Edward J. LaFleur

LaFleur, Edward J. Ed's final event on Earth was spent peacefully with his adoring family at his side on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. He was and will always be deeply cherished by his wife Linda, the love of his life. He also was and will always be dearly loved and admired by his three sons, Sean (Sara), Geoff, and Corey, in whom his pride and joy was immense. Ed was the loving son of the late Edward G. and Sarah LaFleur of Beaver Dam, WI. In addition to being survived by his wife and three sons, he is also survived by his loving and caring sisters Sally (Bob) Schneider and Mary Jane Mixon. Ed is further survived by many, many relatives and friends. Ed was one of the most respected and popular teachers at Cudahy Senior High School where he taught world history and German for 35 years. He began teaching at Cudahy after earning his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and went on to earn his Master's Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. As a world history teacher, Ed mixed humor with dramatic, often overlooked historical events handpicked from his extensive knowledge of history to inspire his students and earn the nickname, "The Johnny Carson of World History." Since his early years as a teacher, all over Milwaukee and sometimes beyond students would excitedly approach him. Ed also was the co-coach of the boys and girls tennis teams at Cudahy, and was very proud that during the 1990s some of his players were selected to participate in the state championships in Madison. Ed's favorite interests were not just pastimes, but inspiring passions that made life rich and more worthwhile. He was a lifelong student, always learning something new about European history, German or other languages. He loved to relax with music, especially classical, jazz fusion, and classic rock. He savored a great cigar and often would relax with a "stogie" as he rocked in his lawn chair on the back patio. Ed was enamored with German beer, and went on to champion imports, often playfully scolding others for choosing American light beer. He enjoyed losing himself in bike rides on his beloved Peugeot touring bike in Whitnall Park, imagining he was biking through the Swiss Alps. He adored the European landscapes of Bavaria and Switzerland, and loved having been able to visit them. Closer to home, throughout his life he often traveled to the beaches of Florida with his wife and family, and he especially enjoyed relaxing on Miami Beach. He also treasured simply living in Wisconsin because of its down-to-earth people and its natural beauty. In addition to reading world history, Ed's love of sports was his other biggest passion. A naturally gifted athlete, throughout his life Ed had much success playing baseball, football, basketball and tennis. It was tennis he enjoyed the longest, and he was quite proud of his accomplishments with his Wisconsin State League teams. Ed was a huge fan of tennis, hockey and football. The two teams he loved most were the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, which featured one of his idols, Guy LaFleur, and the Wisconsin Badgers football team, about which he was joyously obsessed. He attended many home and away games over the years and had the Badgers' "action W" logo tattooed on the top of his hand so people could always see it. Ed felt so lucky to have attended games at the hallowed grounds of his favorite sports: the U.S. Open in New York City, the Forum of the Montreal Canadiens, and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Ed was extremely charismatic due to his kindness, curiosity, and passion -- his students were drawn to him, he could endear himself to strangers quickly through unforced conversation, and his excitement over his favorite pleasures was contagious, often inspiring friends and family to take after him. But Ed's brightest light of all was his sense of humor. Whether being goofy or deadpan, sarcastic or erudite, humor came effortlessly to him, and he used all of his experiences in life as a canvas to come up with playful quips that made those around him not only smile, but want to stay close to him. In his last months, he was most proud that, despite ill health limiting his activity and restricting his diet, he vowed he would never give up his sense of humor. And he never did. Ed's family would like to thank Dr. J. Chapman, Dr. F. Sanchez, and Dr. Jones, who diligently cared for Ed over the past nine years. A most heartfelt thank you is extended to cardiologists Dr. T. Palmer, Dr. Burns and Dr. Zarling. A special thank you to heart surgeon Dr. S. Schlidt and his family nurse practitioner Rachel and EP physician Dr. V and associates, who tirelessly strived to give Ed a little more of life's precious time. And to the ICU staff of Waukesha Memorial Hospital and those departments who cared for Ed and his family over the months, thank you so much for your amazing compassion. A celebration of Ed's life will be held at the Hartson Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, between 5-8PM with a special toast to Ed at 6:30PM. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the or the of America would be greatly appreciated.

Funeral Home

Hartson Funeral Home
11111 West Janesville Road Hales Corners, WI 53130
(414) 425-9797

Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Jan. 6, 2013