Longtime West Simsbury, Connecticut resident Edward James Winarski Jr. passed away on September 29, 2021 at the age of 74 after living for many years with temporal frontal degeneration (FTD). Island Ed, as he preferred to be called, was born and raised in Middletown, Connecticut. After college, he began his lifelong pursuit of adventure. He joined the Navy, learned Mandarin at the world-renowned Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., And “never set foot on a boat.” Recruited by Northern Illinois University, he earned a master’s degree, taught special education in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, and Old Saybrook, CT, and eventually enrolled in the doctoral program at UCONN where he met his wife, Anne. He retired as head of the special education department at EC Goodwin Tech. A skilled house painter, he also ran a successful business, House and Trim. Island Ed was a true Renaissance man. He found his happiness on the island of Martha’s Vineyard where he enjoyed painting houses, creating watercolors, playing the guitar, teaching his grandchildren to fish and kayaking, and to sip a cold beer at the age of thirty. Island Ed shared his adventures with his loved ones, taking them to places like Costa Rica, California, Colorado, Florida and of course, the vineyard. He was a versatile athlete (softball, tennis, darts) and animal lover, especially his big cat Smokey, and loved to walk his dog with his daughter. Above all, his biggest attribute was the way he took care of everyone and everything. He would literally give you the shirt (Jack Sparrow or Bob Marley) on his back. His dedication to his friends and family was rewarded in kind when he needed their love and support the most. His wife and daughter treated him at home during his illness. His friends, especially his lifelong friends, Bill and Paul, were always there to support him on a visit or dinner. Ed leaves his wife Anne Loughrain, daughters Heather Winarski and Erin Walter, son-in-law David Bird and grandchildren Maddie and Connor Walter-Bird as well as many other family and friends who will miss his humor and dedication. He is predeceased by his parents Edward and Helen Winarski and his sister Joyce Winarski Susskind. Dedicated to education and always eager to help others, Ed donated his brain to the Harvard Tissue Resource Center to advance critical research and understanding of FTD. Ed’s family will be welcoming friends from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on October 15, 2021 at Vincent Funeral Home 880 Hopmeadow St. Simsbury, CT. Please consider donating to theAFTD.org and making an act of kindness in memory of âIsland Edâ. Please visit Ed’s Book of Memories at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.
Posted by Hartford Courant on October 3, 2021.