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Edward Reidinger

Edward Albert Reidinger

Thursday, June 3rd, 1943 - Friday, January 17th, 2020
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Obituary

Edward Albert Reidinger, the man who could fix anything, finally met the one thing he could not fix and passed away mercifully after a battle with pancreatic cancer on January 17, 2020. Devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and caring uncle, cousin, brother-in-law and friend, Ed wrote in his journal, “I hope that my life, in the infinite pond of time, a tiny vibrating piece of string, remnants of a life lived...rippled with a force more than the flutter of a butterfly’s wings.”

Ed was born near the coal mining town of Shamokin, PA on Ascension Day on June 3, 1943. Ed, affectionately called Teddy growing up, joked that coincidence signaled something significant about his birth and anyone who remembers how he was treated by his father Edward Thomas Reidinger and, particularly, his mother Hilda Elizabeth (Braubitz) would agree that they thought he was the second coming.

Ed’s childhood home was on the steepest street on the side of the steepest mountain you can imagine. Visitors were presented with only one option: to back their cars up the mountain road and hold their breath as they parked near a rickety garage perilously suspended over the mountainside. Ed delighted in scaring his wife and children with this maneuver, especially in vehicles with manual transmissions.

A quiet and straight-laced adult, Ed’s childhood was the opposite. By all accounts, he spent most of his youth trying to blow things up, running with a youth gang called the “Night Riders,” calling high stakes Bingo at Knoebel’s amusement park, hunting and fishing, and racing cars. It’s possible the only reason he still had all his fingers was the beginning of his lifelong obsession with astronomy. He crafted a handmade telescope as a teenager and watching the night sky from a roof or the cool grass of summer was an experience he shared with family and friends his entire life.

True to the devotion to his family he would demonstrate throughout his life, Ed declined an invitation to attend Georgetown and stayed home so he could help support his ailing father who could no longer work due to black lung disease. Ed would later show the same unfaltering compassion in the daily care of his mother at the end of her life. Ed ultimately graduated from Bloomsburg University in 1965 with a BS in Education and a concentration in Physics and Math.

Two weeks after graduation, Ed was hired to join the Naval Air Development Center (NADC) in Johnsville, PA as a physicist and, later, as an acoustical engineer. He would spend the next 32 years employed by the Department of Defense where he was pivotal in the development of anti-submarine sonobuoy capabilities, and holds a patent for the aerial deployment of that technology. In 2018, after a 50-year gag order had elapsed on classified missions, his family was shocked to discover that he was involved in foiling North Korean spy ships, tracking troop movements on the Ho Chi Minh trail, developing a mine-sweeping system, and being intercepted by fighter jets off the coast of Communist China. Listening to the news in the car one day, Ed simply looked at the calendar and said, “I guess it has been enough time. Did I ever tell you the story about…?”

More importantly, Ed met a group of lifelong friends at NADC and the love of his life, Lorraine (Sylvester) whom he married in September of 1970 in Willow Grove, PA. Ed and Lorraine would have marked their 50th Anniversary this year. When Ed’s oncologist advised him to never go to bed angry, Ed remarked that he had yet to do that in fifty years. “Every night I pat her on the butt, and she knows that means I love you.”

Ed and Lorraine moved to their family home on Willow Lane in Warrington, PA in 1971 after the birth of their first son, David Edward. Their second son, Craig Michael followed in 1974. The home was filled with love, laughter, mischief, R/C airplanes and sported an impeccable lawn that was the envy of all his friends. Ed delighted his sons and the neighborhood kids by building a towering tree fort and basketball court. He once acquired a huge surplus military weather balloon and let neighborhood children jump in and around the half-filled balloon as it floated through the backyard. Halloween on Willow Lane would not have been the same without the talking ghost he rigged up at the end of his driveway to playfully scare the trick or treaters.

Ed taught his sons all the important things: how to play sports, shoot, fish, ski, build things, fix cars and lawnmowers, be kind, try your hardest, help people in need, hug people you love and strive to be great men. His daughters-in-law Nicole Valentine and Melissa Carr, who loved Ed immensely, were in constant awe of the loving example he set for his sons. Ed loved them like they were his own daughters.

Ed’s greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren Lexie and Cole who called him Grandpop and “Doobie” after the eponymous “Do Be Do Be Do” tune he would constantly sing. Ed could not contain his excitement when he first heard he was to be a grandfather and later sprinted to the nursery window to the catch the first glimpse of his granddaughter Lexie. He ran equally as fast every time his grandson Cole would pull up to his house – opening the door before the car had even stopped. His family’s greatest regret is that his grandchildren will not be able to spend more time with their amazing grandfather.

Ed and Lorraine moved to Pennsburg, PA in 2004, joining a community of lovely people who took care of each other. He enjoyed fishing nearby streams for several years and continued to play golf once or twice a week with his own collection of old-timers who all agreed the rules of golf should allow for unlimited “foot wedges”. Increasingly grumpy (yet always loveable) in his old age, Ed’s favorite sayings of “Have you had enough fun today” and “I’m fading fast” increased in frequency. He hated to travel or go to fancy restaurants, preferring to cook every night for his wife at home or eat the bacon and eggs breakfast at his local dive sporting club. He once relented and treated his family to a cruise to Bermuda for which they will never forgive him.

Pancreatic cancer is a terrible and unrelenting disease. Ed met his diagnosis with a steely resolve and patiently allowed his frantic family to drag him from expert to expert. Near the end of his life, Ed let it be known that he was at peace and pleased with a life well-lived. He did not worry about himself – only his family. His family cannot recall him ever saying a harsh word about anyone and he left few things unsaid. His only regret in life was selling his beloved 1969 Dodge Charger.

A mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Philip Neri Church at 1325 Klinerd Rd, Pennsburg, PA on January 25, 2020 at 11:00 AM. The family will welcome visitors an hour before the service at the Church beginning at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org) at 1500 Rosencrans Avenue – Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.

His family recommends that the best way to honor Ed’s memory is to be kind to one another and to occasionally think of him when you look at a night sky.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, January 25th, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, January 25th, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    Location
    St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church Pennsburg
    Address
    1325 Klinerd Road
    PENNSBURG, PA 18073
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, January 25th, 2020 | 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, January 25th, 2020 11:00am
    Location
    St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church Pennsburg
    Address
    1325 Klinerd Road
    PENNSBURG, PA 18073
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Location
    Private
    Address
    Private
    Private, PA 18041
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Donations

Donations are being accepted for: PANCREATIC CANCER ACTION NETWORK INC.

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Tom Oswald

Posted at 01:37pm
Dear Lorraine, David, and Craig So Sorry for your Loss. Ed was such a great neighbor and Buddy he will be missed by all who knew him. Some of our Best Remembrances were clear summer nights looking at constellations. He was a Teacher and a Mentor to Everyone. He will be Missed by All who knew him.
Tom and Jane Oswald
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