Edward Paul “Ed” Kownacki, 92, of Mt. Vernon, died 2 a.m. Tuesday, July 23, 2013, at Mt. Vernon Countryside Manor in Mt. Vernon.
He was born Sunday, April 3, 1921, in Tamaroa, the son of Felix Frank and Josephine (Wisniewski) Kownacki. He married Thelma Stelle Chapman on March 15, 1940, in St. Charles, Mo., and she preceded him in death on June 12, 2007.
Ed served our country in the United States Army during World War II from 1945 to 1946. While in the military, he was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He earned a graduate degree in biology and administration at SIU, a graduate degree in chemistry and science at New Mexico University and a graduate degree in education at the Media Institute in Boulder, Colo. He worked as a chemistry teacher for Woodlawn High School, Waltonville High School, Mt. Vernon Township High School and Rend Lake College. He was recognized as an Outstanding Educator of America for the 1974-75 school year. Ed was a member of the Jefferson County School Federal Credit Union and served as past president and board member. He also held membership at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1376 of Mt. Vernon, American Legion Post 141 of Mt. Vernon, Moose Lodge Post 755 of Mt. Vernon as a past Governor and Administrator, Elks Lodge of West Frankfort, the NEA and IEA and the American Chemical Society.
He is survived by his daughter, Marcia J. Spiller of Mt. Vernon; son, Myron Kownacki and wife Linda of Mapaville, Mo.; three grandchildren, Glenn Spiller and wife Jacquie of Kansas City, Mo., Joey Spiller and wife Eve of DeLand, Fla. and Amy Kownacki of Arnold, Mo.; three great-grandchildren, Tiffany Alvarez of Orlando, Fla., Tammy Sammons and husband Chris of DeLand, Fla. and Glenn Edward “Eddie” Spiller II of Nashville, Tenn.; two great-grandchildren, Tiffany Rose Sammons and Stephanie Starr Sammons of DeLand, Fla.; two brothers, Raymond Kownacki and Robert Frank Kownacki and wife Stephanie of O’Fallon, Mo.; four sisters, Carlene Lotarski of Indiana, Bernice Marszalek of Crest Hill, Dorothy Dorey of St. Ann, Mo. and Helen Mikowski; and several nieces and nephews.