Ed "Fast Eddie" Urbach
July 4, 1919 – June 18, 2006
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Our bike group had the honor and privilege to share the company of a very special person for a number of years. The world knew him as Ed Urbach, but we knew him as Fast Eddie. Ed rode his bike with us, sometimes locally, and sometimes in other cities on weekend trips. We also had some fun rafting trips, and Ed got a kick out of watching the expressions on newcomers' faces when he told them the trip wasn't too rough except for the waterfall. (There was no waterfall). He was also known to leave a message on our answering machines identifying himself as "Crazy Old Eddie". His humor was evident on his own answering machine, which announced that "you have reached the home of E.T.......Urbach, that is". His humor was from a bygone era, when foul language was unnecessary, and a joke didn't have to insult another human being. I'll always remember sitting with him on more than one occasion in a restaurant, sometimes with our fellow bikers, and listening to him advise the group "whatever you do, don't get the soup du jour, because you never know what it's going to be from one day to the next". It was such a corny joke, as many of his were, and I'd love to hear any one of them just one more time.
Ed was the kindest and most caring person that you could imagine, and the world has lost someone who will never be replaced. He leaves behind 3 generations of loving family, and friends who will remember him for the gentleman that he was. Arrangements have been made for an engraved plaque to be installed on the New York section of the East Coast Greenway Alliance Trail, which runs from Maine to Florida. This plaque will bear Ed's name, as well as "Fast Eddie". Ed will live forever in our hearts. We miss you, Ed.
George Waldbusser ("Trail Boss"),
for himself, and on behalf of Ed's "biker" friends.
Ed's birthday was on July 4th. Over time, we established a tradition of doing the Mattituck bike ride on that day, and then joined Ed's family afterwards for a birthday celebration. Often, we would take a walk up to the bluffs on the north shore in Belle Terre. From there, you could see fireworks from Port Jefferson to Connecticut. One particular year, I was standing with Ed on a sandy stretch that led down to the water. The temperature was comfortable, the bugs hadn't come out yet, and the setting sun made the sky look like a painting. There was a moment of silence in the conversation. Then, Ed said, "You know, I can't figure out what I did to deserve such a loving family and a great bunch of friends". I looked at him, and saw that his eyes were a bit watery. It's one of those moments that I'll never forget. What he received is a reflection of what he gave.
George Waldbusser ("Trail Boss")
Karen McKenna-Bergius took me on a
Jones Beach bike ride, probably around 1996. That's where I first met Ed
and "Trail Boss" who is now my boyfriend. Ed said "I get to kiss all the
girls." He was sweet with that old world charm so I did give him a hug and
kiss. He told me several corny jokes along the way, and I found him to be
quite charming. It was great to see a man in his mid-seventies biking, and
I learned from him that it helped to ease the pain of his widower's
loneliness. I even fixed him up on a blind date, but his heart was always
with his late wife.
I will always remember Ed's generosity, his upbeat personality and his good sense of humor. He was a good friend to us all and I will always have fond memories of him. He will certainly be missed.
As I read the tributes to Crazy Eddie
(or as my children called him -Uncle Eddie) I can't keep the tears from
welling up. Before my kids were born, Ed always joked in such a
kind-hearted way, but there also was a father side of him as he wondered
when Robert and I were going to have children. Not in a prying way, just a
caring one. He was the first to call as news spread of my pregnancy. He
was as proud as a father would be. Over the years, my children grew up and
regarded Uncle Eddie not as an uncle but as a grandfather since my own
father (same age) lives in California and the children didn't get to see
him as much as Uncle Ed. Ed lent us a cradle that his son built for
Brittany's first "bed". How wonderful and caring Ed was!. The children, as
well as the whole family, looked forward to celebrating all the birthdays
together since Brit was born on July 2 and Chelsea was born on July 7th.
Ed has been one of my very best
friends for nearly 20 years. I always told him that when I grew up, I
wanted to be just like him. He was a beautiful person in every way. He was
generous, thoughtful, and completely devoted to his family and friends.
Anyone who knew him, would consider themselves lucky. I certainly feel
blessed to have been his friend. We always continued to keep in touch,
even after we stopped going on the bike rides (sorry Trail Boss).