Kapushy, Edward J
Ed passed peacefully from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. His daughters were at his side. Ed is survived by his 9 daughters: Susie Spence, MaryElaine Andrade, Kathy Pilgreen, Liz Kapushy-Lear, Bernice Warren, Rosemary Bailey, Theresa Marvin, Monica Leggett, and JoAnne Taylor; his 33 grandchildren and 19 great-grands with 2 more on the way. A wonderful legacy of the love shared by Ed and Bernice Kapushy.
Ed was born in Carteret, New Jersey, the 4th child of Steven and Mary Kapushy’s five children. Ed grew up and attended schools in the Keyport area of New Jersey. His oldest sister, Julia at 93 years of age survives him, older brothers George and Steve have passed, as well as younger brother Al.
Ed played high school sports for the Keyport Cougars, lettering in football, basketball, and baseball. He was awarded a baseball scholarship to Catawba, NC, but his schooling was interrupted by WWII. Ed enlisted in the Marines and served in China. After the war, he finished his education in California and University of Miami, ultimately earning a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Science.
Ed met Bernice Breuer in a bar in New Jersey while he was home from college. Bernice was an executive secretary when they met. They had a long distance relationship for a year while Ed finished college. They were married in New Jersey in December 1952. They had almost 26 years together and had renewed their vows before Bernice passed from a brain tumor in June of 1978.
Ed taught Physical Education at Kenwood Elementary School in Miami, FL from 1953 – 1964. He often had second jobs working for Sears, Arthur Murray Dance Studio, even selling burial plots to supplement his teaching salary and support his growing family. Six of his daughters were born in Miami.
In 1964, Ed, Bernice, and their six daughters moved to Indian Harbour Beach, where Ed taught Driver’s Education for Brevard County Schools.
Ed taught Driver’s Education, Science, and Math for 4 years at DeLaura Jr. High, before becoming coordinator of the Driver Education program in 1968 for South Brevard. He rotated with the “Simulator” to the three area High Schools: Melbourne, Eau Gallie, and Satellite until the late 70’s and then taught range driving and classroom. Ed retired from Brevard County schools in 1989 with 36 years of teaching experience.
In the mid-70’s Ed and Bernice started their own Space Coast Driving School, in which most of their daughters (and some grandchildren) were instructors and managers for a time.
Ed also taught Defensive Driving Classes for the Brevard Safety council, so from 1964 – 2000 if you learned to drive, had a traffic citation or DUI in South Brevard – chances are you attended one of his classes.
When Bernice was alive, they often went out dancing. As former Arthur Murray dance instructors, they could cut a rug. When Ed wasn’t volunteering, he was camping with family and friends as a “Kleen Kamper”. For over 20 years, our camping family met at least once a month in Florida’s campgrounds and state parks to share a potluck dinner and games during the weekend away.
Ed was active with the St. Vincent de Paul Society for over 50 years.. First at St. Timothy’s in Miami, and then his service continued when he moved to Indian Harbour Beach with both Ascension and Holy Name of Jesus parishes. He was also a brother in the Knights of Columbus, with affiliations with 2 local councils and held their highest honor of 4th Degree and Grand Knight.
Ed volunteered at church and in the community coaching baseball – he had no boys, but Theresa played baseball for a few years and he saw his chance! Ed was integral in forming the Volunteer Fire Department of Indian Harbour Beach and was their first Fire Chief.
He split his retirement time between traveling to see his family, volunteering at Holy Name of Jesus, Daily Bread in Melbourne, St. Vincent de Paul Society, and serving the City of Indian Harbour Beach. Ed served for 21 years as Mayor or City Commissioner of Indian Harbour Beach until 2008. While serving the city, he fought hard for beach preservation by creating two beach access parks and limiting the building of high-rise condos within the city limits.
CHARACTER / PERSONAL TRAITS
Ed was always positive and doing something. When we would catch him in his recliner, he would “just be resting his eyes”. He had a twinkle in his eye, a joy for life, a wicked grin, and was always there to help out when needed or asked. Ed believed that if something was the right thing to do, then do it – anything could be accomplished through prayer and perseverance.
He was always seeking out those who needed a helping hand with whatever he could provide. Ed was generous with his time and treasure. After his oldest daughter Susie took over his finances in 2009, she found documentation of a long history confirming his kind heart. At one time, about 15 family and friends had benefitted from loans that he had secured with his bank. If someone was in need of lodging, he would often house them for little or nothing in his rental duplex until they could pay full rent. He would always give people the benefit of the doubt and a few of these tenants enjoyed reduced rent for years. We are sure there are many more testimonies like this to his willingness to help others.
Ed remained active at Holy Name of Jesus as a Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Knights of Columbus the Men’s Group, and a society which was always dear to his heart – St. Vincent de Paul.
Because service was a key part of his spiritual and civic life, he provided a generous endowment to his beloved St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Name of Jesus, so that they may continue to help those in the community who are in need of assistance, for many, many years to come.
When Ed was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and could no longer live on his own, he moved to Texas in 2009 to be with four of his daughters and their wonderful children. Ed was thrust right in the middle of their active lives and was there for: births and baptisms, 1st communions, confirmations, weddings, as well as school sports and 20-25 birthday celebrations every year. The families of Kathy, Bernice, Theresa, and JoAnne kept Dad very busy and loved for the last 6 years. Ed’s entire family loves and thanks them for their welcome arms and tender care.
Eddie Joe Kapushy went to his beloved Bernice on April 12, 2016, in Huffman, Texas surrounded by his daughters who were praying and singing his favorite songs from their childhood.
Funeral: A celebration of life was held on 2016-04-19 at Darst Funeral Home. Visitation following Celebration of Life.
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