This past Saturday the VFW Department of Wisconsin lost a long serving, dedicated leader whose VFW career has continued to touch many lives and benefit our great Veterans organization.
E. Ed Mortensen served at every level of our organization, first becoming a Life Member of William F. Ehrlich Post 1391 in Racine soon after his Naval Service in the Pacific in 1945-46, where he earned his VFW eligibility.
Ed served his Post in many capacities, eventually serving as Post Commander in 1960. He went on to serve two terms (1962-64) as First District Commander, winning recognition for outstanding achievement in leadership. He served on many State VFW committees where he consistently brought clear thinking and wise leadership to bear on his assignments. In 1968-69 he served as an All-American State Commander.
Ed’s reputation for leadership and knowledge got him appointed to numerous National VFW Committees over his VFW career, and he was elected National Council Member (District 11), serving from 1971-73. In 1982 he was chosen to be the Big Ten Conference Chairman through 1983. Eventually he was asked to serve as Big Ten Parliamentarian, a position he held for 15 years.
He continued to serve his beloved VFW in many capacities at the State, District and Post levels to the very end.
But above and beyond the official elected and appointed assignments he filled so well, his eye was continually on the future of our great organization. The number of comrades he mentored and coached and encouraged at all levels is very long, indeed. He worked tirelessly to see to it that new leaders were groomed and ready to make their marks on the VFW because he knew the importance of transitioning an organization like this from one generation to the next. He was a teacher, a coach, a confidante and always a friend to those in whom he saw the spark of dedication and commitment that would sustain our growth and effectiveness as a voice for Veterans.
E. Ed Mortensen was part of America’s “Greatest Generation”, and just as he answered that call as a 17-year old Navy enlistee, at 87 he continued to serve his comrades and countrymen.
He will be missed.
Ed leaves behind his beloved wife of 66 years, Patricia “Trish” Mortensen, PDP, who has been a moving and supportive force in her own right for our VFW Ladies Auxiliary. Our deepest sympathy goes to her as well has their daughter-in-law and grandchildren in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
A visitation and Veterans Service will take place Thursday evening at Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home in Racine. Services will be Friday morning at the funeral home. Burial with full military honors will follow. Click Here for more details.