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We ARE Penn State! Alumnus Wrestler and Resident of The Village at Penn State Shares His Story

October 15, 2021

For resident of The Village at Penn State, Ed, living in this beautiful community holds special meaning for more reasons than one. An alumnus of Penn State University (PSU), and former wrestler on the varsity team, Ed feels lucky to live practically next door to the university he loves. “I graduated from Penn State in 1964 and my dad and brother went there as well,” says Ed. “I had a great college experience there, just a great time,” he adds.

Ed is very familiar with the State College region as he grew up in the area. “My dad had a dairy farm not too far from the university. I helped out on the farm a lot and when I went to college, I decided to study in the Dairy Science department, which has since become Food Science,” he explains. Outside of his studies, Ed was also a skilled wrestler and decided to join the team his freshman year.

“I unfortunately got hurt near the end of that season. My leg got twisted in the wrong direction and I really messed up my meniscus,” he recalls. “That put a dent in my wrestling career, and I waited until my junior year to get back in shape,” Ed explains. While Ed was regaining his strength, wrestling coach at the time, Charlie Speidel, took notice.

“I was doing laps around the golf course and Charlie asked me to come see him the next day. So, I did and he told me he wanted me to wrestle in the match against Lehigh. At the time, Lehigh was a powerhouse of a team. I agreed and I tied the guy, believe it or not, and then Charlie made me team captain,” Ed shares. “Charlie was a really great coach, and wrestling at PSU was an experience I’ll never forget,” Ed reminisces.

Starting a Promising Career

After graduating from PSU, Ed returned home and worked on his father’s dairy farm. With aspirations to work in the food manufacturing industry, he found an opportunity at Kraft Heinz food manufacturing company in New York.  While there, his brother became a pilot in the Vietnam War. “After seeing my brother become a pilot and serve, I found what he was doing to be very interesting. It was of course a trying time for him, but I thought to myself, I’d like to be a fighter pilot,” Ed recalls.

After about four years, Ed attended flight school and discovered an opportunity to join the Pennsylvania Air Guard in Pittsburgh. “I spent a total of 29 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air Guard,” Ed notes. “While so many things were happening in my life as I was flying all over, I ended up meeting a girl in Holland. We got married one year later and we’re about to celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary,” he says overjoyed.

“She is one of the most wonderful things to happen in my life. We traveled quite a lot together and the experiences we went through together were just wonderful,” Ed reflects. After Ed retired from flying he returned back to the food industry. Throughout the years, he would visit his father’s dairy farm back at State College, and would remember how much he loved the area and his cherished alma mater.

Finding Their Way Back to State College

“From time to time I would work on my dad’s dairy farm and visit State College and I just thought, wow, wouldn’t it be nice to live here?” he notes. Ed and his wife were both in agreement. Upon discovering an opportunity for work in the State College area, Ed and his wife happily returned. After retiring from his successful career, and spending a number of years moving throughout several condominiums, Ed and his wife desired a new place to live.

“Our neighbor from the condominium we were living in previously suggested that we check out The Village,” Ed explains. “We did and we just loved it,” he adds.

Ed and his wife especially enjoy the people at The Village, and have made numerous friendships throughout the years. “This community has a very friendly atmosphere. It’s just nice to be socializing with so many friendly people, and the team members who work here are very good to us,” Ed affirms. As Ed and his wife make friends, attend fun outings to Penn State University, and take advantage of the many special events and activities, there is one thing about The Village they absolutely love.

“The food here is delicious. That might be what I enjoy most about living here,” Ed laughs. “We’re very lucky to live at The Village and we just love it every day.”