A Tribute to Eddie
by Pauline Donahue
Those of you receiving this newsletter may have noticed a, "Hi Eddie" hidden somewhere in each issue’s pages. His death this year has been very sad for Monica and l. It's hard to believe he won't make his yearly visit from Colorado to Svea this summer. Eddie went to school at the Svea Schoolhouse when he was in 2nd grade [approx 1927]. He celebrated his 93rd birthday last year.
The first time he stopped, we just happened to be there! He was as excited to see his old school coming back to life as we were excited to be making it happen! He came every summer after that, with his wife, Phyllis. She passed away in 2008. After that, he would come with his daughter, Suzy.
We found ourselves saying, "Eddie will think this is cool", as we worked on another part of the building, and looked forward to his annual assessment over root beer floats.
It's hard to imagine getting so attached to someone you only see once a year, but we truly did get attached. He taught us about history, not just of the Svea School but wrote of his war experiences on Memorial Day, giving us insights into his own personal history, as well as that of our country.
We will miss his e-mails, his excitement about our yearly progress and his infectious smile. Neither of us really knew what we were getting into when we decided to bring DEMO to life. But in our journey, we have learned so much and met so many interesting people who have enriched our lives and our project. Eddie is a very special one of those people. We loved getting to know the little boy that went to school in Svea from the memories that he shared, and we loved getting to know the man that the little boy became. We really came to love you, Eddie, and will continue to celebrate your summer visits as we raise our root beer float glasses and toast your memory and the joy you brought to our lives. We will miss you, yet we will ALWAYS carry you in our hearts and share your stories with our youth.