In Memory of





Obituary for Edward James Winarski Jr.

Edward James Winarski Jr., longtime resident of West Simsbury, Connecticut, passed away on September 29, 2021 at the age of 74 after living with Frontal Temporal Degeneration (FTD) for many years.

Island Ed, as he preferred to be called, was born and raised in Middletown, CT. After college, he began his life-long pursuit of adventure. He joined the Navy, learned Mandarin at the world renowned Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and “never set foot on a boat.” Recruited by Northern Illinois University, he completed a Masters degree, taught special education in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, and Old Saybrook, CT and ultimately enrolled in the Doctoral program at UCONN where he met his wife, Anne. He retired as the Special Education department head at EC Goodwin Tech. A skilled house painter, he also ran a successful business, House and Trim.

Island Ed was a true renaissance man. He found his happy place on the island of Martha’s Vineyard where he enjoyed painting houses, creating watercolor art, playing his guitar, teaching his grandchildren to fish and kayak and enjoying a cold one at beer’thirty. Island Ed shared his adventures with loved ones, taking them to places like Costa Rica, California, Colorado, Florida and of course, the Vineyard. He was an all around athlete (softball, tennis, darts) and a lover of animals, especially his grand-cat Smokey, and delighted in dog walking with his daughter.

Above all, his greatest attribute was the way he took care of everyone and everything. He would literally give you the (Jack Sparrow or Bob Marley) shirt off his back. His dedication to his friends and family was repaid in kind when he most needed their love and support. His wife and daughter cared for him at home during his illness. His friends, especially his lifelong friends, Bill and Paul, were always there to support him with a visit or dinner.

Ed leaves his wife Anne Loughrain, his daughters Heather Winarski and Erin Walter, his son-in-law David Bird and grandchildren Maddie and Connor Walter-Bird along with many other family members and friends who will miss his humor and dedication.
He is predeceased by his parents Edward and Helen Winarski and his sister Joyce Winarski Susskind.

Dedicated to education and always wanting to help others, Ed donated his brain to the Harvard Tissue Resource Center to further critical research and understanding of FTD.

Ed’s family will welcome friends 4-7pm on October 15, 2021 at Vincent Funeral Home 880 Hopmeadow St. Simsbury, CT. Please consider a donation to and do an act of kindness in memory of “Island Ed.” Please visit Ed’s Book of Memories at for online tributes.