Ed Regelean was among the first people I met socially at HBE in 1998. Rick Schaefer had an extra ticket to a hockey game and he invited me (the new guy) to go to the Blues game. Ed met us downtown. I remember how Ed graciously credited HBE and its founder Fred S. Kummer for building hospitals in America where there might never have been such a facilities. I was still learning about the culture and legend of being part of the company and FSK. Fast forward a dozen years or so and I came to know Ed as part of a regular posse of golfers who annually travel to Florida and behave like fraternity brothers indulging in camaraderie, golf, Crown Royal and living together in close quarters for a week at a time.
On December 28, 2016, Ed Regelean, died after a long battle with cancer. His son Dan (who spent a bit of time in Human Resources in the Big House on Olive) reports that Ed always spoke highly of his friends at HBE. On behalf of the family he thanked us all for our friendship with his dad over the years. Services were held at Incarnate Word Parish in Chesterfield, MO on Monday, January 2, 2017 starting at 10 am followed by Mass at 11 am and a luncheon downstairs from the church. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the Catholic Renewal Center.
Funeral services are always cloaked in sadness but there is great irony in the happiness too: The faith that Ed is in a better place; The joy of a family coming together to celebrate the life and times of a human being however flawed; The simple pleasure of connecting and showing support for friends and colleagues. Ed’s son David choked up and was holding back tears in the sacristy but composed himself as did each of Ed’s children at different points in the services. Sweet empathy.
Arguably, at times, FSK was evil incarnate and here we are at mass at a place called Incarnate Word. Colleagues are quick to point out that our benevolent leader was never all bad or all good. He is a shared reference point, but this is not about Fred, it is about Ed. Nevertheless a large chunk of the stories we shared with Ed, Charlie, George, Frank, Brad, Bob, Jack, Mitch, Wayne, Wes and assorted others were accounts that made us laugh out loud. Such stories cement a bond. Guys on a golf course are often inarticulate and stoic. After a warm day in the sun and 18 or 36 holes we are not fretting costly sand shots and poor reads of the greens. Instead, as often as not, we recall holding court with FSK enduring harsh reprimands, lectures about change orders, or navigating errors and omissions with a hospital administrators or the follies of travel via Spirit Airport.
Among those in attendance, in the arms of Ed’s youngest boy is a baby not six months old. It is in the eyes of adorable baby Mae we see the circle of life. Ed was good enough to leave many prayers behind. In spite of the invoice for $1.82* charged for the birth of baby Edward in 1942, his was a Wonderful Life and one of great value. Thanks Ed. You will be missed.
*Ed’s brother Jim reported that Ed would say “Well I guess you get what you pay for…”