Edwin J. Lasko, 92, of Cedar Rapids, passed away Friday, April 28, 2017, at Northbrook Manor Care Center.
Ed was born Oct. 7, 1924,
to Joseph and Marcella Lasko in Centreville, Mich., as Ed would like to say, home of
the Doctor Denton Sleeping Garment Mills. Both parents are deceased, as well as a younger brother, Donald.
Arrangements and cremation were handled by Cedar Memorial, with private family services and inurnment of his cremains in the Fayetteville, Ark., National Cemetery next to his wife.
He is survived by his sister, Josephine Hittler, Centreville, Mich.; two daughters, Marcy (Annette) Lasko, Elkhart, Ind., and Kay (Jim) Birch, Fort Smith, Ark.; two sons, Geoffrey, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Gary, Phoenix, Ariz.; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Ed graduated from Centreville High School in 1942 at the age of 17. He turned 18 the following October, and after registering for the draft, he enlisted in the Army. He chose what he called the "tank corps." He was a tank commander in the European Theater, and as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal of Valor in action. He was among the first troops at the liberation of Dachau, an experience that never left his memory.
After the war ended in Europe, he was sent back as Advance Cadre to go to amphibious landing school in California because his division, the 20th Armored, was going to be one of two divisions to invade the coast of Japan. While he was home on furlough from Europe, President Truman dropped the A-Bomb and Japan surrendered. Ed always said that the action probably saved his life.
While stationed at Camp Cooke, Calif., he met a beautiful medical technician, who was a WAC her name was Dorothy Vorres. Ed was discharged as a master sergeant in 1946. Shortly thereafter he drove back to California, and he and Dorothy were married on Aug. 17, 1946. She passed away July 21, 2007, a month before their 61st anniversary.
Ed and Dorothy went to Kalamazoo, Mich., in September 1946, and Ed enrolled at Western Michigan University. He had been told he had a good voice, so he auditioned to become an announcer at WKZO Kalamazoo. He was hired in March 1947 and spent the next 38 years in broadcasting.
He received his B.A. degree in speech and drama from Western in 1950. After successfully assisting in putting two new UHF stations on the air and being promoted to general manager at the second one, he was hired by the Cedar Rapids Gazette in 1965 to manage its stations, KCRG and KCRG-TV. While at KCRG, he served four years on the board of governors of the ABC Television Affiliates Association. He also was past president of the Iowa Broadcasters Association and was the first president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. He also served on the boards of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Rapids Downtown Rotary and the Eastern Iowa Seniors Golf Association. He served on the Iowa Supreme Court Committee that resulted in cameras in the courtroom in Iowa.
He was an Elk, a 32nd-degree Mason, a member of the Shrine, and was past director of Court 139, Royal Order of Jesters.
In 2008, Ed moved to Keystone Place, where he eventually met and enjoyed the companionship of Janice Keyes until her passing in 2012.
He was extremely proud of his four children and what each of them accomplished as individuals. He enjoyed playing golf and really enjoyed playing poker. He also enjoyed an annual duck hunting trip with close friends to Stuttgart, Ark. One of his greatest enjoyments in life, besides spending time with his children, was hearing and telling humorous stories.
Memorials may be made in Ed's name to Discovery Living Inc., P.O. Box 10980, Cedar Rapids, IA 52410.
The family wishes to express thanks to UnityPoint Hospice and Northbrook Care Center for the care our father was given through this last journey.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.