Edwin G. Loontjer
June 3, 1943-July 27, 2020
Edwin G. Loontjer, 77, of Columbus, went home to be with his Lord on July 27, 2020. Ed touched many lives over the course of his life as a son, brother, father, friend, teacher, electrician, tradesman and golf buddy.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 31, at Gass Haney Funeral Home, with Pastor Wayne Nestor officiating. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. until service time on Friday. Memorials may be directed to the Orphan Grain Train https:/www.ogt.orgonate The funeral service will be broadcast live on Gass Haney Facebook Page and everyone is asked to follow current CDC guidelines.
Ed was the oldest child of six, raised on a farm in Deshler. His parents instilled in him an unparalleled work ethic, a strong desire for learning and adventure, and uncompromisable integrity. He attended college at Peru State, graduating with a B.S. degree in 1963, and going on to achieve a Master's degree in Industrial Arts Education at Ball State University in Illinois in 1965. In 1966, he was married to Marilyn Gonnerman, and both moved to Columbus to accept teaching jobs at Columbus High School. They had three children: Edwin Ray (still-born 1972), Carma Lyn (1973), and Janel Marie (1975). In 1973, Ed shifted from teaching to becoming an entrepreneur of his own electrical business after achieving his “Master Electrician” licensure. He spent many years building his electrical business in both farming/agricultural applications and residential electrical services. He became a respected, trusted, and contributing community member, including being an elected leader and Exalted Ruler of the Elk's Country Club. In 1994, he met and married the love of his life, Janet (Spulak) Schneider, his wife of 26 years. He was a proud father to Carma and Janel, as well as being a friend and role model to Janet's children Bryan, Kevin and Amanda. He continued his electrical and tradesman work up until the time of his passing.
Over the years, Ed participated in many hobbies such as water skiing, tennis, racquetball, swimming, dance club, motorcycling, pool and golf. He made his mark in golf as a locally talented player, instructor, worthy opponent, and frequent tournament winner. He also enjoyed weekly coffee mornings with his local buddies. Ed was known for making huge home-cooked holiday feasts with his family and relished the times of grill-outs, golfing outings, and road trips to Lincoln, Schuyler, Omaha and Colorado to be with his family and spend time with his grandchildren. Ed had a reputation for being able to build or fix anything. His reputation of quality and skill in the electrical trade was only surpassed by his reputation for kindness, patience and dependability towards his fellow man.
Edwin is survived by his wife, Janet Loontjer (Columbus), his children Carma Loontjer (and husband, Don Rosen) of Pueblo, Colorado, Janel Holsten (and grandchildren, Presley and Sydney Holsten) of Lincoln; his stepchildren: Amanda Schneider (and husband, Lindsey Meringer) of Colorado Springs, Kevin Schneider (and wife, Amy Kampbell with grandchildren, Carli and Kurt) of Columbus, Bryan Schneider (and wife, Heather Rizzuto with grandchildren, Winston and Giselle) of Omaha. Edwin is also survived by his siblings: Carol Isaac (Seward), Leora Kuhlman (Grand Island), Linda Brettman (Seward), Mike Loontjer (Columbus) and Rebecca Reinke (Deshler); as well as brothers-in-law and many nieces and nephews.
Edwin was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Louise Loontjer; and his son, Edwin Ray Loontjer.
Condolences may be sent to www.gasshaney.com.
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