July 31, 1957 – June 25, 2021
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HOSHIZAKI, EDWARD VICTOR July 31, 1957– June 25, 2021 Died suddenly, forever altering the balance of life left to the very many who loved him. Ed was the last of six children born in a space of just eight years to Thomas Hoshizaki and Freda Thorkelson, in Dryden, Ontario. He was the baby of the tightknit Hosh clan and took lifelong possession of those privileges, good and bad. A medical emergency in the days following his birth meant a rushed ride with Tommy to Winnipeg provided by friend and neighbour Edward Borger, in a new car driven right off their lot. That day Ed received a life-saving blood transfusion and his name. To Victoria “Betty” Borger, Eddie would remain her favourite.
As the youngest, Ed became the designated errand boy by the age of eight – usually sent across the tracks by his brothers for cokes from the Husky. Getting caught meant being punished twice – first by his dad, then by Warren and Blaine. He would ferry his sister to their swimming lessons on his trike, flying down to the docks with a towel draped around his neck. As they grew older, it is well known that Ed was the unanimous first pick, plus one to any event. When they met in a city, chances are he would have found a way to check into their hotel room and would be on the bed going through a pile of newspapers with the minibar wide open. Have any group of sisters and brothers ever been closer? His loss to them is profound – his brothers Warren and Blaine (Sue) are without their winger, his sisters Valerie (Gib), Sheryl and Jennifer (Denis) without their person. A space that cannot be filled, a set of six that will never again be complete.
There can also be no question that the hustle, skills and resourcefulness required to manage his siblings prepared Ed to one day launch his own business. Hard work and an inexhaustible supply of ideas, most of which are still percolating on Hwy 61, were the cornerstones of a consulting business that took him across Ontario and throughout the North. He loved his work. He helped put people and businesses and communities together, turning potential into progress and opportunity into achievement. He leaves an enormous legacy.
But family was the center around which Ed’s life revolved – and the pillar in the middle of it all was his wife, Kathy. They both knew the day they met, that was it. Their partnership was full and fulfilling. For more than 20 years they built a life around appreciation for one another, and one another’s idiosyncrasies. Kathy’s desk drawer was stacked with canceled credit cards that Ed had, in his careful inattention to details, thought he had lost or was forced to carry around in a Ziploc bag. She filled his gaps. Just as he filled hers.
Ed’s energy and appetites took some getting used to for Kathy’s family. An early dinner at the Sanderson’s was interrupted by Ed’s shock that any family would prepare only a single pork chop per person. “That leaves only four”, he exclaimed. “What about leftovers?” This began a very close relationship filled with many adventures with Kathy’s sister Shelly (Paul), her mom Barbara and her late father Jim.
To nephews Matthew and Henry, Ed was known as Ba and occupied a larger-than-typical role for an uncle. Ba was always up for a wrestle, a ride on one of his multiple diggers or a lesson at golf. They will miss him beyond measure.
His fishing boat was a safe bet for all of his nieces and nephews who could be saved from a dunking and the ultra maroons in the next boat. Ed cultivated a specific and special relationship with each member of that next gen – beloved by Sayla, Hilary, Mylee, Tom B, Tomiko, Tom H, Joa, Ben, Sam and Eiko. His home was open to them all, always and at any hour. To visit Kathy and Ed was to know that you would be made welcome. They all benefited from Ed’s particular form of life advice, often delivered by text at random times, never shy or withheld but always appreciated and frequently peppered with notes about his latest purchases from Kijiji, his siblings’ exploits or an ask to warm up the camp sauna.
Life with Ed usually meant a late dinner that could also be enjoyed as breakfast – soup starting at 11pm, rice bags at 1am and often accompanied with a good cognac.
In fact, food was a source of ceaseless joy and a good portion of bought-on-sale, well-prepared meat was Ed’s passion. But such triumphs were never complete until shared via the Big 6 text chain. With photos, detailed descriptions and plenty of shade, each would comment on the other’s creations. Favoured topics included the year long prep for the annual Cook off, the perfect recipe for kamaboko, the many uses for ketchup and shoyu, and the unattainable perfection of their father Tommy’s basement kimchi. The ideal number of refrigerators required per household was a frequent focus of Ed’s. His answer was always one more.
Travel was another of Ed’s enjoyments. He had a supernatural talent for seeming at home – and making others feel at home – no matter where he visited. From places like Paris to Slab City and Sioux Lookout, Ed fit comfortably wherever he was. In recent years, Palm Springs became a second home to Kathy and him. Ed was drawn to the nearby market where buckets of tools and spare parts were sold alongside cooking gadgets of every description. Kathy would lead him astray on ‘moderate’ hikes, desert golf became a dear friend and the lure of new experiences in LA was a world to which they both looked forward.
Above all, Ed believed that the most important thing about life was to show up – to be present, to take part and to be there for the people who matter to you. And he mattered to so many people. Everyone who knew Ed carries a story of how he made their lives a bit lighter, a bit better. He leaves his Aunt Edith (Uncle Frank) and cousins Vance, Vaughn and Vernon (Lisa), as well as the Icelandic Blues Brothers and a large Thorkelson family, with treasured memories.
On the corner of 116 Queen Street, he absorbed the values of family, good humour and good will but remembered them with an unvarnished view that he realized was important for a well-rounded perspective on life. For sixty-three years, he made those values his living truth. Ed was funny, thoughtful and decent – and, in this world, that is no small thing.
Just this past Mother Day’s Ed wrote, “I often wondered (selfishly) about how difficult life after mom wasn’t around would be, but I think about her raised eyebrow over something she was skeptical about and I laugh.” And so, as it should be, we will listen to Ed even now. When Ed and Kathy were married, Freda told Kathy, “Ok, now he’s yours to worry about.” We wish we could have worried about him forever. His loss is unquantifiable. Our hearts are broken.
A Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 11am in the Dryden Cemetery.
Masks are mandatory and social distancing will be observed, limited seating available.
Should friends so desire, donations can be made to Hoshizaki House or (807) 223-3226, a crisis shelter founded by Freda Hoshizaki through Stevens Funeral Homes, P.O. Box 412, Dryden P8N 2Z1. Condolences may be posted on Stevens Funeral Homes Facebook page or at www.stevensfuneralhomes.ca.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Edward Hoshizaki July 31 1957 June 25 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Dryden, Province: Ontario