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Obituary for Edward J. Eisele
Eisele, Edward Joseph Jr. STOUGHTON-Edward Joseph Eisele Jr., age 91, passed away peacefully at home on Sept. 20, 2014. In 2011 several area newspapers chronicled his life and described it as “fascinating” and “remarkable”. Ed was born in 1922, in Madison, to Edward Eisele Sr. of Madison and Dorothy Evans Eisele of Stoughton. He was a grandson of Joseph Eisele of Madison. He attended East High School and graduated from Edgewood High School in 1940. During the Depression he worked summers at the Morris Collins farm in Newville. Ed interrupted his UW-Madison studies to serve in the U.S. Army from 1942-46. While with the Army Signal Corp he was stationed in Moscow, Russia, to operate a critical radar line needed by Allied forces. After the war he worked in the Middle East setting up radio stations for the first Trans- Arabian oil pipeline. The first Arab-Israeli War started while he was there. When Ed returned he competed his studies at UW-Madison and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Engineering. Ed married the former Joan Jenson of Edgerton, granddaughter of Edgerton tobacco baron, Andrew Jenson. They were married 51 years until her death in 2001 and they had four children. Ed worked in public service for the rest of his career. He was first with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which saw him working on numerous secret projects and had him traveling all over the world, at times unbeknownst to his family. Ed was involved in the U-2 project and saw its first flight. He also worked on guidance systems for the United State’s ballistic missiles, including the THOR missile. Ed went to work for NASA in 1964 and stayed with the space agency for the rest of his working career. He was Station Director at the Fairbanks, Alaska STADAN Station for 20 years. Many of the various satellites had polar orbits so the station played a key role in data acquisition. While in Alaska he earned a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. After retirement, Ed and Joan left Alaska and moved back to the area, first living in Evansville and then in Stoughton on Lake Kegonsa. They were collectors of antique children’s dishes and furniture. After Joan passed away, Ed learned the art of chair caning. Through word of mouth he ended up restoring many antique caned chairs for local families. Ed is survived by his four children, Patricia Shechter (the late William) of Fairbanks, Alaska, William (Pamela) of Woodbury, Minn., Robert of Stoughton and Cheryl (Greg) Skiffington of Dayton, Wash. He is also survived by seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Ed was very active in community organizations throughout his life, most notably the Boy Scouts of America. He served many years as a troop leader while his sons were in Scouts, and then later as an adult leader. Ed was also active in Rotary International and the Knights of Columbus. He leaves many local friends in both those organizations. Ed was also a faithful member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Stoughton and served on the school committee for many years. Among awards received by Ed were the U.S. Army Soldier’s medal for bravery, Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International, 4th Degree from Knights of Columbus and Order of the Arrow Brotherhood and Silver Beaver Awards from the Boy Scouts of America. When he retired in 1985, the Fairbanks North Star Borough renamed the road to the NASA Station in Fairbanks, “Eisele Road”. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. ANN CATHOLIC CHURCH, 323 N Van Buren St., Stoughton, at 11 a.m. on Monday Oct. 13, 2014. Visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Tuesday. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorials to St. Ann Catholic Church. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com. Gunderson Stoughton Funeral & Cremation Care 1358 Highway 51 N. @ Jackson (608)873-4590