Saturday, September 3, 2011

More Biographical Info on Edwin Louis Brueggeman

I had limited first hand info on Edwin when I posted here and here.  His grandson, Gary, recently provided this nice bio on Edwin:

  • Edwin was born on June 19, 1893 in Grand Haven, Michigan. Since he was the oldest son, he was expected to quit school after eighth grade to send his siblings to school. After his siblings were taken care of, he worked his own way through Carnegie Technical Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of his 'jobs' during school was as a chauffeur. He chauffeured people like Henry Ford and Bendix (inventor of the Bendix spring). After graduation in 1915, he was invited to teach math at Carnegie, but he declined the offer.

    While in Pittsburgh, he built bridges across the various rivers. He came to Akron, Ohio to construct the Portage Lakes and Dams. Some other of his projects in Akron are still standing. He formed the Brueggeman Building and Wrecking Company while in Akron. Ed built the Summit County Garage, AC & Y Railroad Bridge that crosses Cuyahoga Valley, the Bell Tower Building, and other bridges. He also worked on the Cleveland Terminal Tower.
    Ed was married on June 12, 1923 in Seymour, Indiana to Esther Caroline Emma Grelle. They had six children and lived in Akron, Ohio.

    Ed was a faithful member of Zion Lutheran Church in Akron. Whenever he was asked to help with some project at Zion, Ed was always willing to share his skills. Lois says that every Sunday the whole family would go to church and Sunday School and then were off to Sand Run Park where Ed prepared his famous fried chicken and Esther supplied all the other parts of the delicious meal.

    Ed served in both World War I and II. He was in the Army during World War I and the Navy in World War II. Ed held the rank of Navy Chief Petty Officer and was stationed on the Admiralty Islands north of New Guinea. The story goes that when Ed Jr. was drafted, Edwin remarked that if the government was going to take kids as young as his son, that he would try to enlist and see if they would take someone as old as he was. Esther said, "Go ahead", thinking that the government would never take Edwin. She was wrong! One beloved picture is that of Ed with Lois and Marge wearing the grass skirts he brought home for them! He also sent home banks and candle sticks all made from ammunition shells. Another memory is that of the Army Duck that Edwin used to give rides on Sandy Beach Drive.

    Edwin was a faithful Christian, a strong patriot of the United States and deeply loved and cared for his dear family. Edwin went to be with his Savior on July 19, 1965.

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