Carl W. Edquist, 91


Carl W. Edquist, age 91, went to his Heavenly Father on July 9, 2010. Carl is reunited with his wife of 56 years, Rita Anne Edquist (nee Valenzano).

As a dynamic couple, Carl and Rita wove together a loving  and faith-filled family heritage, leaving a legacy for their eight children, 20 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Carl will be remembered as a husband, father, grandfather, businessman, community leader and a very wonderful human being. His wife, Rita, often characterized Carl as "a Renaissance man, with his feet planted firmly on the ground and his eyes on the stars."

Carl was a brother to Glen Edquist (Maxine) of Niles, Mich., and the late Kennie (Rona) Edquist of Chesterton, Ind.

He was a loving father to Paul Michael, Milwaukee; Karen Rita (Ross) Fichtner, Plymouth, Mich.; Peter Damien (Linda) Edquist, Misenheimer, N.C.; Kathryn Marie (Al) Hentzen, Bayside,; Ann Therese (John) Augustin, Muskegon, Mich.; David Joseph (Olga) Edquist, Greenfield; Jerome Martin (Peggy) Edquist, Cedarburg; and Maria Francesca (Richard) Ruby of Delavan.
Carl was the dearly loved grandfather of Daniel John, Plymouth, Mich.; Jhoda (Jill) Charlotte, N.C.; Gabriel (Jessica), Albemarle, N.C.; Micah (Kristy) of Misenheimer, N.C.; Peter (Nayeli) Puebla, Mexico; Ann Marie (Mark) Davis, Cary, N.C.; John Paul, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Anthony Jordan, Misenheimer, N.C.; Timothy Augustin, Muskegon, Mich.;  Amy Augustin, Muskegon, Mich.; Carl Christopher, Milwaukee; Sarah, Madison; Melika, N. Y.; John (soon-to-marry  Erica Reed), Bayview; Grace, Jon "Jack", Catherine, all of Cedarburg; Alan Ruby, Madison; Lance Cpl. U.S. Marine Corps Michael (Stephanie) Ruby, Jacksonville, N.C.; and Laena Kate Walker, Longmont, Colo.

He was the great-grandfather of Winnie Edquist (Jhoda and Jill) and James Ruby (Michael and Stephanie).

Carl was the brother-in-law of Arlene Ward and the late Raymond Ward, Chicago. He is further survived by nieces and nephews,  Raymond, Donna, Mark, Andrea, Matthew, Paula, Robert, Gregory, Terry, Debbie, Kerri and Holly.

Carl was born Sept. 8, 1918, in Stockholm, Saskatchewan, Canada, to Naomi (nee Wickberg) and Carl Wilhelm Edquist, followed by younger brothers Glen and Kennie. In 1928, the family left Canada to seek a better life in the United States, moving first to Hayti, S.D., then settling in Chesterton, Ind., in 1933.

During the Depression years and into World War II, Carl became a toolmaker, marrying Rita in 1944.  Shortly after, Carl was recruited to work at Los Alamos in New Mexico on the Manhattan Project. They moved to Cedarburg, Wisconsin in 1947 where they raised eight children. In the Scandinavian tradition of sons  taking the surname from their fatherís first name, Carl founded Carlson Tool & Manufacturing Corp. in Cedarburg in 1958. Carl retired in 1990, yet remained chairman of the board.

Carl was a leader of his family, a leader in his community, a leader in his industry and a follower of Christ. Among his many involvements during his life, Carl was chairman of the National Tooling and Machining Association in Washington D.C., was a founding investor and board member of Ozaukee Bank, co-founder of Forward Cedarburg, co-founder of the Cedarburg Cultural Center, member of the Cedarburg Light and Water Commission, Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club member, charter board member of the Greater Cedarburg Foundation, established the Rita Edquist Memorial Foundation and the Rita and Carl Edquist Fund through the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and was active as a community philanthropist for local initiatives including the Ozaukee Ice Center, Cedarburg Library, Cedarburg Pool, and the Cedarburg High School soccer field.

The entire Edquist family extends heartfelt thanks to Dadís long-time caregivers for their tender, loving and respectful care of and companionship with Carl: Melvin Davis, Roger Neal, West and Jerriel Coleman, Willie Johnson, and Clark Kornheisel. We also thank Vitas Hospice Care and Warren Williams for all they taught us.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to St. Francis Borgia Church, Cedarburg Cultural Center and the Greater Cedarburg Foundation.

A visitation will be held at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church North, 1375 Covered Bridge Road, Cedarburg, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 16,  followed by a vigil service.  The Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 17, also at  St. Francis Borgia North, with private internment at St. Francis Borgia Cemetery immediately following.