Edmond (Ed) Julian Van Elslander, P.E. was born in Detroit on August 18, 1937. His father, Leon (Leo) was a veteran of the Belgian Cavalry in World War One and toolmaker. His mother, Margaret DeMaecker, was a native of Rochester, New York. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Janet (nee Majewski), his son Roger Leon Van Elslander and his daughter and son in law Karen and Christopher Roosen, as well as the brothers of Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity (including his son and son in law).
He proudly graduated from Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University College of Engineering in Detroit, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. While at Wayne State he joined Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity. An only child, the brothers of Theta Tau became his family. Upon graduation, he began writing the "Theta Tau Enquirer" newsletter for the Epsilon Beta chapter alumni. He continued to write the newsletter every month for more than 50 years.
Ed was a friend to all and a stranger to none. He was the social chairman for the Theta Tau Alumni and served on the chapter housing board. He enjoyed organizing the next group outing, picnic, weekend trip, "freeze your buns" Wayne football game, cookout, canoe trip, and buying theater, Detroit Symphony, and Tiger Game tickets for the group. You name it and “set it up Ace" would be on the task. Ed was instrumental in purchasing and maintaining the historic Theta Tau chapter house, a nineteenth century Victorian mansion in the gritty Cass Corridor. Through the efforts of Ed and his brothers, engineering students have been living there continuously for over fifty years, preserving the historic house on Alexandrine in now trendy Midtown Detroit. He enjoyed monthly poker night with his brothers at the chapter house for fifty years.
He loved to laugh and often was the one telling the jokes.
He loved to play golf and occasionally on a week day he would have an afternoon appointment with "Dr. Green and Dr. Fairway"
His Catholic Faith was very important to him. Mass every Sunday, Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent, a special devotion to Blessed Solanus Casey and he always had to have his rosary with him to pray. Ed’s last wish was a donation to the Solanus Casey Center.
He worked as a mechanical engineer in the defense and automotive industries for Cadillac Gage, Burroughs Corporation and finally retiring from TRW. He loved to design and engineer rather than become a manager.
Ed was an artist, and upon retirement he kept true to his promise to "take up painting". He even won a ribbon at the Michigan State Fair for one of his oil paintings. Friends and family proudly display the oil paintings which Ed lovingly created and gave away.
Ed will be remembered and missed by numerous friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues who cherish his wit and determination to live with the symptoms of Parkinsons Disease.
Visitation Friday, January 10, from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. Rosary Service at David Wysocki Funeral Home, 29440 Ryan Road, Warren, Michigan. Instate Saturday, January 11, from 10:30 a.m. until the 11:00 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, 28353 Herbert St, Madison Heights, Michigan.
In leiu of flowers, we ask for donations to the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit or Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity Epsilon Beta Housing Fund.
Please share a memory, thought, or prayer with the family here on Ed's Tribute Wall.
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