HOLYOKE - Edwin Kerkhoff, 90, a lifelong Holyoke resident passed away at his home in Holyoke on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 surrounded with the love of his family and faithful friends.
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He was born in Holyoke on Jun. 30, 1923, a son of the late Peter and Philipine (Bauer) Kerkhoff and attended Evangelical Lutheran School in Holyoke and was a graduate of Holyoke High School. Ed was a member of the football team and later played semi-pro with the Holyoke Ramblers. He later attended St. Bonaventure where he was an accomplished football player and enlisted in the United States Army during World War II where he served with the 101st Airborne Division and was also a member of the Army Football Team. During world War II, Edwin served with the Ski Patrol and was a recipient of the Purple Heart after completing jumps in Normandy and "Market Garden" in Belgium and being wounded. His troop was known as the "Forty Thieves".
After the war he settled back in Holyoke and began working as a Rural Route Carrier for the United States Postal Service and worked for over 30 years. He later worked at the Holyoke Water Department and retired after completing 10 years of service with the city department. While working, Edwin also coached football at Holyoke Catholic High School and was an assistant coach of the Purple Knights at Holyoke High. A true patriot and man of community, Edwin was an active member of the American Legion Post #325, Elk's Lodge #902 and the First Lutheran Church, all in Holyoke.
Edwin is survived by his four children, Daniel Kerkhoff and his wife Kathleen of Chicopee, Nancy Clark and her husband William of Essex Junction, Vt., Kathleen Kochapski and her husband Stanley of Florence, Michael Kerkhoff and his wife Lori of South Hadley; his companion, Sarah Gintowt of Holyoke as well as her daughter Beverly Szydlo and her husband Paul of Holyoke; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends. Edwin will be missed dearly by his eleven adored grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and faithful pets.
He now joins his parents, a brother, William Kerkhoff, a sister, Elsie Rybak, and his faithful friends in eternal rest and peace. Ed was also predeceased by his wives, Anne (Barnett) Kerkhoff and Clara Kerkhoff Coon.
The family wishes to thank Holyoke VNA and Hospice, Wingate at South Hadley and Dr. William Mugg for all of their devoted and compassionate care that was given to Edwin and their families.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 from 4-7 p.m. at Messier Funeral Home, 1944 Northampton St., Holyoke, MA 01040. A funeral service will be held on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 at 10 a.m. in the funeral home with a gathering beginning at 9:15 a.m. The burial will follow in Forestdale Cemetery, Cabot St., Holyoke.
Memorial donations may be made to Wounded Warrior, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or to Dakin Animal Shelter, PO Box 6307,Springfield, MA 01101.
Please visit www.messierfuneralhome.com for more details.
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Messier Funeral Home
1944 Northampton Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Nov. 13, 2013