How does one summarize the 97 years of a very interesting and complicated man.
Ed Wosner was born in Romania to Austrian parents.
A Catholic upbringing with good and bad stories attached. At one point the Russians marched in and took everything from him and his family.
When he was 16, he and his buddies were being shot off a hill in a glider by a big rubber band. Before that as a young lad, he worked in an airplane factory and then apprenticeship in metalwork.
Forced to fight in the German army, a soldier he was not. His aeronautical training allowed him to fly aircraft which would’ve led to him being a fighter pilot. When the war got closer to the end, he and others were pulled out and brought to the trenches. Awful stuff. He told me a few times “yes I shot back but I wasn’t trying to hit anything”. Definitely a lover, not a fighter.
Wounded towards the end of the war, he was placed in a rock crushing prisoner camp in the Austrian alps occupied by the French. Being a gifted, hands-on kind of guy, he was awarded the responsibility of keeping the crushers running smooth. He liked it.
The war ended and they were released.
Parents and family unaccounted for, young Eddie found himself in a beautiful little Austrian town where the lovely and generous people made him feel welcome. He began working in a large machine shop. This was the beginnings of a power plant and he worked on running locomotives up switchbacks into the mountains. Taking the same locomotives apart and everything in between. For him, this was idyllic. For a handful of years, he became a part of that magical place.
Meanwhile, in Canada, he had an uncle. Stories of opportunity, space, and all the other wonderful things about Canada coaxed him to make a decision and his uncle sponsored him to come over.
In 1951 at the age of 25, Edi got onto a freighter ship called the Beaverbrae and sailed for Canada.
The train from Halifax, arrived into the Winnipeg station one early spring day.
The following morning he went to work with uncle Joe who was a plasterer and began to earn his keep.
He once again, branched out to steel fabrication and ended up working for related businesses, finally starting his own little thing. Mercury Metal. Hard work brought some success.
in 1965 he met a woman who grew up in Germany. A new immigrant in Canada and a master seamstress, she had a young girl from a previous marriage. Eddie married her and she gave him a prodigal son…Haha (guess who’s writing this)kidding aside, he and his new wife made a family with their children and lived happily north of Winnipeg.
Many good years were had. A successful small business was formed. EWO Machine.
Mr. Wosner was known as someone who could build most anything… His creativity and stubborn nature would just make it happen. There is a long list of machines, products, and innovations.
He always said he had one and a half kids to feed… I guess I was the half kid haha.
Besides a home in Winnipeg, many decades of hard work allowed him to have property in lake country. First in the Whiteshell, and eventually in the Kenora area.
The business was taken over by his son. Now retired, he spent summers in “God’s country”,and then would make the pilgrimage to that beautiful little Austrian town every year to spend time with his beloved friends…
So many good years…
Ed Wosner was a man of strong health. Aside from a triple heart bypass around the year 2000. After a short recovery, he tossed his pills and never looked back.
One of his favourite things was to make his stops at the various establishments in town where he would pick up groceries, etc. He was well known for poking fun at the people around him, and if you understood his humor, he was a joy.
Coming from Europe, he had exposure to so much culture and not only did he embrace it, but he shared when he could, which certainly brought richness to his family and friends.
My father grew up in a place where you could recognize someone’s ethnic differences, and it would not be considered prejudice, rather it would open up conversation and break down barriers. He continued that in Canada, which was somewhat unique and normally much appreciated…. Many times his dry sense of humour would catch people off guard and if present, a family member would have to coax the recipient to laugh. haha
Mr. Wosner’s passing is not a tragedy, rather a life success story. A man overcoming the horrors of war, coming to a new country, embracing the culture, raising a family, making solid contributions to his new home, bringing smiles to many and living a long, fruitful life.
His last years living in his Keewatin home were made possible and very special because of his daughter-in-law Tammy. She fed and took care of him with great love. He was exceptionally lucky to have her.
A great thanks to the Lake of the Woods District hospital and their beautiful, caring staff for making his last days comfortable.
A great appreciation to those that gave condolence, and or thought of him.
My father left this earth better than what he found it… While not here in body, he will live in our hearts with all our love forever
Cremation has taken place. Thank you for your warm thoughts.