Edward J “Ed” Broeren, 86, passed away on January 28th, surrounded by Jackie, his wife of 61 years, and his three children, Lisa, Ed, and Laura. He was born to Kathryn and William Broeren, the 7th of 11 children, in Askeaton, on August 8th, 1936. He attended the one-room schoolhouse there and graduated from Wrightstown High School. He worked at Thilmany's in Kaukauna for a brief time before joining the Army with his two best friends Paul and Mike. He spent the majority of his time, and the most meaningful, at Fort Bragg, NC, with the 7th Special Forces Group, as a paratrooper and a motor pool mechanic. While home on leave, he met the love of his life Jackie (Janet) Lappen and they married on July 8th, 1961.
Ed had a mechanical aptitude second to none and could fix anything. He returned to Thilmany's Maintenance department after his time in the Army, earning a DeVry University certificate through the mail. Thilmany's sent him all over the country to attend courses for maintaining the paper machines, even after they became digital, and he was their 'go-to' troubleshooting guy for well over 30 years, until his retirement at the age of 62.
Jackie went along on many of these trips and together they explored the areas during Ed's free time. They continued exploring the country together after retirement, visiting every state but Alaska. They enjoyed bowling and golfing together in local leagues for years. Together is how they approached marriage and faced any obstacles life presented-always together.
Ed also enjoyed reading, especially about the Special Forces, helping his children fix things, and having his own personal computer. He would happily eat anything you put in front of him, hungry or not, with a special fondness for Jackie's cookies. He was our cookie monster.
Ed is survived by his loving wife Jackie, children Lisa (Scott) Krieg, Ed (Sue) Broeren, Laura (Mark) Patterson, and 3 much-loved grandchildren. He is further survived by his brothers and sisters Paul Broeren, Alice Broeren, George (Karen) Broeren, Kathy (Tom) Sarconi, brother-in-law Paul Bedard, Jackie's sister Annaceil Meulemans, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Alverne Broeren, sister Maryanne and husband George Vandecoevering, sister Eileen Bedard, brother Tom and wife Joyce, brother Gene and wife Bea, sister Tess and husband Carl Dahms, and brother Bill and wife Pearl; also Jackie's brother Leo and wife Mabel, her brother Clifford and wife Marion, her sister Marion and husband Lester, her sister Ruthie and husband Jerry, and her brother Paul.
The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the caregiving staff at Aspire Memory Care in Kimberly and Compassus Hospice.
Donations in Ed's name can be made to Alzheimer's Disease Research at brightfocus.org/stopAD or woundedwarriorproject.org.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 2nd at St Katharine Drexel-St Mary's Site, 119 W 7th St in Kaukauna. Visitation is from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, with Mass to follow.