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Edward J. Brechwald


1924 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Edward J. Brechwald Obituary
EDWARD J. BRECHWALD Edward J. Brechwald passed away at his home in Redlands on March 11, 2015 under the loving care of his family and hospice. He was a retired Air Force colonel and served almost 30 years as a bomber pilot, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, guided missile project manager, and Contract Management Division Commander. Born in Cherokee, Iowa in 1924 to Harry and Edna Brechwald, he grew up on a farm and graduated from Sutherland High School where he was the captain of his undefeated football team. He attended Iowa State before going to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York graduating in 1946, the same year he was married to his love, Bobbie Wilson. Before earning an Aeronautical Engineering Masters Degree from the University of Michigan, he flew several bomber type aircraft including the B-29. In 1956, he served overseas in Korea. Later, he worked in research and development of successful leading edge military defense programs. His leadership greatly contributed to the operational capability of the important Atlas and Titan Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles critical for the Cold War victory. Medals he earned include the Legion of Merit, numerous Meritorious Service and Commendation Medals, and the World War II Victory Medal. Ed is survived by his wife of almost 69 years, Roberta (Bobbie) Brechwald and his five grown children and their spouses: Jim (Jeannie), Jayne (Gary), John (Cindy), Brad (Jane), and Julie (Phil). Also survived by 12 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, Ed was a strong family patriarch, a man of quick humor and "tough love" if needed. His priority was "family first" as he instilled contagious love, productivity and independence in all family members. Being a depression era farm boy, he learned valuable lessons and had a unique reputation for being thrifty, very thorough and resourceful. He loved flying and anything to do with the outdoors especially camping, hunting, and fishing. Capable of fixing anything, he owned any tool, gadget, motor, or hardware item (each with multiple spares) necessary for repair. Above all, his greatest joy was spending time with family and friends. A military funeral with honors was performed on March 17, 2015 at the Riverside National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, any contributions may be made to Heart Disease .
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Mar. 20, 2015
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