Central Connecticut alumnus and CCSU Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame member Edward J. Kusek passed away on Sunday, November 25. He was 84. Kusek earned eight varsity letters while participating in football and track and field. He also earned the Gladstone Memorial Award, the top honor for a male CCSU student-athlete.
Following his time at the Teachers College of Connecticut, Kusek entered into military service and completed Officer Candidate School. He served as a 1st Lieutenant during the Korean Conflict and earned a Korean Service Medal and two Bronze Stars for his service.
“It is always a sad day when we lose a member of our Blue Devil athletics family. Ed was a special man who touched the lives of so many in meaningful ways,” said Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann. “Ed was a Central Hall of Famer and we covet him and his memory for that accomplishment. More importantly, He was a hall of famer in life as a devoted father and husband, a decorated veteran and professional educator who mentored countless young men and women throughout his long career in the Connecticut school system. He gave generously of his time to others and certainly to two of his passions, Central Connecticut and Blue Devil Athletics. We are grateful for having known Ed and express our heartfelt sympathies to his family and loved ones at this difficult time. Ed will be missed but never forgotten.”
From the New Britain Herald, Edward J. Kusek’s obituary:
Edward J. Kusek, 84, passed away in New Britain on Sunday the 25th of November after a 10-year struggle with cancer.
Born on June 17th 1928 in Southington Conn., Ed was the son of the late Michael and Mary (Kania) Kusek . He attended Lewis High School and graduated in 1946. He then enrolled at the Teachers College of Connecticut and graduated with honors. While at Central, Ed played Varsity track and football, serving as a four-year starter and All-Star, receiving the Gladstone Memorial Award and eight varsity letters.
Ed entered into military service in 1950 and attended the Officers Candidate School, serving as a commander of the Combat Engineers Battalion during the Korean Conflict, building bridges, roads and helicopter pads as a 1st Lieutenant. For his valiant service to our country, he was decorated with the Korean Service Medal and two Bronze Stars.
Ed married Helen Kowaleski in 1955 and began to raise a family and started a career in education that lasted 36 years. He taught Industrial Arts in the Middletown and Hartford school systems and eventually became Vice Principal of Bulkeley High School in Hartford, after receiving his Master's Degree from Central Connecticut State Teachers College. Kusek also worked with Special Education students while serving in Hartford.
Ed was an avid golfer, gardener and woodworker; decorating his home and the homes of many of his friends with unique furniture and crafts. His property was visited by a local gardening club as a showcase of Central Connecticut. In 2004, Ed Kusek was inducted into the CCSU Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame.
Ed is survived by his wife of 57 years, Helen; his son David and daughter-in -law Lindsay of Cohasset, MA.; his son Mark of Stratford, CT.; his three grandchildren: Sam, Mike and Xuan and his sister Virginia Hill. He was predeceased by his brother Robert.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the CCSU Foundation Inc., ‘In Memory of Ed Kusek,’ P.O. Box 612, New Britain, CT 06050.
A memorial service will be held on Friday Nov. 30, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Plantsville Funeral Home, 975 S. Main St., Plantsville. Burial with full military honors will follow in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Plantsville. Calling hours will be held on Thursday Nov. 29, 2012 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Plantsville Funeral Home. For online condolences and directions, please visit www.plantsvillefuneralhome.com.