Ed Rostaing

Ed Rostaing

1929 - 2024

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Obituary of Ed Rostaing

Edouard "Ed" Louis Rostaing

(October 31, 1929 - February 12, 2024)


Edouard (Edward) Louis Rostaing, fondly known as Ed to all who knew him, was born October 31, 1929 and passed away peacefully on February 12, 2024. He was 94 years of age.

Ed was born and raised in the Bawlf/Ohaton area and remembered clearly the transatlantic voyage, via ship, to France the summer of 1935 at five years old when his mother and his four other siblings travelled to visit his mother and fathers’ families. It was in France, where his life long love of trains was forged. Ed always enjoyed listening to the trains that whistled through Bawlf or anywhere else in his travels. He loved trains so much that he fabricated a miniature train engine, on rails, that was used for heating and humidifying their home.

When Ed was nine, he was already known as a fire bug as he was always setting something on fire. Which accounts for the incident when he was supposed to be hoeing potatoes but when his friends, Robert Sheets and Cal Waterston showed up, he discovered the dynamite box and caps. Believing the fuse would burn like a firecracker, he lit it and it blew up immediately severing his three fingers on his left hand; one of his distinct features.  

When Ed and his pal, Alf Miller were about 12 or 13 they moved onto shotguns, making the gunpowder themselves. In the process of making their own powder they had a little bit of dynamite and at one point were using it like a cannon. At the Miller's, Ed and Alf decided to punch a hole out of one of the pistons from a twin city tractor. 

They had less than a teaspoon of dynamite in the cylinder with an appropriate cap and used the land side of a breaking plough for the backing and then ignited it, aimed across the yard and the fuse took less than a minute to burn up. Grandma Miller had just let the chickens out (200 of them flooded the yard) and then BOOM; 7 chickens were killed. Grandma Miller wasn't impressed but didn't miss a step. She grabbed the washtub from the side of a granary and said to the boys:  We're doing chickens so get over here!" 

Around 1940, he took up taxidermy through the Omaha School of Taxidermy via correspondence. He trapped weasels and sold fur pelts to the Robinson Fur Company of Winnipeg to pay for the course. Because of his hand, he wasn't a good milker which allowed him out of chores freeing him to do his trapline. He only did birds for taxidermy; a couple of owls, some pheasants and a bush partridge.  

Ed attended Green Grove School for grades 1-8 and completed grade 9 at Horicon.  In the fall of 1947, Ed went to the Vermilion School of Agriculture, now known as Lakeland College graduating in 1949 with a diploma in agricultural studies. An entrepreneur even then, Ed was the broker for anyone who required dry cleaning. Ed then began his long career as an equipment operator, joint owner of a sawmill, farmer, welder/fabricator and contractor; only retiring when he was 90 years of age. 

He married Helene Blouin in 1958 and had four children. Following Helene’s death in 1979, he married Patricia Schofer in 1986 and moved to Bawlf where he resided until his hospitalization.

Over the years, Ed worked for many employers and construction companies before moving back to the family farm in 1963 where he farmed with his brother Bernard. Ed was always an inventor and was famous for making modifications on most everything he ever drove; whether it was construction equipment or personal vehicles.  

One of his earliest inventions was on a Cletrac. When it got too cold riding on it, he tied some bale twines to the steering brakes and ran behind it until he warmed up! It then dawned on him to get some tarps for protection. Knowing Ed didn’t do things like everyone else; he tarped the operating area from eye level down rather than the whole cat. This innovative solution allowed the operator to view the corner bits but remain protected from the wind and cold. Pretty soon at his job site, everybody adopted this solution. 

Designed by Ed and neighbour Bill MacLeod, Ed was the fabricator for the horse drawn hydraulic round bale haulers. Later it was redesigned for two round bales by Allan Hauser.  Ed was also the fabricator for the drag line pads so they could “walk” on water for the duck habitats being built by Ducks Unlimited.  When more field power was needed; Irving Gallant had the idea to use industrial equipment in farming, so Ed suggested that they convert two D LeTourneau’s into farm tractors.  Irving thought that was a great idea so Ed added front wheels to the D LeTourneau and then removed the bowl, added a swinging draw bar and a big fuel tank and presto they had a farm tractor. The family fondly called any modifications that Ed made an “Ed-ification” or would say “it’s been Ed-ified”.

Ed had varied interests and served tirelessly on numerous committees and boards such as:

- Camrose and District Family Thrift Shop – charter member  with over 50 years of service.
- Camrose and District Preventative Social Services – 10 years; 1970-1980
- Councillor for the County of Camrose #22 serving on the Agricultural Development Committee and The Board of Education 1983-1986 and later in 2015 assisted with an unmarked grave study for the County.
- Village of Bawlf Sanden Court serving many years
- Leduc West Antique Society

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 60 years and the Royal Canadian Legion for over 50 years and faithfully attended a men’s prayer group in Daysland known as “Family Faith in Practice”. Ed was a man of great faith and no matter where he travelled; church was not to be missed and one of his first missions upon arrival anywhere was to locate the Catholic Church.

His many interests found him donating to political, literary, conservation and religious causes; both locally and nationally. In 2016, Ed was awarded “The Living Treasures of Battle River Country” for his vision, dedication and life-wide service. Ed was an avid reader and his book collections were extensive; allowing him to converse on any topic with anyone at anytime.  He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

Left to cherish his memory are his two daughters Paulette Antosh of Edmonton, and Roseanne (John) Gallant of Costa Rica; one son Maurice (Judith) of Red Deer; two step sons Douglas Schofer of Camrose, and Roderick Miller of Saskatchewan; one step daughter Linda (Jim) Nairn of Nova Scotia; grandchildren Brian Rostaing, Amanda Marioras, Andrew Gallant and Austin Gallant; step grandchildren Dana and Jodi Myckan; great-grandchildren Josh, Marilyn and Quinn Rostaing, and Xander Marioras; step great-grandchildren Chloe McKort, Zevan and Keira Whitbeck.

He was predeceased by his first wife Helene Rostaing; second wife Patsy Rostaing; son Pierre Rostaing; step grandchild Kari Myckan; and stepson Keith Schofer. 

A Funeral Mass was held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 23, 2024, at the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, 3605 50 St Camrose with celebrant Rev. Fr. Kris Schmidt.  The service was livestreamed and the 

recording will be available on the church website under "recorded masses" at the following link: https://stfxcamrose.caedm.ca . 

If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions in Ed's memory may be made to Lakeland College.


Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Friday, February 23, 2024
St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church
3605 50 St
Camrose, Alberta, Canada
(780) 672-1131
Funeral Mass