We lost the Actual Ed on October 25, 2020 to the Covid 19 virus. It took him from us on that Sunday after a two week hospitalization at Research in Kansas City, Mo. We are heart sick and the loss of this brilliant, witty, wise big Man has left a big hole in our family.
The Actual Ed was born Joseph Edward Hackney Jr. to Dorothy and Joe Hackney on May 16, 1956 in Norwalk California. The family, including older sister Cindy, lived there until Ed was about three years old. When they moved back to Missouri, they settled in Raytown, where Cindy and Ed went to school. Joe worked as a meat cutter while Dorothy ran the home and worked for Raytown Christian Church.
The Actual Ed was always a great student: smart, friendly, and kind. The only recorded time he was in trouble at school was for punching a bully on the bus who was tormenting a special friend of Ed’s. One junior high school friend wrote in his yearbook, “Ed, you are as smart as you are big!”
The Actual Ed attended Raytown South High graduating in 1974. He sang in the choir and again excelled in academics. He played basketball for “Bud Dog” Lathrop and developed his lifelong love of the game. His stories of the Cardinals teams he played with included many friends and teammates in escapades of glory and great fun. He was very proud of the fact that he only got swatted once by Coach for missing a free throw in the “Meet at the River” end of practice drill.
The Actual Ed then went to NWMSU, in Maryville, Mo. Here he met his dearest lifetime friends…You know who You are! He was a presence on campus, on the intramural basketball court (here known as The Dinosaur) and in “The house across from the Post Office”. There were several friends who owe credit hours to Ed, who was the brains of the group. His roommate Jim referred to him as “a most wonderful, one of a kind, dear soul.” He graduated in 1978 with degrees in Business, Finance and Insurance. It was also in Maryville where he learned and began his career as a Drywall Contractor.
The Actual Ed always had a job. He respected work and the wages of his work: monetary as well as friendship and knowledge. From grocery boy to gas station attendant to parking lot attendant at Royals Stadium to Contractor to truck driver, he maintained an incredible work ethic. His years in housing construction brought him a successful business and again many friends. His many rich years of deadlines and budgets met and studs turned white spanned much of S.E. Jackson county, eastern Kansas and beyond. As a driver for Scholastic Books he found his last and perhaps most favorite occupation. He loved to drive! He loved cars and trucks! He loved mapping the best route to little town Kansas. He loved books. But most of all, he loved kids; the idea that he had a hand in imparting knowledge, entertainment, and a love of reading was totally rewarding for him. Again great friends were made, You know who You are, and great respect was earned.
The Actual Ed was indeed a respectful, if a little profane, and oh so loving man. Little Grandma Jo Slaughter born in 1899 called him “The Senator” whenever they greeted each other. He was crazy for his daughters Elizabeth and Emma! Anything they needed he would provide… He was the best dancing hippie in an “Age of Aquarius” Father -Daughter ensemble and liveliest 50’s Poodle Skirt spinning Daddy and most earnest ‘Elvis Lives’ swinger in the dance studio. As a dad and 4-H volunteer, he encouraged and entertained numerous kids – driving parade floats and hayrides, setting up and tearing down at least 10 county fairs, judging exhibits, and disc jockeying for many dances. As a volunteer Lee’s Summit Parks and Rec basketball coach for about 8 years, he got to share his love of the game and teach his four rules for recreational ball… 1. Have fun. 2. Learn the game. 3. Play hard. 4. And nobody gets hurt! The biggest hurt for Ed’s daughters has been losing their champion, advisor, and confidant. He was a model Daddy! The sons in law, Jeremy and Aaron, will miss a Dad they loved and needed.
The Actual Ed also had a great love for his full family. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins all were so dear, if not near, to him. Childhood stories – of summer visits at the pool, family meals, and landfill adventures – were of happy days spent together. His brothers in law, Stan, Bill, John, and Mark, and their wives, shared many holidays and work days, sporting events, and basketball and idealistic shoot arounds. Ed was a dependable equalizer, quick with a trivia question or a really stupid joke, spreading laughter and easing any family tensions. He really loved laughing at his own jokes… “Ed, what makes you so ******* funny?” he often said of himself! He left lasting impressions on his niece and four nephews. They each in their own way brought Ed much pride and joy! This love extended to the great nieces and nephews as well. He loved these young people as their one and only “Uncle Ed”.
The Actual Ed cared for his parents and in-laws until the day they died and beyond. Ed helped his parents move from their family home on Woodson to their retirement home. With the assistance of hospice and his sister Cindy, Dorothy and Joe Hackney passed in their home within six months of each other in 2012. He then picked up the mantle of caring for his beloved in laws for several years – lifting from the floor, assisting to bed, feeding and dressing and loving them. Marge and Ivan Slaughter depended on him to the end of their lives. He mowed their multi acre lawn and pastures and showed up when no one else did. His 99 year old father in law passed just 6 weeks before Ed. Ed was with him through sporting events and farming lessons and all manner of historic discussions with great patience and complete affection. The Actual Ed was a King of kind caregiving.
Ed and his wife Ella were married in 1980 and their 40 year partnership has ended way too soon! Plans and dreams unrealized… They were friends in college but didn’t date until Ella had moved to St. Joseph and was teaching there. Ed supported her through her studies and vocational change to a career in Physical Therapy. They worked hard together and traveled a bit, mostly to the mountains. Ed was Ella’s Mountain Man. Solid and devoted and a little stubborn, he was the best balance she could have found! The death of her Actual Ed is a love loss most hard to bear!
The Actual Ed was also known as “Papa Mowie”. His oldest Granddaughter Felicity nicknamed him this because he was always on a mower throughout the summer. Ed and Effie had crazy games they played while watching Looney Tunes and cuddling in his basement man cave. He challenged her to be articulate and was so proud to be her “Mowie”. Baby Thea was born in March 2020 and despite the Covid shut downs, Papa Mowie was able to establish a sweet relationship with her. He defended her larger than average birth weight and growth rate as “perfect”! Again, there are regrets that these grandchildren, and others to come, will miss their Mowie!
An old friend from church called Ed “a giant of a man, but the most gentle and kind of any man I’ve ever known.” He was in fact a giant. Large and loving with a great circle of family, friends, and even passing acquaintances who will always remember him. Ed was truly unforgettable! Remember his big feet, remember his strong hands, his beard, his grin, his ethics, his wisdom… Remember to wear your mask! Remember The Actual Ed.
Ed was in preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Edward Hackney, Sr. and Dorothy Mae (Cassity) Hackney. He is survived by his wife, Ella (Slaughter) Hackney of the home; two daughters, Elizabeth Broomhall and husband Jeremy and, Emma Hackney and husband Aaron Kerr all of Independence, Missouri; one sister, Cindy Hackney of Kansas City, Missouri; two granddaughters, Felicity Maxine and Thea Celeste; other relatives and many, many friends.
Services to be scheduled.