Edmond P. “Ed” Minihan, 77, of the Town of Dunn, Wisconsin, left the loving arms of his family and friends to follow his beloved wife Sue in death on August 5, 2021. Ed was born on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 1943 to Edmond and Thelma (Glaser) Minihan in Port Orchard, Washington, and raised in Hillsdale, Michigan. Ed married the love of his life, Susan (Babich) Minihan, a Registered Nurse, on June 25, 1965. Ed and Sue began married life in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and moved to the beautiful Town of Dunn, Wisconsin in 1972, where for 55 years they shared a full and rich life of love, family, friendship, community, land and nature preservation, cooking, travel, social activism and service to others.
When anyone reflects upon Ed’s career and contribution to the world, it is easy to say he was a true “Renaissance Man” who acquired profound knowledge and proficiency in many different fields, always with a zeal for serving others and making his community and the world a better place. Ed served in the U.S. Navy as a Seaman from 1964 to 1966. He served as a Firefighter for the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1965 to 1970, while earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1970 from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He also served as a Sociology Lecturer at the same university while earning his Master of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Business in 1972. Ed became the Town of Dunn Supervisor in 1977 after completing his preliminary exams in the Doctoral Program of Medical Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976. In 1979, Ed was elected as the Chairman of the Town of Dunn and provided inspiration and vision for the town for the next 42 years until his death.
The Town of Dunn is as beautiful as it is, in many ways, thanks to Ed’s leadership and tenacity. Wetlands, prairies, farmlands, oak savannas, waterways and wildlife habitat have been restored and permanently preserved as a legacy for future generations to enjoy. Native American burial mounds have been protected. Sandhill cranes (the Town of Dunn symbol) grace the land, providing joy for all who see them. With development encroaching all around, Ed and Town residents stood firm and preserved the rural integrity of the Town. Thanks to Ed’s work with American Farmland Trust, other communities followed the lead of the Town of Dunn’s trailblazing Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program, and kept their own precious lands and waterways permanently protected. Ed and Sue made many life-long friends in the Town and helped to create a close-knit community of lovers of the land.
Ed also used his Medical Sociology and Business expertise to create innovative managed health care delivery systems and primary health care clinics in public and private sectors. The organizations he guided and directed include HMO of Wisconsin, Prairie du Sac, Aetna Choice Healthcare Plan, Milwaukee, Kenosha Health Care Partners, Managed Health Services Insurance Corporation, Milwaukee, and his own consulting firm.
Ed was a private pilot with his instrument rating and loved flying with Sue to lovely destinations for many vacations. He was a skilled blacksmith, creating gifts of iron for so many. He was an accomplished builder and donated many hours to Habitat for Humanity. Ed was a five-star chef, and with his favorite “sous chef” and party planner extraordinaire Sue, created delicious and beautiful meals and celebrations for family and friends. For the last several years, he volunteered as “Chef Ed” every week at Agrace Hospice, researching recipes, sharing the histories, and creating his “Flavors of the World” meals for staff and visitors. He made many life-long friends at Agrace and enjoyed working alongside other food lovers in its kitchen.
Ed loved to travel all over the country and world with Sue and they enjoyed life to the fullest in their 55 years of marriage. He loved learning and sharing the history of the world and talking to others about their food and cultural traditions. Ed and Sue adopted their daughter Joanne, and they both loved being hands-on grandparents to their granddaughters Lena and Dane, and being with their nieces, nephews and Goddaughter. Together, Ed and Sue taught all of them and shared with them their love of nature, cooking, farmer’s markets, art, museums, musicals, travel and celebrating life. They were both passionate about justice and equality in the world and were very involved in local politics and set a great example for us all.
Ed is survived by his daughter Joanne (Dean) Simon; granddaughters Lena Simon and Dane Simon; sisters-in-law Linda Babich and Cheryl Smith; brother-in-law William (Nancy) Babich; niece Erin Minihan (James) Sherry and his grand-nephews Joseph and James Sherry; niece Anne Minihan; nephews Liam Minihan and Colin (Christina) Minihan and his grand-nieces Violet, Cora, Ava and Savannah; and Goddaughter Shannon Hawkins. He is also survived by several ancestral “Minihane” family members in Ireland, as well as many dear friends and coworkers who were like family to him. Ed was preceded in death by his beloved wife Sue, who died a year ago; his parents; his brothers William and Charles Minihan; and many friends who enriched his life.
There will be a joint Celebration of Life for Ed and Sue on Friday, September 10 with visitation from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and service from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Dunn Town Hall, 4156 County Road B, McFarland, WI 53558. Interment will be at the Town of Dunn Burying Ground. Due to Covid-19 concerns, and because space is limited, the service will be streamed live and shared on Ed’s Facebook page, so that those unable to attend can do so virtually. In lieu of flowers, please consider planting a tree or doing an act of service or kindness in his memory.
Much gratitude to the excellent and compassionate nurses, doctors and staff at Meriter Hospital.
Crawford Funeral and Cremation Service of Montello and Oxford is honored to be serving the family, and you may visit www.CrawfordFH.com to see the full obituary and leave a memory.
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