Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 15, 2009
Edward James Bork, 85, of Austin died Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 at Arden Courts Care Center, Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Edward (Ed), born Edward James Borkowski on Dec. 14, 1923 in St. Joseph, Mo., devoted his life to helping children and adults improve their own physical fitness. He understood how health and good physical condition made it possible for people to accomplish their goals in life. The fifth child of six (Virginia, Marcella Lilly, Mary Jane Helsley, Ralph and James, all deceased) born to Polish immigrants Jacob and Salomea Borkowski, Ed became aware at an early age of the effects of poverty on his family’s health and happiness.
In high school, Ed excelled in sports, particularly track and football. He was an outstanding athlete, a guard on the all-city football team in 1942-43 and co-captain of his high school track team while still a sophomore. In 1943, during his senior year, he enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corps and was stationed with the 309th American Air Fighter Squadron in Italy from April 1943 to October 1945. After being honorably discharged from military service, Ed moved to Colorado and began his college career at Denver University in 1946. He graduated with a bachelor of arts in health and physical education in 1949. Ed went on to receive a master of arts degree in education from Denver University in 1952.
Ed began his teaching career as director of health and physical education for the Minot Public Schools in Minot, N.D. He also met the love of his life and soon to be his wife, Ruth Mae Darling (deceased), who was also teaching in Minot. The couple married on Aug. 23, 1951.
In May 1956, Ed was offered the position of supervisor of elementary physical education in the Austin Public Schools. The family moved to Austin and built their home at 1905 Sixth Ave. SE, where they lived for 50 years.
Ed’s commitment to the community of Austin extended outside of his teaching position. He was active in the leadership and management of the Austin YMCA; United Way; Christian Education Center; Snow Flake Festival; the Association for Retarded Citizens (now called Arc); Minnesota Department of Education Committee; National Education Association; Minnesota Education Association; Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council; American, Minnesota and North Dakota Associations for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; Minnesota Governor’s Advisory Committee on Physical Fitness; Minnesota State Board of Education Curriculum Committee; and the Catholic Church. Ed was a civic leader and community organizer throughout his career in Austin and is remembered by children and adults alike for his devotion to elementary intramural programs for the Austin Public Schools, summer recreational activities for the Austin Park and Recreation Department and his work with handicapped children.
Ed retired in May 1987 after 31 years of teaching. That year he was awarded the Teacher of the Year Award by the ARC of Austin and cited for influencing public opinion in support of educating persons with mental and developmental disabilities. He received many awards for his contributions and services to health, physical education and recreation throughout the State of Minnesota.
Ed was passionate about fishing, camping, playing golf, bowling, gardening and going for long walks with Ruth. The couple were big fans of the Minnesota Twins, Vikings and Gophers.
Ed died at the age of 85 at a nursing home near his daughter Debby’s home in Ohio. Edward is survived by his son, Jeffrey Edward Bork (Kathy Schaivone), Annapolis, Md.; daughters Cynthia Bork (Dick Whitaker), Forks, Wash., Debora Bork (Paul McCarthy, deceased), Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and, Valerie Enkhaus (Greg), Ramsey, Minn.; ex-sons-in-law Tim Callahan and Dennis Reichelt; eight grandchildren, Seth and Dylan Reichelt, Margaret, Caroline and Timothy Callahan, Andrew Bork, Hunter and Logan Enkhaus; and many nephews, nieces and friends.
There will be a visitation from 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009, with a 6 p.m. prayer service at the Mayer Funeral Home. A funeral mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Austin with Father Joe Fogal officiating. Casket bearers will be Jeffrey Bork, Richard Whitaker, Greg Enkhaus, Seth Reichelt, Dylan Reichelt and Margaret Callahan. Internment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Austin.
Mayer Funeral Home in Austin is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials preferred to Arc.