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Edward Robert Ham, age 80, beloved husband of Annette Philomena Dolan Ham, passed away peacefully at St. Vincent’s Medical Center surrounded by his loving family on April 1, 2023.
Edward was born on June 6,1942 in Bridgeport, CT to the late Howard Arthur, Sr. and Fredda Elizabeth Ham. He enjoyed a happy childhood with his two brothers Frederick Martin and Howard Arthur, Jr. He was educated in the Fairfield public schools, graduated from Roger Ludlowe High School in 1960, and spent the following three years in the United States Army serving one year in Korea.
After honorable discharge in 1963 Ed was employed by Bullard Machine Tool Company as a machine assembler during which time he attended the University of Bridgeport as a night student. He received an Associate Arts Degree in 1968 and Bachelor of Science Degree in 1971 from UB. He worked as a staff accountant from 1971-1976 at Friedberg, Smith Certified Public Accountants. In 1976 he became office manager of Fairco, Inc. while studying for the State Accountancy Board. Ed became a Certified Public Accountant in 1980, opened his own practice in 1981 in Fairfield. Once his daughters were promoted from Roger Sherman elementary school, he and his colleague, Carl J. Rychlik, CPA, moved their practice to Stratford.
Amid his educational, employment and professional achievements Edward met Annette Dolan, an Irish lass from County Roscommon, Ireland, an employee of the University of Bridgeport, while conducting an audit there. They married in August 1974 and are blessed with two daughters. They enjoyed traveling to Ireland and Europe for family occasions and leisure. He was a member of First Church Congregational, Fairfield and St. Thomas Aquinas Church with Annette
Edward’s Masonic life began on March 28,1973 when he was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in Lafayette Lodge # 141 in Fairfield, CT. In that same year he was appointed Marshall of the lodge serving as Master in 1980. Brother Ed was recognized for his work as Master by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut which awarded him the Masters’ Achievement Award for his term in office. Following his term as Master, Ed was appointed by the Grand Lodge to serve as District Deputy of Masonic District # 1B for the years 1982-1983. In 1982 Ed was elected president of the first Masonic District Blue Lodge Council. Brother Ed has served the Grand Lodge of Connecticut for many years as a member of the Tax Advisory Committee, serving several years as Chairman. Later he joined America St. John’s No. 8 in Stratford, his current lodge.
The next phase of Brother Ed’s Masonic life began when he became a member of both the York and Scottish Rites. Ed was appointed to the officer line of Lafayette Consistory in 1985 by then Commander -in- Chief, Illustrious Brother Robert C. Stahlhammer, 33°. In 1993 Brother Ed served as Most Wise Master of Pequonnock Chapter Rose Croix and in 1994 he was elected Treasurer of the Valley of Bridgeport and Lafayette Consistory. Brother Ed was elected Commander–in-Chief of Lafayette Consistory in May 2002 for the two-year term. On Sep. 27, 1994 Brother Ed was recognized for his service to Masonry and his community by being coroneted a 33° Degree Mason in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2004 Brother Ed was elected Trustee of Lafayette Consistory.
Brother Ed received his Royal Arch Degree in Jerusalem Chapter # 13, R.A.M on February 29, 1980, serving as High Priest from 1982-1986. In 1987 he was elected the first High Priest of the newly merged Baldwin Chapter # 13. He has served as Trustee for Baldwin Chapter # 13 for the past fourteen years. In recognition of his service Brother Ed was awarded the Ephraim Kirby Medal by the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of CT on June 13, 2003.
Brother Ed became a companion of Jerusalem Council # 16 R. & S.M. on March 22, 1980. He was elected Thrice Illustrious Master of Jerusalem Council in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1993 and 2004. In 1991 Brother Ed was elected, and continues to serve, as a Trustee of Jerusalem Council. For his dedication and devotion to Jerusalem Council Brother Ed received the Knight of Ish Sodi Award from the Most Puissant Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Connecticut. Brother Ed was elected Most Puissant Grand Master Royal & Select Masters of Connecticut in 2012.
