May 7, 2021
Happy birthday up in heaven to our sweet Ed. Today I honor my hubby’s life and spirit by sharing his obituary. It took me three months to get into the right mental space to wrap my head and heart around writing it, something I wanted to do but didn’t want to do. I needed to make sure it felt complete and truly reflected him. I believe it captures Ed’s essence, who he was, and the highlights of his life... and sharing it on his birthday feels like a special way to honor him. Thank you for taking time to read this piece and you are welcome to share it with others and leave comments or stories. And as I reflect on and remember Ed’s epic birthday last year, I want to thank everyone again who participated in making it such an incredibly special day for him and for us, he felt so loved.
“I value communities because they provide space for authentic relationships in which I can share my love and help people feel special, seen, appreciated, unique, and valued.” - Ed
Ed. Eddie. Edward Matthew Harowicz. // The world lost an incredible man but gained a forever angel… Edward Matthew Harowicz passed away peacefully at home on January 27, 2021 with his family by his side. Ed, with the utmost strength and bravery, battled glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, for thirty-two months, while continuing to keep those around him laughing and smiling and admiring his courage… his “Ed-ness” was unique and shined bright for all that spent time with him. Ed was so dearly loved, and is deeply missed.
Ed was born in Seattle on May 7, 1972 and grew up in Everett, Washington (“E” to the “V” as he’d always say) with his mom, dad, and three younger sisters. Ed was a storyteller with a great memory, always sharing stories from his childhood whether it was playing with kids in the neighborhood, his summers spent strawberry picking, being forced to play My Little Pony and Chinese jump rope with his sisters, or talking about the various jobs he had growing up… each recollection was full of memorable detail.
One of the major highlights of Ed’s youth was his time in Sea Explorers, “Boy Scouts on boats” as he’d explain it. At age 13 he joined the SES Captain Ramwell based in Everett, WA. It was a very impactful four years of his life and he talked fondly and frequently of his memories and the relationships built in those younger years. Memories of funny pranks played, learning about the different types of knot tying, and the time they took the boat up to Vancouver Canada for Expo ’86.
Ed attended Emerson Elementary, Evergreen Middle School, and graduated from Cascade High School in 1990. During his high school years, Ed enjoyed choir, drama class, woodshop, wrestling, and took part in the off-campus Sno-Isle Skills Center welding course his senior year. Ed would often share the story of his middle school counselor and choir teacher at St Mary Magdalen who was a big influence on him and how after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, fulfilled a dream of singing the national anthem in all major league ballparks before passing away. Ed was thankful to have that mentor in his younger years.
Right after graduation Ed got a job at the Weyerhaeuser Co. pulp mill in Everett where he was one of the youngest hired and he worked there until March 1992 when the mill shut down. A second big event after high school was purchasing his first car, a 1973 Dodge Challenger. Ed became a Mopar guy, a muscle car lover with his close buddies. So many stories of cruising the mean streets of Marysville, hanging at Herfy’s, and other crazy times together. Ed held onto that first car and was fortunate to have those same close friends help him restore it over the past couple years. Ed had dreams of showing his car at the Greenwood Car Show someday.
When the Weyerhaeuser Mill shut down, Ed had the opportunity to continue his education and chose to attend the Art Institute of Seattle. Graduating in 1994 with a degree in Visual Communications, Ed would later talk about how it wasn’t the design degree that he was most proud of but that he met his wife Jenn there. Just friends during school, Ed once told a close friend that “someday I’m going to marry that woman”, and that he did.
Ed and Jenn were married on September 14, 1996 at the Everett Yacht Club, a place where Ed had long envisioned getting married due to his time with Sea Explorers. They welcomed their son Cameron into the world in 2000 and their son Nathan in 2005. Ed loved his wife and two boys with all his heart. They were the joys of his life as he was to theirs.
