Thief River Falls - Edward George Krystosek, 83, died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Thief River Falls at 1:30 p.m., with Father Rick Lambert Officiating. Interment will be held at Ft. Snelling Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m., with a 7 p.m. prayer service at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church and also one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday.
The man in the Pendleton shirt, moose skin leather vest and poufy black snow boots, the one with the weathered thermal mug half full of coffee and a pack of smokes, the one with the red pickup truck, either in his hunting cabin on the Swedes Jack Pine Road or sitting at Dee’s Kitchen or Arby’s, ordering the daily special or reading a book in one of the booths, has left us. In memory of the one who loved to both listen to others and tell stories of his own:
Edward George Krystosek was born to Edward and Irene (Hilbert) Krystosek on Dec. 29, 1929 in St. Cloud, Minn. Life for the Krystosek family of seven was a close one, spending time on their grandparents’ farm and helping with the family’s meat market. And while the country was experiencing the Great Depression, the Krystoseks continued to play games, grow vegetables, can jellies, sauerkraut and pickles, make fond memories, spend quality time together and get on their knees to say the rosary every evening.
Ed graduated from high school in 1948 and was drafted in 1950. He was stationed at the Las Vegas Air Force base as a finance clerk and spent time in Okinawa. After the service, he attended St. Cloud State Teachers College and “graduated on a Thursday, had an interview on Saturday, and started teaching the following Wednesday.”
He spent the majority of his career at Lincoln High School. With strict rules, challenging assignments, high expectations for behavior and a pure love of what he was doing, he taught all students and athletes many valuable life lessons on respect, dedication & integrity. He retired from Lincoln as a 31-year educator of social studies and history, and a 13-year wrestling coach.
Ed married Patricia Wolters on April 3, 1961 in Cold Spring. Together, they raised five children, instilling in them the values of family, hard work, education and tradition. He enjoyed doing yard work, finding bargains in “his travels,” visiting family, drinking coffee and pondering what day it actually was. He loved to be outside, have a campfire, gather metal for scrap, go trapping, fishing and to hunt for grouse and deer, while counting how many chickadees and squirrels he saw while sitting in his stand. His love of the outdoors was only topped by being able to spend time with family.
Ed was a man of great character. He took pride in his work, showed patience in times of difficulty and spoke with honesty. He was a faithful man that lived passionately, shared knowledge graciously and asked insightful questions. He was grateful for all things, most especially to wake up in the morning and be able to say, “I’m here for another day.”
In his stories, he could make the plain-old seem extraordinary because that’s what it actually was. Ed was a genuine, down-to-earth father, grandfather, “Grandpa K,” husband, uncle, brother, son, coach, teacher and friend that we feel truly blessed to have had in our lives; a real legend that we will never forget. And after all of that, Ed would want his departing message to be short and simple: “Just be careful.”
Ed is survived by his wife, Patricia Krystosek, Thief River Falls; five children, Sharon (John) Larson, Moorhead, Mary (Ralph) Shriver, Warrenton, Virginia, Sarah (Rich) Harrington, Everett, Washington, Edward (Melissa) Krystosek, Fargo, N.D.; Simon (Kathy) Krystosek, Waterville; sister, Jean Bestvina, Prospect Heights, Ill.; 11 grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and friends who he loved very much.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Fr. Robert Krystosek, two sisters, Joan and Marguerite, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Al and Margaret Wolters.
In Lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to St. Bernard’s School or the church.
Family condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.johnsonfuneralservice.com. A00003B2013DC04