Ed Brick died on February 15th, 2023, at the age of 87. He lost his beloved wife, Lois, eight months earlier, and although he soldiered on as best he could, he ultimately concluded that life without her was not worth living. He decided to let his congestive heart failure take its natural course and end his grief and loneliness.
Ed was born August 19th, 1935 in Evanston, Illinois to Edmund and Frederica Brick. The family moved around the country, until they settled in Green Bay. Ed graduated from Green Bay West High School, did a stint in the US Army, serving in the Corps of Engineers in Germany, and received a BS in Civil Engineering from the UW-Madison. He was a member of the inaugural class of the UW Water Resources Management MS program, completing his degree in 1966.
Ed’s career centered around the protection of Wisconsin’s water resources, working for the UW Extension, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He was an authority of Wisconsin water law, and a fierce defender of the people’s rights in Wisconsin’s navigable waters. He was especially proud of the contribution he made to the creation of the television documentary “Champions of the Public Trust”, a collaboration between the DNR and Wisconsin Public Television. He was equally proud of his efforts to secure the election of Senator Paul Oscar Husting to the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame. Husting successfully led the charge to preserve the Public Trust Doctrine in state law in 1910, and Ed was passionate about honoring Husting’s accomplishment. On family canoes trips on the lower Wisconsin River, Ed was always guaranteed to hold forth volubly on how we were exercising rights that were guaranteed to us by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and embodied in the Wisconsin Constitution.
Ed had many opinions, which he shared freely, without discrimination. His curiosity led him down many paths: paleolithic rock art, the possibility of using Lake Winnebago rough fish to make artificial crab meat, and the economic and environmental benefits of rotational grazing were but a few of his enthusiasms. After retirement, Ed gave voice to some of these enthusiasms in an occasional column for the Belleville Recorder.
Ed married Lois Dart in 1962, to whom he was fiercely devoted. They shared many interests including prairies, travel, opera, sheepshead, cribbage, downhill skiing, tennis and the Friday fish fry at Borland’s in Belleville. They were especially proud of the prairie restoration at their home near Paoli; the annual burn was a family affair, something they both looked forward to. Taking in the last show of the season at American Players Theater was a beloved tradition for Lois and Ed. Multi-generational ski trips to the Colorado Rockies and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are memories that all of us will treasure.
Ed is survived by three children: Steve Brick (Linda), Sarah Brick (Joe Shutack) and Sue Reddan (John). Grandchildren include Maggie Brickerman (David), Alex Brick, Emma Lusis (Al), Jack Reddan and Sophia Reddan. Great-grandchildren Mae and Arthur Brickerman and Jasper Lusis round out the clan. Ed is also survived by his sister Susan Griggs (Jack) his brother Tom Brick (Barbara), and many nieces and nephews.
We will miss Ed, but we won’t forget him. He burned his motto into our brains: “Seldom right; never in doubt”.
The family would like to thank the staff at All Saints for their diligent and compassionate care along with the staff at Agrace Hospice, who made his final days comfortable. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to The Prairie Enthusiasts ( https://theprairieenthusiasts.org/donate/ ) or Agrace ( https://www.agrace.org/donate/donate-today/ ).