Edmund Josef Eduard Schuster was born in Hirschegg, Austria, to innkeepers Leopold and Sofia. A youthful sense of adventure, which he maintained throughout his life, prompted him to leave home at the age of 17. In 1959, after working as a coal miner in Germany, he immigrated to Canada, where he put his mining knowledge to use in the uranium mines of Elliot Lake. In 1964, a fascination with Alaska brought him north. The Good Friday earthquake provided many work opportunities and he was able to save money for his lifelong ambition to become a scholar. Throughout the next seven years, Edmund received a GED; a B.A. in History and Economics; an M.A. in Industrial Relations; and a Ph.D. in Industrial Sociology. Edmund taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage for 20 years, where he also organized and led the University's first cross country ski team. He was an avid hiker and runner, competing in Mount Marathon for 26 consecutive years. His love of the mountains was a driving force that inspired him throughout his life. After finishing his education, Edmund resumed his visits to Austria, where he met his future wife, Eveline Blanca Mueller. They spent many happy years in the home they built together in Glen Alps, overlooking Anchorage, Alaska. Eveline passed away in 1994. His love for her is memorialized at the Eveline State Recreation Park site in Homer, which he donated to the state of Alaska in her name. Edmund supported many charitable organizations around the world and was a lifelong member of the Cook Inlet Historical Society and the Alaska German Club. He is survived by his children, Martin and Andrea; his niece, Hedwig; and his wife, Nattikarn. A celebration of life will be held at a future date in Anchorage. "May there be no sadness of farewell when we embark."
Published in Alaska Dispatch News on Nov. 18, 2016