After graduating from the Art Institute of Seattle, Ed entered into the field of graphic design which led him to a few different companies. Crossings Design Group was a part of Ed’s life for over a decade where he took his design skills into the embroidery industry, doing work for brands such as Cutter & Buck, Tommy Bahama, Windermere, and even a special project for James Hetfield of Metallica which he was fortunate to deliver to him in person after receiving backstage passes from James to a Seattle show. From 2007 to May 2018, Ed worked at Razor Planet/Church Web Works where he helped design and create websites for churches and nonprofits, along with various graphics for many other clients. Ed was a valuable member of the team, a wonderful friend to those he worked with, and loved interacting with clients. From his role as art director, to leading a staff life group, to building creative spaces and artwork for the office, Ed always brought his whole self to the table. Ed was always a very meticulous and dedicated worker, a “jack-of-all-trades” so to speak, and creating visually pleasing and useful designs for his clients was something that he was always excited about and proud of.
Faith was always a part of Ed’s life, from growing up Catholic to later finding a church home at All Saints Church on Queen Anne, where Ed and his family met lifelong friends that have become family. In front of many of those friends, Ed and Jenn were both baptized in June 2003. Ed was an active member at All Saints, seeking and serving the Lord, serving on the board, leading and attending many life groups, serving at a men’s shelter, and being a part of a men’s group that met consistently for over seventeen years. A huge highlight in Ed’s life was when he had the opportunity to travel and serve in San Salvador during a mission trip which he did three years in a row. Stories of helping others, entertaining and drawing with the little kids, singing, eating pupusas, and feeling God’s presence, all brought so much joy to Ed’s heart. During his time with cancer, Ed’s faith and relationship with Jesus became even stronger and he rested peacefully knowing his eternal future was with his heavenly Father.
Ed was a very active guy, always up for adventure. He was an incredible bowler with a seriously wicked curve ball, enjoyed racquetball, golf, dabbled in adult rec soccer, darts, corn hole, bocce ball - you name it, Ed at some point played it. He was all about having fun at whatever sport or activity he was involved in… winning was great too but for him it was all about having fun and being around others doing the same. Softball was by far Ed’s passion sport and he played on close to a dozen different teams over his lifetime… he was “Fast Eddie” in the outfield and around the bases. So many amazing friends and memories stem from those softball years.
“Ed was a tremendous competitor, superb lead-off hitter, instinctive left-fielder, encouraging and humorous dugout presence, and total team guy.”
After his wife took up running, Ed also joined in and completed several half marathons, three Ragnar team relays, Tough Mudder, and his “one and done” 2016 NYC full marathon where he had the best time running, dancing, and conversing with other runners and spectators along the way. Ed also completed the RSVP in 2017, a 180+ mile bike ride from Seattle to Vancouver BC… a memorable time with friends and another huge accomplishment in his life. In recent years, Ed enjoyed getting back on a dual sport motorcycle and riding with friends and in groups, including a weeklong trip in 2017 on the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route, and riding in Moab in 2018… an activity that brought him to new and beautiful sites.
In 2017, Ed decided to relive his high school drama days and joined the Woodland Park Players, a community theatre group made up of friends new and old. Ed brought so much to the WPP family during rehearsals, afterparties, and each time he stepped onto the stage, dancing and singing and enjoying life. Ed played crapshooter “Nicky Kneecaps” and a Texas Man/Cop in the 2017 performance of Guys And Dolls, and the Purser in the 2018 performance of Anything Goes. Ed was also a member of the WPP board, bringing his creative thinking and direction to the group. Whether on stage or completing a marathon, his wife, boys and extended family and friends were always so proud of his accomplishments.
“He was the epitome of joy. His spark and enthusiasm was plain for all to see, and often served as a reminder of why we do the things we do. His light will be missed.”
Many other things brought Ed joy… watching movies, playing board games, taking photos, “guys night” with his sons, building Legos, playing poker, thrift shopping, his favorite lucky number two, creating sculptures using recycled scraps of wood and metal, playing and most of the time beating others in Words With Friends, “embrace the crisis” adventures, Taco Bell bean burritos (no onions), just to name a few… but nothing brought Ed more joy than just hanging with his wife and two boys, and watching his boys play soccer was by far one of his favorite things to do.
