Rest Well Dear Friend
1924 – 2022
Edward Richard Ochylski Jr, 98, of Vero Beach Florida passed away peacefully at his home, with family at his side, on September 9th, 2022. He was predeceased by his wife Eleanor, his son Edward III, and his grandsons Andrew and Daniel Stark.
Edward is survived by his children: Mary Catherine Ochylski, Gabrielle Klein, Daniel Ochylski (Peggy), Juliana Summers (Bill, whom Edward considered his best friend), Jessica Stark (Tim), Kelly Ogborn (Mike). He is also survived by 19 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, his sister Diana Hennigan and his brother Leonard Ochylski (Celeste).
The son of Polish immigrants, Edward grew up in an unheated barn outside of Detroit, Michigan with an outhouse and a Sears Catalog. He learned English at the age of seven when he started school.
Edward enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 18 and served in the 579th Infantry Regiment, 95th Infantry Division where he participated in the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster for his war injuries, as well as the Combat Infantry Badge. Edward was a part of the liberating American division which was recognized by General George S. Patton. Edward was a real WWII hero.
After the war, he returned to Michigan where he considered himself so “fortunate” to marry his bride of 60 years, Eleanor. Together they began what he called his “Grand Adventure.” In 1959, they moved their growing family to Chicago. There he founded the American Meat Packing Company. A true self-made man, he became known as the “Boar King of the World”, and a legend of innovation in the industry. Edward experienced much adversity in his business career, but often referred to his professional life as “a career of wonderful adversities.” He truly took to heart his father’s advice, “Boy, when you in dat big river, you gotta swim – or you gonna seenk”! He expanded his business to Des Moines, Iowa in 1979 before he and Eleanor retired to Vero Beach in 1997.
Edward was known for his extensive philanthropy, kindness and humility. He was a man of great faith and a lifelong daily communicant. He founded a family foundation and became close friends with Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, Archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine, and most prominently, Pope John Paul II. In response to JPII’s personal request, Edward established a papal foundation to help the poor of Eastern Europe. His legacy of supporting those in need will continue through his children and future generations.
An author of several books, he was especially proud of his own Polish roots, which he documents in his work, Heritage, currently housed in the Library of Congress.
A viewing will be held Friday, September 16, 1-5 pm at Strunk Funeral Home, 916 17th St., Vero Beach FL. A funeral mass will be held Saturday, September 17, at 10 am at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 500 Iris Lane, Vero Beach.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Cultural Council of IRC WWII Tribute, 1216 21st St., Ste 1, Vero Beach FL 32960.
Arrangements by Strunk Funeral Homes & Crematory, Vero Beach, FL. A guestbook is available at www.strunkfuneralhome.com