Obituary of Ed Gaines
Edmond R. Gaines, 72, passed away on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at Lantern Park Care Center in Coralville, IA 52241 Ed was born on December 12, 1948, to Lillian Slater and Richard Gaines in Quincy, Illinois, and grew up in Burlington, Iowa. Complications related to a blood incompatibility due to the Rh factor, caused Ed to suffer a brain hemorrhage shortly after birth, leading to cerebral palsy. Although the outlook for any kind of future looked grim, Ed’s parents refused to give up on him, and eventually found doctors who gave them hope for a productive life for Ed. Ed was enrolled in the University Hospital School in Iowa City, where he was taught not only the physical skills he would need to overcome his disability, but also the educational and social skills he would need to lead a successful and independent life. After “graduating” from the Hospital School, Ed’s mother convinced the school administration to allow him to attend Madison Junior High School in Burlington. He eventually graduated from Burlington High School and earned an AS degree from Southeastern Iowa Community College. Ed was a chess champion, a self-proclaimed “Scrabble King”, and enjoyed playing Words with Friends, as well as initiating a weekly Scrabble Club at Lantern Park, where he lived from August 2014 until his death. He enjoyed writing poetry and was the subject of a book, “I’m a Sunshine Guy” written by Summer Gaadsedelen, who was a care giver for Ed while earning her degree in social work at the University of Iowa. Ed was a fixture in downtown Iowa City for several years, and could be seen at Wild Bill’s Coffee Shop in North Hall, where he and two other individuals with disabilities continued the work started by Bill Sackter after Bill’s death. Ed proceeded to be active at the Small Mall and Uptown Bill’s, where he spent his days interacting with friends and going to Hills Bank to make the daily deposit. He ran a small graphics arts business and eventually opened his own coffee shop, Mr. Ed’s, located in the former International Student Center on campus. Ed is survived by his sister, Barb (Steve) Duncan; nieces, Sarah (Chris) Knight and Betsy (Curtis) Hendrickson; as well as brother-in-law, Dorian (Linda) Ciolek and nephew, Daniel (Bri) Ciolek. Ed is also survived by great nephew, Austin Knight and great nieces Gable Knight, Logan and Karsyn Hendrickson and Mackenzie Ciolek. Ed was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Linda Ciolek. Anyone who encountered Ed was better for the experience of knowing him. His determination to live his best life is an inspiration to all. Memorial services will be held at 11am Friday, June 11, 2021, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City. Graveside services will be held at 3pm on that day at the Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington, Iowa. Memorials may be directed to Extend the Dream Foundation, c/o Barbara Duncan, 210 Windflower Lane, Solon, IA 52333 or PO Box 1525, Iowa City, IA 52244. To share a thought, memory or condolence with Ed’s family please visit the funeral home website @ www.gayandciha.com.