked treats; he was a golfer in his younger days, enjoyed watching the Detroit Tigers and loved listening to Big Band and classical music. Ed was “once a Yooper, always a Yooper” Ed is survived by four children, Kathryn (Darrell) Yost, Paula (Nathan) Harper, James (Hong) Bawden and Thomas (Maureen) Bawden, and eight grandchildren. He is also survived by six stepchildren and their families. Visitation will be Thursday, October 28th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home at 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids. Funeral services will be private. Should you wish to make a contribution in Ed’s name, please consider a donation to the American Heart Association, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or your local animal shelter/rescue. The family wishes to thank Valley View Care Center for taking good care of Dad, especially Tammy, Shasta and Trina, and Hospice of Michigan, especially Teresa. Dad, we are heartened that you are reunited with Mom again, but we will miss you physically in our lives very very much. You gave us a care-free happy childhood and led us by example to be the best people we could be. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Ed’s life story, to submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook online.