Edward "Ed" G. Baranek passed away March 3, 2023, in St. Clair Shores after a tough battle with cancer. Though he could beat most of you at poker, he was dealt a bad hand that he couldn't bluff his way out of.
He was born October 29, 1949, in Detroit to Laura M. (Reno) and Edward T. Baranek and spent his entire life on the Eastside.
At Bishop Gallagher High School, Ed was a standout athlete and held the record for most points by a single player in a basketball game (30). But his ultimate win at Gallagher was scoring the love of his life, Kathy Fennell. He met Kathy, or as he called her, "his angel," on a blind date in October 1966. They were born four days apart - but rarely spent more than a day apart once they were together.
Like his older brother, Tom, "Fast Eddie" was a master gambler, pool hustler and ace card shark.
He put himself through college, earning his business degree from the University of Detroit.
Like his father and younger brother, Gary, Ed landscaped the Eastside since the late '60s and may have designed your front beds/bushes, put in your brick patio, or did your annual trimming. His sweat is in the soil, from Jefferson to Harper Ave. and every yard in between. He spent a third of his life outside and had calloused hands and a tan by Spring, working the same land his Grosse Pointe ancestors (Reno/Renaud, Trombley, Campau, Moross, etc.) had, hundreds of years before him. His work ethic was unparalleled - he worked on Father's Day, Labor Day, his birthday - every day.
Though he would call people the "Mayor of Mack Ave.," he may have earned that title himself. Mack Ave. was the main artery his truck and trailer traversed, seven days a week. In a pre-cell phone era, if you needed to find him during the working day, you could always catch his truck parked at Mack and Moross for lunch.
Ed enjoyed fishing, politics, history, Seinfeld, sports, the weather - and music. About a decade ago he was reborn through music and became like an excited teenager, wanting to analyze and ponder the great questions of life, such as: John or Paul? How is Burton Cummings so underrated? What would Hendrix have done had he lived longer? Chicago: best horn section in rock and roll?
His music obsession led him to host the music fest known as "Edstock." He wanted all the bands to be paid well, the attendees to experience good food and music for free, and yes - sometimes even the cops came.
He had a fascination with Niagara Falls that probably began when he visited with his parents and brothers and was solidified when he honeymooned there with his wife, Kathy. His children would groan when, yet another family vacation was suggested with, "How about Niagara Falls?"
A man with an analytical mind and precise recall who would tell you the blizzard of '74 was worse than the blizzard of '78, but who would drive his wife mad walking through the living room with muddy boots - just to grab a pen.
He perfected the trifecta: family, work, and living life on his terms.
He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Kathy; three children, Kim (Amber), Becky (Tim) Veitengruber and Eddie (Nicole); three grandchildren, Lauren, Cameron and Edward; brother, Gary (Marsha) and nieces Jamie (Jacob) Law and Kelly, as well as many Baranek and Fennell cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Tom Baranek.
In tribute, cut your lawn clockwise, "outside in" this weekend, or toss a pole in the water. When you're done, go to Mr. A's and get a sub from Vince, buy some scratch offs and eat a Mounds bar. If you can't do that (as John once sang), go on a drive along the water with your spouse, get a carryout, and finish the night at home, with a game of Scrabble by the fire.
Visitation will be 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at Chas. Verheyden, Inc., 16300 Mack Ave. in Grosse Pointe Park. Scripture will begin at 6:30 p.m. He will lie in state at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 9 until the funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 22412 Overlake St., St. Clair Shores. A final resting prayer will be at Resurrection Cemetery Chapel (18201 Clinton River Road, Clinton Township) immediately following the funeral Mass.
The family asks that donations may be made in Ed's name to the American Cancer Society at cancer.org and to MusiCares at musicares.org.
Ed was one of a kind!!! When I met him to quote doing landscaping for various properties I own I immediately liked him. Not only was he good at his job, but he had so much wisdom and knowledge to dispense. I could have conversed with him for hours on many different topics. My deepest condolences to his family. The world has a big void with Ed's passing. He touched many lives. I will miss his friendly smile and conversations.
Peter K. Dow
Ed was a wonderful caring man who was like a guardian angel for our house in Grosse Pointe Farms. We moved to Michigan from Santa Fe, NM, for my husband's job. Our new neighbor, Doris Cole, told us Ed Baranek had been mowing the lawn for her house and ours since the 1970s. This turned out to be a lifesaver! My wonderful husband was killed suddenly in a motorcycle accident just three weeks after we moved in to the house in April 2002. Ed took care of our lawn for most of those years, never raising his rates. What a blessing to me. I was a single mother and always broke. I tried to mow the lawn myself and could never figure out how to do the edging and I was never able to make it look as good as Ed did. I really believe God sent him to me as a guardian angel of our yard all those years. The husband of the woman who sold us the house actually suffered a heart attack and died one day in the house after mowing the lawn so I truly do believe Ed was a guardian angel of our yard. He kept the lawn looking nice for me for all those years, always right on time on a Monday and happy to wave and stop to chat. He never raised the rates and I am so grateful that I could afford to have him take care of the lawn while I was so busy and pretty much broke. Sometimes we would wave and sometimes we would stop to talk and I enjoyed hearing about his music and his wonderful son. Ed made the world a more beautiful place and his kindness and hard work inspired me and helped me get through some sad times. I have kept him in my prayers and wanted you all to know that. He will be missed by many, including me. With deepest sympathy, Margie Carroll
So sad to hear this news! A welcome visitor to my place every Monday, summer and fall. I will miss his expert attention to my landscaping, as well as our many talks about all things music, and especially The Beatles. He was very impressed when I told him they were my first concert, when I was 6 years old. As long as we stayed on topic (music, landscaping, and love for family) - and didn't stray into politics - we were good! Condolences to the Baranek family. May he rest in peace.
Kathy, I am so sorry to hear of Ed's passing, my deepest condolences to you and your family.
Ann Brookes Noble
Ed was a treasure! Incredibly talented, gentle, kind and hard-working. He took care of our yard and garden for 25 years. He loved his family so much. We will miss him tremendously. He was an original!
Ed was such a great guy. We used his company for 20 years. We often took time to chat about various topics. Ed did the landscaping in our front and backyards so I will always be reminded of him
I remember Ed as a strong athlete, a serious student and hard worker, following in his father’s footsteps. All of the kids on University thank you.
Our deepest sympathy to the Baranak family for the loss of husband/father Ed. We love Ed’s daughter Kim who is married to our niece Amber. May you all have peace and strength to guide you through this challenging time. The Rodriguez/Clifford families
You were a good friend at BG and UD. I ran into you many times in the last fifty years on the East Side. It won't be the same. RIP and God bless, Kevin Elsey
Ed and Gary Baranek
PhotosAdd a photo
Grosse Pointe, MI, United States 48230
Grosse Pointe, MI, United States 48230
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080
Healing Registry Unavailable at the Moment!