OBITUARY

Malcolm Leroy Edwardsen

October 5, 1923April 2, 2013

Having fought the good fight, Malcolm Leroy Edwardsen (Mal) died April 2, 2013 at his home in Pineville, NC. Born in Jersey City to Florence Franklin and Ole E. Edwardsen, Mal graduated from Wood-Ridge High School in 1941 and worked as a blue printer and photostat operator before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps as a radio operator in 1943. On Mal’s second mission, his B-24 bomber “Lil ‘ Max” was shot down over Nazi-occupied Holland, where he was rescued by the Dutch Underground and kept hidden from Nazi forces for eight months. As the war in Europe neared its end in May 1945, Mal and two other soldiers from his bomber liberated two Dutch Underground leaders from a Nazi prison where they were due to be executed. On the fortieth anniversary of VE day, Mal traveled to Holland where, with his usual grace and humility, he gave a speech in both English and Dutch about his experience during the war. Mal earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 1950 and his Master’s degree in Management Engineering from Newark College of Engineering in 1957. In 1954, Mal married Madeline Klein. Madeline and Mal adopted their daughter Linda in 1959 and their son Lee in 1962. Mal was a project manager for Celanese; after completing projects in several other locations, he transferred to Charlotte in 1965. Declining yet another transfer in order to stay in Charlotte, Mal later worked for Catalytic Corporation and Day Engineering. Born to be an engineer, there was nothing he could not fix or build. He built a sailboat that he sailed on Lake Norman with his young children; he was a member of the Antique Automobile Club and restored several antique cars, including a first place prize-winning 1929 Model A Ford, a vintage Rolls Royce previously owned by Silent Screen actress Pearl White, and a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. The only thing Malcolm loved more than technical challenges was his family. At gatherings for special occasions, he would always say that the best present was spending time with his loved ones. After becoming a widower, Mal was a regular at the Senior Center in Charlotte where he often played bridge. While at the Senior Center, he met Helen Cunningham, who he married in 1999. Malcolm was known for his intelligence, his wonderful sense of humor and for being a gentleman in every sense of the word, qualities which he retained and which continued to shine through during the trials of his illness. Mal was predeceased by his first wife, Madeline, and his sister Audrey Rohrer. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of fourteen years, Helen, for whose compassionate and tireless care his family is forever indebted. Mal is also survived by his daughter, Linda Dove (Dave), and son, Lee Edwardsen (Linda), his adored granddaughters Ginger and Grace Edwardsen, his brother-in-law Robert Rohrer, his sister-in-law Muriel Oblinger, his niece Denise Leonard (Gary) and nephew Keith Rohrer (Margie), and his extended family, Arthur and Penny Cunningham and their children, Rob and Jenny. The family is deeply grateful to his home health aides and caregivers, particularly Mioara Elisie and Nelly Acevedo, whose love for him (and his for them) was clear with every word and deed. Heartfelt thanks are also expressed to Dr. John Benedum for his care and kindness, especially during Mal’s difficult final days. Funeral services will be held in the chapel of McEwen-Pineville, 10500 Park Road in Charlotte, on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM, with visitation prior to the service from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM. Dr. Robert J. Blumer, Pastor of Sharon Presbyterian Church, will preside. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn East. Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left at www.McEwenPinevilleChapel.com

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, April 6, 2013
  • Funeral Service Saturday, April 6, 2013
REMEMBERING

Malcolm Leroy Edwardsen

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Dirk van Dolderen

February 8, 2014

I regret not to have contacted Mr Edwardsen in earlier years, only just now have I found a way to show my respects. Let me tell you why.
Me, I am a grandson of Gretha Vreeburg-Werner, alias code name 'Blonde Gré', who was a dutch resistance member, operating in Holland during WW2 who personally knew Mr. Edwardsen and his comrade airmen while they were hiding from the Germans, after being shot down over Holland on september, 26th 1944.
She spoke of him as being one of the US airmen who assisted the Dutch resistance on boldly getting other captured resistance members out of one of the most notorious and heavily guarded prisons in Holland, still occupied by the nazi's.
Blonde Gré, who more or less lead this operation, bluffed her way into the prison of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst); stating to the SS guards in german that the allies had arrived (hence the airmen - also Mr. Edwardsen - in a US army jeep).
They succeeded in freeing more than a dozend prisoners on may 7th and again on the 8th of may 1945..
Sadly Mrs. Vreeburg-Werner passed away in 1984.
This couragous operation and the so brave participants like Mr. Edwardsen should not be forgotten.
I personally am grateful to Mr. Edwardsen for what he and all other allied airmen and soldiers did then; we owe them for our freedom today!
May he rest in peace.

Dirk van Dolderen
The Netherlands

Louis Valenti

April 7, 2013

On behalf of all members of the 446th Bomb Group Association, our deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Edwardsen. Louis Valenti, President, 446th Bomb Group

Susan, Barry and Isaiah Mathis

April 7, 2013

Lee, You are in our thoughts and prayers.

April 5, 2013

Thank you for sharing the photos so we could know more about Malcolm. They were really sweet. My thoughts are with all of you.
Jane Crutchfield

Karen/Suzannah Kimbrel

April 5, 2013

What a wonderful farewell to Mr. Edwardsen. It sounds like he was much admired and loved. What a great life he had! Lee, my thoughts are with the you and the family.

James Duckworth

April 5, 2013

We of the 446th bomb group assn. send our heartfelt condolences for the loss of this patriot. I do wish that I had known of his being so close to me by location. James Duckworth, Treasurer, 446th Bomb Group Assn, Stanley, NC

April 5, 2013

I wish to extend my deapest sympathies to Lee's Family at this time. I never knew Malcolm, but, Lee and I served in the Navy together. If Lee is half the man Malcolm was, he had a magnificent father. All my my prayers to lee and his family. God Bless. Dave Kaminski

Ron and Sharon Brown

April 5, 2013

Lee - So sad to hear of your Dad's passing . You always spoke of him with such respect and admiration . I know you will miss him terribly and I am sure your memories of him will carry you through .

Gary and Evette Alu

April 4, 2013

Our deepest sympathy to the Edwardsen and Cunningham families. Gary and Evette Alu

Denise Leonard

April 4, 2013

Edwardsen family, what a beautiful obituary and tribute to Uncle Malcolm's life. It was especially poignant learning of his passing, as that morning, I had just visited Arlington National Cemetery with Renee and her middle school class, and thought of Uncle Malcolm and his service to our county. He was great person. Sending love and prayers to you.