Ed was passionate about whatever his family was currently involved in, whether it be cheering for his wife during her years as a Rat City Rollergirl, or at the finish line of her marathons, or watching his sons play the beautiful game or skateboard… he was always their biggest fan and supporter and attended nearly every event or activity that his family was involved in. Ed not only supported his own family, but it made him very happy to support his friend’s and his friend’s children as well… whatever they were currently pursuing whether it be artwork, music, sports, skateboarding, he wanted to support or cheer on others however he could.
Ed was known for his incredible sense of humor. Whether it be showing up to traffic court in a race car driver costume on Halloween, photo bombing someones group pic, crashing a Ragnar team dance routine, telling cheesy dad jokes that would have his family rolling their eyes, or just simply making others laugh with simple one liners, he’d always light up the room with his quick witted humor. Even while battling and dealing with the hardships of his cancer, Ed’s personality and character remained strong and he even had his doctors, nurses, and hospice team smiling and laughing right along with him.
A devoted and loving husband and father, Ed will be forever remembered for the love and pride he had for Jennifer, Cameron, and Nathan. He was a one-of-a-kind human being with a wise and wonderful spirit, a man of faith, proud of his polish heritage, a hugger, super friendly and extremely thoughtful, a witty sense of humor, a big smile, and someone willing to help whenever and wherever needed. Ed was liked and loved by all those that were lucky enough to cross his path. He impacted so many people during his lifetime, his love and friendship were a true gift, and we were all better for knowing him. His love, his spirit, his kindness, his creativity, and his humor will live on.
“Ed had a special kindness about him that made him one of the most lovable guys on the planet.”
Ed is survived by his wife Jenn, their two sons Cameron and Nathan, three sisters, Jennifer Ritter (John), Christina Price (Mike), Kimberly Norris (Jon), nephews Josh, Zak, Matt, Cavan, Carson, nieces Tiffany and Alyssa, mother-in-law Cheri Harrison, father-in-law Richard D’Aprile, stepmother-in-law Jeri D’Aprile, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends. Ed was preceded in death by his mother Carol Meacham Harowicz, father Jerry Harowicz, his grandparents Frank Harowicz, Laverne Harowicz, Millie Harowicz, Harold Meacham, Violet Meacham, and uncles Rick Thompson and Doug Ax. We find comfort in knowing that Ed is home in heaven with Jesus, his mom and dad, and other family and friends that passed before him.
“When I join Him again it will be amazing but that’ll be the day I start waiting for my family and friends to join me again, and when they do it’ll be a glorious day.” - Ed // October 5, 2020
Ed was a thoughtful and giving guy, always helping out when he felt called to do so. Ed was an organ donor through the UW Medical Brain Donation Program for continued research on glioblastoma. It meant a lot to him that he would continue to be of help in understanding this cancer and for those still fighting.
If you would like to give or make a donation to a cause, here are two special ways that you can honor Ed’s life:
Woodland Park Players // Our neighborhood community theatre group that Ed was involved in. WPP is committed to keeping the arts alive with all proceeds from the musical productions and donations benefiting neighborhood public schools for arts programming. Future grants are now called the Ed Harowicz Grant.
Head for the Cure Foundation // An organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding to inspire hope for the community of brain cancer patients, their families, friends, caregivers and other supporters, while celebrating their courage, spirit and energy. In June 2018, just one month after his first surgery, Ed, Jenn and friends participated in the Seattle 5K Run/Walk and in true Ed fashion, he took his chemo pill at the finish line. In 2020 Ed and Jenn participated in the virtual 5K with a lovely stroll around Green Lake and Ed received a very special Keeping The Faith award from Head for the Cure. Race proceeds from the Head for the Cure Seattle 5K Run/Walk benefit clinical research for patients and programs at the UW Medicine Alvord Brain Tumor Center where we received Ed’s care.
A Celebration of Life honoring Ed will be planned when it is safe to gather together in a large group - information will be sent out once details have been established. Thank you for the enormous amount of love, support, and prayers for the Harowicz family. If you would like to leave a comment or story about Ed, Jenn asks that you please do so on the Harowicz blog - https://www.recruxed.com/