Edward A. Vuillemin

Born: Sat., Sep. 6, 1947
Died: Fri., May 5, 2017


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Tue., May 09, 2017
Location: St. Paul's Catholic Church

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 AM Tue., May 09, 2017
Location: St. Paul's Catholic Church

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Ed    Vuillemin  

Ed Vuillemin, 69, died peacefully within his family huddle at the Hospice of the VNS - Justin P. Rogers Care Center on May 5,2017 due to complications from a stroke suffered during this past Holy Week, after a short hospital stay.

Ed faced death with that same dedicated preparation he brought to every game, meet & match in competition as an athlete - that same bravery with which he faced every day of his life for nearly 48 years following the onset of schizophrenia at age 22.

Ed was born to Rita (Huth) and Alfred E. Vuillemin on Sept. 6, 1947 in Akron, Ohio, where he remained a lifelong resident. The third of six children, his love of sports was nurtured as he was raised in Firestone Park, while attending St. Paul's grade school.

Ed graduated from St. Vincent High School in 1965, where he was a member of the football, wrestling, and track & field teams. As a captain on legendary Coach Eddie Wentz's final football squad, Ed achieved every local & district honor, as well as earning All-State recognition - playing both ways as a fullback & middle linebacker. He was an award-winning wrestler in the heavyweight class, also throwing the shot and discus in track & field. Heavily recruited, Ed embraced the challenge of competing with the best in major college football, enrolling at the University of Notre Dame under full scholarship.

During Ed's senior high school season in 1964, Notre Dame football began its resurgence into the national spotlight under the tutelage of first year, soon to be legendary head coach, and fellow South Akronite, Ara Parseghian. That team's run at an undefeated season & National Championship was spoiled by a loss in their final game of the year.

In assembling his first recruiting classes, Coach Parseghian continued molding & rebuilding his squad with talented players from across the country, including Ed. As a freshman, playing fullback & linebacker, Ed won the Hering Award as one of the team's outstanding freshman backs.

A sophomore, Ed was a member of Notre Dame's 1966 National Championship team that finished the season with a record of 9-0-1, playing in the first 'Game of the Century' against Michigan State, following that with the complete 51-0 shellacking of a very good, Rose Bowl-bound USC team. He saw playing time on the second team defense, backing up both interior linebacking positions as a member of one of the greatest defenses in college football history. As a player on a team loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, Ed competed with more than
quite a few teammates who went on to play in the NFL.

Hampered some by injuries in his final two years, Ed finished up his playing time at Notre Dame a letter winner,playing offense & defense, becoming a member of the ND Monogram Club. Although relatively small at 6'-2" & 215 pounds, as his road game roommate said, "Ed was smart. Coach Johnnie Ray (linebackers coach) loved him." Ed graduated from ND with a degree in Economics in 1969.

Upon graduation, Ed signed a free agent contract with the NFL's Washington Redskins after fielding interest from several teams. He had earned a chance to compete for a roster spot at fullback on the team of yet another legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, who was embarking on what would be his first & only year in Washington, following his success with the Green Bay Packers. It was not to be.

The manifestation of schizophrenia at this time prevented Ed from pursuing his Pro Football playing career. Although wrestling this illness, he returned for a time to St. Vincent, (later St. VM), to coach football under Head Coach John Cistone, doing some substitute teaching as well. While this was no athletic battle, in the same way that Ed made his teammates better by example, so too did he inspire others through his graceful & courageous daily struggle with
mental illness over the latter two-thirds of his life.

He is a member of the St. VM Hall of Fame. Ed was more than the sum of his athletic accomplishments. He was a beautiful, loving, & devoted son, brother and true friend who lived & played with joy and a wonderful, hearty laugh. A proudly humble throwback, embodying
true, old school sportsmanship, Ed's life can best be summarized thus: He fought the good fight & finished his race.

He was a man. He was our gift. We miss him. No longer necessary to run to daylight, Ed is that daylight - now & forever.

Ed joins his Mother & Father, and brother Jim. Surviving Ed are his brothers, John (Karen), Larry (Carol), Fred (Nina); sister, Mary Ann (Fred Blakely); aunts, Marian Holibaugh, Elizabeth DiCenzi, Barbara (Richard Hill), uncle, Richard Huth, niece, Betsy Vuillemin; nephews, Brett, Jacob, & Zachary Vuillemin, along with numerous cousins.

Special thanks to all at Community Support Services in Akron, Keith Bowen, all the medical & Hospice Staff who eased Ed's final lap, and all those who have through these many years shown Ed their love, kindness, & compassion.

Mass of Christian Burial 11 AM, Tuesday, May 9th at St. Paul's Catholic Church, where friends may call from 10 AM until service time. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ed's name may be made to NAMI of Summit County, a local youth sports organization of your choosing, and any organization devoted to the research, care, & support of psychiatric illnesses.

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   Posted Sun May 07, 2017
My sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Edward Vuillemin. I hope the words found at Rev 21:3,4 offers much comfort and encouragement to those who loved Edward.

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