Edward Joseph Schlauch, 82, passed away peacefully on October 26, 2021, with his wife Carol by his side and in the presence of his family in the days prior.
Ed, or "Big Ed" as known to many, was born February 28, 1939, in Glendive, MT, the only son of Louis and Elizabeth Schlauch. Ed was raised in a hardworking blue-collar family and graduated from Dawson County High School in 1957 where he excelled in baseball, track, basketball, and football. He then attended Montana State University for mechanical engineering on a football scholarship. In June of 1960, Ed married his high school sweetheart, Carol Jean Allen, in Glendive, MT and upon graduation in 1961, he joined the National Guard for six months of active duty. In 1962, they moved to Bozeman and then Great Falls where Ed worked for Pacific Hide & Fur and Northwest Steel. In the fall of 1971, the family moved to Missoula, MT and started Grizzly Fence Company in 1972 with Elton "Babe" Hartze and Al Koschel which he ran successfully until his retirement in 2001.
Ed had a servant's heart and gave back as much as he could by his time or through his business. He was a faithful member of the Catholic Church and a follower of Christ beginning as an altar boy for Sacred Heart Church in Glendive. He was a member of The Knights of Columbus, and involved in Cursillos and Journey's, many times as the "kitchen captain." He was also building chairman for the construction of John XXIII/Blessed Trinity parish. Later in life, he took great pride and always looked forward to volunteering at St. Patrick's Hospital.
Ed's greatest joy was his family whom he loved spending time with, including all the family dogs. He enjoyed joking and laughing with the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids around the dinner table, over a game of 31 (a favorite family card game), or countless games of cribbage. An avid sports fan, he loved to golf, cheer for the Bobcats and Griz, and did his best to never miss one of the kids or grandkids sporting events. Ed shared and taught his strong work ethic and integrity with his kids, something they will always be grateful for. Upon retirement, he and Carol often traveled south for the winter and made many long-lasting friendships along the way.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Elizabeth Schlauch, sister Louise, and brother-in-law David Allen.
He is survived by his wife Carol; Children Mike (Tracy), Lisa (Rod) Sharkey, Jeff (Kelley), Brian (Cari); Grandchildren Amanda (Tucker) Johnson, Samantha Tewson, Nicole, Andrew, Jordan, Kade, Saylor, Jaxsen; Great Grandchildren Samuel, Harper, Schyler, Essa, Liam; Sister-in-law Norma Allen.
The family would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the staff at St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula for their incredible care and compassion for Ed and his family during his last days as well as the many texts, calls, and messages from so many family and friends that knew and loved Ed.
Services will be held Friday, Dec 3rd at 10:30am. St Francis Xavier Church - Missoula, MT. Reception to follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, if friends would like to honor Ed, please make a donation to the American Cancer Society
or the Humane Society.
Published by Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 25, 2021.