Edward A. Zagrubski passed away on Friday, May 26 at the age of 93. He was born in Pittsfield on February 9, 1930 to Andrew and Regina (Shensky) Zagrubski. He lived in the early part of his life in Halifax, Vermont moving with his family to Buckland, Massachusetts a few years later. He moved to the Zalenski family farm in Ashfield after marrying Clara Zalenski on October 28th, 1950. He would live the remainder of his life on the farm.
Ed served in the Navy during the Korean war. After returning home he worked at the former Kendall Mills in Colrain. Upon the passing of Clara’s father in 1964, Ed and Clara took over the farm. They ran the farm together until 1989 when they sold their herd of dairy cows. In the fall of 1989, Ed decided he needed something to do over the winter. He went to Orchard Equipment (now Oesco) in Conway to ask for a job. He was hired, and that “over the winter” job turned into 13 years! Retiring in 2002 at the age of 72. He started out working in the shop. As time went on he started making deliveries for the company. He delivered to all the New England states, New York (taking the ferry from Connecticut to Long Island was a highlight), Pennsylvania, and as far west as Michigan. The company allowed Clara to go along on the longer trips. They both enjoyed seeing so much of the country and the people they met.
Ed was never happier than being on a tractor. Mowing, teddering, raking or bailing; it didn’t matter. He just loved being on a tractor. He even put a radio on one of the tractors. If it was a Saturday or Sunday you could hear the Polish music in the whole neighborhood. He always said he needed to play it loud so he could hear it over the noise of the tractor. After selling the tractors, he still mowed, just on a smaller scale. A riding lawnmower. Every year he would add more and more lawn. If you happened by the farm, you can see the result of the many years of lawn expansion. The expansion has stopped, but the maintenance continues!
Ed was an avid snowmobiler. He enjoyed “suiting up” and riding through the woods and the fields. He belonged to both the Ashfield and Conway snowmobile clubs. He even made several week long trips to Maine.
Ed loved to deer hunt. He hunted in both Vermont and Massachusetts. He always said the best part was being out in the woods. The work started when or if you actually shot a deer. Some days he would come back late from hunting and Clara would ask him where he’d been. He’d tell her some story about tracking a huge deer. They both knew he sat down against a tree or stonewall and took a nap in the sun. When he could no longer hunt, he still enjoyed being driven around looking for deer. Many evenings a trip to the cemetery to water flowers turned into a two hour ride through the backroads of Ashfield, Buckland, Conway or Shelburne trying to spot as many deer as possible. He loved going for rides and seeing deer made the rides even better.
Ed and Clara loved sitting on their screened in front porch. Watching the cars go by and talking with the neighbors that stopped in to say hello. Many a day and evening was spent talking and enjoying the weather on that front porch. There was even the time Ed and Clara accidently locked themselves on the porch without a phone. They had to wave down a passerby to let them back into the house.
Ed is survived by his son James, his sister-in-law Joanne Zagrubski, his nehpews Greg Zagrubski, John (Linda), Jeff (Pam), Walter Jr. (Kathy), Chris Zalenski and niece Tina (Jay) Mensell.
He was predeceased by his wife of 68 years Clara in 2019, and his brothers Chester and his wife Irene, and Frank Zagrubski. He was also predeceased by his brothers-in-law John and his wife Helen, and Walter and his wife Barbara Zalenski.
A visiting hour will take place Monday, June 5 from 10:00 am until 11:00 am at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home, 40 Church St., Shelburne Falls. A Catholic Prayer service with Rev. William Lunney, Pastor of St. Joseph’s Church, will begin at 11:00. Committal prayers will follow in Arms Cemetery, also in Shelburne Falls.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested memorial contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in Ed’s memory. (www.alz.org)