Edward Hugh Weik

edward-hugh-weik.jpg

Edward Hugh Weik is my uncle and one of my favorite people. I always enjoyed going to see him and his wife Grace Lucille Mills McGuire every summer when I was a child in Manhattan, Riley, Kansas. I only called him Uncle Eddie and most people who knew him called him Eddie as well.

Edward was the second son born to Ruby Jemima Pultz and Otto Richard Weik on July 18, 1909, in Riley County, Kansas. His other siblings were Leo John 1908, Don Charles 1910, Lola Mae 1912, Elise Elizabeth 1914, Ina Marie 1920 and Merle Otto Weik 1922.

The Weik family was raised on a farm and they grew up with loving the land and all that came with it –  lots of hard work. They all had to pull their fair share of the workload for the farm to work properly. There were animals to care for and crops to plant and to help with harvest every May/June in Kansas.

Edward was only sixteen years old when his father Otto died from a horse related injury. All of a sudden there were seven children without a father and a mother who would now have to play both roles as mother and father. My father Merle was only three years old at the time but he told me that Edward was his father figure after the accident. My father and Edward always had a great time together whether it was fishing or camping and I am sure it was because of the closeness they had under difficult circumstances.

On October 23, 1940, Edward filled out his draft card, all men had to register for the draft to prepare for WWII. He was two hundred pounds had a ruddy complexion, brown hair, and brown eyes and five feet eight inches tall. His occupation was running his own fruit stand and next of kin was his mother Ruby Weik.

When Edward was thirty-three years old it was 1942 and WWII was reaching out to all young men to fight for their country. Riley County, Kansas was well represented by young men to join the war effort.

edward hugh weik wwii
June 30, 1942

On July 15, 1942, after passing all his tests he was enlisted into the Army and off he went into an uncertain future. He would be sent to foreign countries to fight for our freedom and a long way from the serene countryside of Kansas. One day a special package was delivered to his mother – it was his Purple Heart he received while fighting in WWII. I don’t remember my father telling me that his brother had received this award and my Uncle Eddie never really talked about his war experiences. I only have this newspaper clipping that was in the local Manhattan, Kansas newspaper. I have even tried looking up more information on it and at this writing have not found anything.

edward hugh weik purple heart wwii
October 12, 1944, The Manhattan Republic

On February 6, 1946, he was discharged from the Army and ready to return to civilian life. Once back home in Kansas life got back to normal for Edward, or so he thought until he meant Grace Lucille Mills McGuire. He was forty-two years old when he married for the first time to Grace (her second marriage) November 22, 1951, in Manhattan, Kansas.

Edward and Grace did not have any children together but they took full advantage of spoiling their nieces and nephews. I remember the time my father took us to visit Uncle Eddie at Ft. Riley. He was one of the butchers on post at that time. We got to tour the fort and all military history.

My Uncle Eddie made the best homemade ice cream ever! We would visit Manhattan in the Spring or Summer and we knew we could count on homemade ice cream. Edward also made ice cream when there was a family reunion at Hunters Island.

Edward was seventy-two years old when he died of a hospital procedure on April 28, 1986, in Manhattan, Riley, Kansas. He was loved by so many and his family, especially his mother always held a special place in his heart. He was buried in the Valley View Memorial Park in Pottawatomie County, Kansas.

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