He was looking forward to another birthday in April, but it was not to be. On Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 5, 2014, Edward R. Husted - a World War II sergeant who had survived that war - died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Lily Dale, after another long war against cardiac-related illnesses. He was 90.
The former Olean mayor was born in Emporium, PA on April 6, 1923 to the late Walter Husted and Cecelia E. (Fields) Husted.
In 1929, after residing for brief periods at Port Allegany, PA and Cleveland, OH, Walter Husted moved his family to Olean, where Edward grew up and attended local schools.
Edward pursued a variety of careers during his lifetime, but first he was inducted in the U.S. Army in December 1942. After training at Camp Swift, TX, he was assigned to the 82nd Engineers Combat Regiment, and to the European Theater of Operations, where he fought in the Battle of Normandy in 1944. As part of the "Engineers" he was a soldier and a builder who carried arms when he and his crew were not replacing bridges and repairing bombed out roads.
Many years after the war, Edward and his veteran buddies established the 82nd Engineers Combat Regiment Battalion Association, and later established a web page. That effort has drawn the attention of veterans nationwide. The organization observed more than 20 reunions throughout the country, before its ranks had thinned and most of those still living were unable to attend. Edward was probably one of the nation's oldest webmasters. At 90, he was still writing, editing, and managing the website. He also compiled a history of the 82nd Engineers.
After his discharge in 1945, Edward spent a number of years operating several service stations in the Olean and Salamanca area. In 1959, with the sale of a Texaco station in Salamanca, he left that business and joined the staff at the newly organized WMNS Radio Station. Eventually, he was promoted and held the post of WMNS Sales Manager.
In 1961, he became in-terested in politics and government service. That year he filed as a candidate for election to serve on the Olean City Council, representing the 11th Ward. He won that contest, and eventually entered a mayoral race. As ballot winner, he went on to serve as Olean's mayor from 1963-1966. In 1965, upon invitation, he joined the St. Bonaventure Community Advisory Council.
Over the following years, he served as director of the Bradford Redevelopment and Housing Authorities, and later was executive director of the McKean County Redevelopment Authority. During that time, he promoted efforts to develop the flood levee system in Eldred, PA, which was accomplished. Also, another important project the 40-acre Hamlin Lake Project was completed in the county seat of Smethport, PA. He later served as president of the Pennsylvania Council of Development Executives for Western New York.
In 1970, Edward joined Towne Development, a private firm, at New Castle, PA, where he remained for a brief period. On Aug. 25 1980, he accepted the appointment of director of Housing and Development part of the State of Pennsylvania's Department of Community Affairs.
After retiring from the state post, he and his wife, Alpha purchased and operated the Cassadaga Lake Country Club in Cassadaga, where they remained until 1989. They moved to nearby Lily Dale that same year where they have lived for 25 years.
Edward is survived by his wife, Alpha (Cott) Tantalo Husted, whom he married on Dec. 15, 1972; four sons: Alan R. Husted and wife, Ruthai of Santa Clarita, CA; Craig J. Husted of Santee, CA; Dale E. Husted and Todd J. Husted, and wife Melissa, of Rochester; a sister, Karen Phillips and husband Bruce and family of East Amherst; and a brother, David and wife, Theresa and family, McKinney, TX; also a number of grandchildren and great- grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Michelle Ann "Mimi" Husted who died at the age of 13 in 1968; his first wife, Denise Jeanne Lemoine Husted, from Dijon, France, whom he married in 1947 and who died in 2000, and his brother, Bernard J. Husted, killed in action in 1945, during the waning days of WWII and who is interred at the American Cemetery in Hol-land.
A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm in the Trinity United Methodist Church. The Rev. Brad Chesbro, pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in the Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Portville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. Arrangements are under the direction of the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc. #646 E. State Street Olean, New York 14760. Online condolences may be made at www.LetroMcIntoshSpinkFuneralHome.com