Edward John Opat went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, Aug. 3, surrounded by his family.

Ed Opat was born Aug. 30, 1927, in Salina to Polish immigrants Martin and Frieda Opat. The fourth of nine boys, he was known by many as Eddie and to many more close to him, Eddie the kid. This was a nickname he earned while serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He enlisted when he was 17 and was the youngest of his crew on the USS Blackhawk serving in the Pacific theatres.

He married the love of his life, Marilyn Ruth Babcock, on Oct. 1, 1949 in McPherson. To this union they were blessed with five children: Mark (Cindy) Opat, Michele (Mark) Gant, Mitchell (Sandra) Opat, Melinda Bartlett, and Melissa (Butch) Ramsey.

He is survived by wife Marilyn and dog Mandy of the home, his children and their spouses, 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, brothers Jim (Claudia) Opat and Martin Jr. (Nancy) Opat, many nephews, nieces, relatives, and friends.

Eddie was a hard worker who grew up living in a boxcar in Lindsborg during the great depression. Through this hardship he lived with five of his siblings and parents for nine years. He worked in heavy equipment and oil field construction from the time he was 14. He worked for Frans Train and Oil Field Service for 30 years. He then founded E-M Construction in 1971.

Work was his passion, and he worked everyday up until he was 82 years old, only retiring due to health reasons. He was a kind and gentle man and a very giving person. He loved sports, especially KU basketball and college football. He often reminisced of his high school football days where he played quarterback. He loved to work and loved animals, but most of all loved his wife and family. He will be missed by many.

Viewing will be from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by Rosary to be held at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, Lindsborg, on Sunday, Aug. 7. Funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 8 at St. Bridget’s. Private burial will take place at Elmwood Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Lindsborg Community Hospital or St. Bridget’s in care of Christians Funeral Home, PO Box 386, Lindsborg, KS 67456.

Online condolences at www.christiansfuneralhome.com.