Edward Francis Sakraida

Edward Francis Sakraida, 85, of Medford, Ore., passed away Monday, Dec. 7, 2009. He was born July 27, 1924, in Colorado Springs, Col.

He was the ninth of August and Mary (Garrity) Sakraida's 10 children. He had seven brothers and two sisters; Richard, Paul, Leo, Rafael, Bernard (Bud), Vincent (Babe), Bobby, Rosemary and Rosemarie. His family had moved from Kansas to Colorado to California, finally settling in the Applegate/Rogue Valley, where Edward spent most of his life. He attended St. Mary's Academy in Medford, through the eighth grade and graduated from Grants Pass High School. He often told stories of his school days and even in the last months of his life, he was still reciting bits of poetry he'd learned as a child. He shared many stories of growing up with his big family and the joys and struggles that entails, including tales of the hi-jinks and exploits he shared with his brothers. Edward spent many years dairy farming on his own and with his brothers. He spoke often of how much he enjoyed dairy farming. He taught his daughter and her family a lot about raising newborn calves, helping them raise a small herd of healthy cows. Edward enjoyed building and after several years working with his brother building dairies, became a building materials broker, starting his own business, Laminated Timber Components, in the mid-sixties. He ran this business successfully out of his tiny apartment office in Medford, selling laminated beams and trusses throughout the western states, until the late '80s, when it was necessary to close the business due to health issues. Edward loved having a garden, especially tomatoes, which he grew in beds next to his house, with beautiful roses inbetween. He loved to share his produce with neighbors and friends. He loved the outdoors and he and his family spent many happy days and hours hunting, fishing, camping, skiiing and water skiing. He taught his children and many of their friends to water ski and drive a boat and they taught him to snow ski. The family was in the mountains, on a lake or river, or in the woods as often as possible. As he would say, many "a good time was had by all." Edward loved music and he loved to sing. He knew bits of many songs and he seemed to have a song for every occasion. Any occasion for sharing music found him standing at the piano or sitting near the guitar singing along with a huge smile on his face. Even at the end of his life, Edward was singing with and to his family and caregivers, chiming in on Silent Night and Joy to the World at the Thanksgiving visit.

He stayed in his beloved home on Highland Dr. until he could no longer live alone. He lived in assisted living for four and a half years, before moving to the adult foster home, of Michael and Clara McPhee. It was at the McPhee home where he peacefully passed away with three of his children, Chris, Matthew and Stacey at his side. He was a hardworking, honorable, fun-loving, gentle, generous, thoughtful, forgiving and a kind-hearted man. He was loved and cherished by his family and friends. He will be sorely missed.

He is survived by two brothers; three former wives; and his five children, John Sakraida, of Gilchrist, Ore., Shelley (Sakraida) Frakes, of Calif., Chris Jenkins, of Seattle, Wash., Stacey (Sakraida) Borum, of Newberg, Ore. and Matthew Sakraida, of Bellevue, Wash. He also leaves 11 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and his significant other. He was preceded in death, by his parents; five brothers; and two sisters. His burial took place on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, at Siskiyou Memorial Park; arrangements by Perl Funeral Home. A gravesite blessing took place that afternoon, officiated by Father Cary Reniva, of Sacred Heart Church. Attending were friends, family members and loved ones. A memorial mass will be held Jan. 29, 2010, at Sacred Heart Church, in Medford, Ore., at 10:00 a.m. A reception will follow the mass, in the fellowship hall, to celebrate a life well lived. The family would like to express great thanks to Michael and Clara McPhee and the caregivers in their home for the loving and devoted care he received while he lived with them.