Edward “Big Ed” Loeffler
Great Falls —Edward Gene Loeffler, 87, died of chronic kidney disease early Sunday morning, August 17, 2014, at Peace Hospice.
“Big Ed” requested no services. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Born on September 17, 1926 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, he ran away from home to join the Navy in 1943. He served as a gunner’s mate on the USS Franklin during World War II. He met and married his wife Zita Guza in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 18, 1951. Ed made the Navy his career for 20 years achieving the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. After his retirement in 1963, Ed served another 10 years inactive duty in the Fleet Reserve.
In 1964, Ed and Zee moved to her home state of Montana with their two daughters, Candace and Patricia; they settled in Great Falls. Ed felt that there was no better place to live! Born with a true gift of gab, Ed worked in sales for Montgomery Ward, American Life & Casualty Insurance, and the U.S. Tobacco company. In 1975 he realized a life-long dream and bought the Tracy Bar re-naming it the “E-Z Bar” after himself and Zita. Ten years later he sold the bar and truly retired.
“Big Ed” was one heck of a card and pool player. He was an avid golfer having played the game since his early days in the Navy. When health issues took him off the course, he could be found watching the game on TV. He also loved a cold beer, a smooth cigar and a good Western … and his favorite recliner. He was a life member of the VFW, the American Legion, and the Elks.
He is survived by his daughters, Candace and Patricia Loeffler; granddaughters, Bryce Weinert and Briana (David) Gerena; grandsons Alexander (Jessica) Drew and Zachary Drew, son-in-law Robert (Candace) Drew; sister Mildred Herman of Iowa; sisters-in-law Marian Golie, Edith Guza and Opal Guza; many nieces and nephews; and that guy in the basement, Michael. We will all miss our “sweet, lovable” Ed.
Ed was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Zita; his older brother, Donald Loeffler, and most of his golf buddies.
Many thanks to the caring staff at Peace Hospice and to his home health nurses, Tawnya, Gale and Rebecca.
Condolences for the family may be posted online at http://www.schniderfuneralhome.com.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Aug. 20, 2014