Edward George Feldmann
October 13, 1930 – August 7, 2019
Dr. Feldmann, 88, a resident of The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch, Sarasota, Florida -- formerly of The Venice Golf & Country Club as well as of Falls Church, Virginia -- died peacefully on Wednesday August 7th after complications from a stroke.
Born in Chicago, IL, Dr. Feldmann was the oldest son of Edward Louis Feldmann and Vera Arnesen. Tragedy struck when Ed was four and 1/2; his beloved Mother died within days of giving birth to Ed’s younger brother, Jay. Extended family then took over care of the boys for a season during the Great Depression.
Following their father’s marriage to his second wife, Ed was never again permitted to discuss or see pictures of his biological mother. This experience hurt him deeply but he eventually grew to love his stepmother, Helen Whitney.
As a child, Ed developed a great fondness for ice hockey and baseball, with his team being the right Chicago Team -- the Chicago White Sox. However, it was in academics that Ed truly found his challenge, excelling in most subjects at St. Ignatius School.
Following high school, Ed attended Loyola University, earning a B.S. in Chemistry. Loyola also was where Ed “met his match” and the love of his life - the kind and fun-loving Mary Jane Evans who was attending Mundelein (the female counterpart of Loyola).
Calamity came just prior to marriage when brother Jay contracted polio at age 15. Fortunately, Jay survived and learned to walk again with assistance. This very personal brush with the positive impact of penicillin and the subsequent nationwide deployment of a vaccine that wiped out polio made a strong impression on Ed and cultivated his interest in the pharmaceutical sciences. Ed and Mary were married in August, 1952. For almost 63 years, she was a constant source of blessing to Ed.
They moved to Madison, Wisconsin where their first child, Ann Marie, was born in 1953 while Ed was obtaining a Master of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin (1954). With speed, Ed then earned his Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1955. Subsequently, he completed post-doc fellowships at Northwestern and the University of Chicago.
Ed began his career in Chicago where he became the Senior Chemist for -- and later Head of -- the Division of Chemistry for the American Dental Association. During this period, sons Edward William (1957) and Robert George (1959) were born.
In 1959, Ed was selected to become Associate Director of Revision of the National Formulary for the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) in Washington, D.C. This publication set the standard regarding which medicines were to be prescribed for what purposes, as well as how to properly prepare, store, and dispense them. Soon, the APhA invited Ed to train directly under the auspices of the highly-regarded Chairman of the Committee on National Formulary and the Director of Revision, Dr. A. L. Powers. Upon the latter’s retirement, Ed shouldered this responsibility for the next decade during an era of tremendous growth in pharmaceutical products.
Having settled the family in nearby Falls Church, Virginia where the children would spend their childhoods, Ed and Mary’s fourth child, Karen Lynn, was born in 1965. Ed instilled sound values - a strong work ethic, respect for authority and education, personal discipline, athleticism, and careful money management skills. Rustic fishing vacations, daily summer writing assignments, household responsibilities, and summer jobs by the age of twelve equipped the children with practical skills.
Ed remained with the APhA in various executive positions until 1985 after which he served as a consultant. He was especially helpful in the development of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. As described in Who’s Who, he “concurrently, edited leading pharmaceutical research journals . . . [and] drug reference books thereby facilitating transfer of new . . . information from research . . . into clinical practice; lastly, served as frequent consultant to government agencies and Congressional committees, helping to shape pubic policies, regulations, and legislation on various pharmaceutical issues.”
Ed was especially proud of having been a member of the Task Force that advised President Lyndon B. Johnson regarding Medicare in 1965. As said so well by his son-in-law, Dr. Larry Zaragoza, Ed “was the guy who negotiated generic drugs into law and touched the lives of every American.”
In 1974, Ed and Mary moved to Lake Barcroft, finally being lake-front and reminding them of their earlier years in Chicago. Ed was quite serious in his pursuit of tennis, joining the U.S. Tennis Association and many local clubs.
Beginning in the 1980’s, Ed’s world was wonderfully expanded by the successive arrival of seven grandchildren whose liveliness and creativity refined his earlier view that children should be seen but not heard.
Ed and Mary moved to Florida’s Venice Golf & Country Club in 1996, thoroughly enjoying their new friendships. Both participated eagerly in golf and tennis and Ed joined the theater (to the surprise of his children). As their home became the destination for innumerable family trips, relatives had to book ahead to find an open week. Ed took over the daily management of Mary’s increasingly complex medications as he implemented the latest breakthrough treatments for her Parkinson’s.
In 2010, Ed moved them both to The Glenridge where they found an outstanding community of caring residents and staff. Ed participated in many clubs and activities, including tennis. The quintessential extrovert, Ed made many dear friendships and cherished them all. Throughout his retirement years, he enjoyed using his experience and research ability to keep up with changes in the pharmaceutical field. Ed often turned this knowledge to the benefit of many friends as they struggled with health issues. Ed experienced a major stroke that left him unable to walk or speak several years ago. After working very hard in physical rehab, he made remarkable progress and regained his ability to walk and speak, although for the rest of his life, he continued to have some significant speech impairment. Adapting to his new normal, Ed’s theater roles became non-speaking ones, such as playing Charlie Chaplin. He gained a new appreciation for the love he received from his family and friends, embracing the joy of life and friendships in his remaining years. He embraced changes in technology, eagerly learning to FaceTime with his grandchildren.
When Mary’s health required skilled nursing care, Ed spent time by her side every day at the Glenridge’s Carroll Center. In 2015, the “Romeo Club” of widowers took Ed under their wing when Mary passed away. Ed continued visiting the staff and residents of the Carroll Center regularly thereafter. For many years, Ed had endured cardiovascular problems and eventually this led to a major stroke that ended his life, albeit peacefully.
Cherishing his memory are his children: Ann Marie Whittington, Edward William (Rebecca Goodwin), Robert George (Dorothy), Karen Lynn Zaragoza (Larry); and seven grandchildren: Autumn David “Audy” Whittington, Jonathan, Johanna and Whitney Feldmann, Carolyn and Emily Feldmann, and Matthew Zaragoza; plus dear friends from VGCC and the Glenridge community.