On May 30, 1980 Brother Ed was knighted in Hamilton Commandery # 5. Appointed to the officer line he served as Commander of Hamilton Commandery in 1988 and 1994. In 1991 Brother Ed was appointed to the office of Grand Inspector of the Grand Commandery of the State of Connecticut, a post he held for 5 years. In 1994 he was appointed by S.K. Edmund Rowe, Right Em. Grand Commander, to the office of Grand Sentinel. Sir Knight Ed was made a Knight Commander of the Temple in April of 1999 by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America. Ed was elected Grand Commander of Knights Templar of the state of Connecticut in 2005. Sir Knight Edward and Lady Annette enjoyed traveling to numerous state Grand Commandery conclaves and made many long-lasting friends along the way.
In addition to the above Brother Ed is a member of several invitational Masonic Organizations. On January 30, 1990 he was received a Knight of the York Cross of Honor and served as Prior of Connecticut Priory # 28, KYCH. Brother Ed is a Past Puissant Sovereign of St. Andrews Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine. He is also Treasurer and Vice President of the Twilight Club of Bridgeport, CT and a member of Pyramid Temple A.A.O.N.M.S. On December 9, 2004 Brother Ed was elected Deputy Preceptor of Apostles Tabernacle No XXVII, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. Brother Ed is a Companion Knight of York of Connecticut York Rite College # 17, a member of the Royal Order of Scotland, and a member of the Commemorative Order of Saint Thomas of Acon.
Sir Knight and Illustrious Brother Edward R. Ham, 33° has contributed heavily to all branches of Masonry in Connecticut and to his community. He has provided unselfish service and exemplary leadership in promoting the goals and objectives of the fraternity and that of the Knights Templar.
Edward has been involved in his community through various activities.
He served a five-year term as an officer and treasurer of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras, a nonprofit organization that brings the opportunity of a full orchestral performing experience to over two hundred young musicians throughout the community. For more than 20 years Brother Ed has been the host of their February Concert sponsored by the Masonic Organizations of Stratford, CT.
Brother Ed has been the personal representative to the Carol Whiting Masonic Memorial Fund at the Fairfield High School. This is a permanent fund established through the efforts of Brother Ed with the support of the York Rite that grants a $1,000.00 award each year on behalf of the Masonic Fraternity to a young musician who shows special dedication and commitment to the school choir.
Ed is a charter member, founder and treasurer of the Black Rock Ancient Fifes & Drum Corps, founded in 1987. This group helps preserve, through performances throughout CT, the rich cultural heritage of martial music from the Colonial period through that of the Civil War. Ed also belongs to the North South Skirmish Association, received his 50-year member citation in 2017 and the 15th Connecticut, a Civil War competitive Shooting Club, He is an erudite student and avid collector of Civil War artifacts.
Edward was a life member of the Gaelic American Club, enjoyed Irish music and culture especially at the many Irish festivals he attended with the family. He was a supportive dance dad of his dancing daughters- students of the Lenihan School of Irish Dance- drove them to numerous feishanna throughout New England. Ed was a loving father who always found time for family fun during frequent summer trips to Hershey Park and local carnivals- a tradition he carried on with the grandchildren.The family enjoyed numerous fellowship events with the Masonic fraternity including fishing on Long Island Sound, clambakes at Boothe Memorial Park, Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Excursions, musical theater, orchestral concerts, annual turkey trot, holiday party and hockey game fundraiser for the Children’s Dyslexia Center, among others. He was a recent member of the Hamden Fish and Game Protective Association.
He was the personal accountant for John and Ethel Kashulon for over thirty-five years and was pleased to be a member of the Board of Directors of the John and Ethel Kashulon Foundation where he had the privilege of helping children, families, the community and John’s and Ethel’s church in accordance with their wishes.
Edward was predeceased by his parents Howard Arthur and Fredda Elizabeth Ham, his brother, Frederick Martin Ham and his stepsister, Beatrice Greer and his cousin Albert (Al) Ham.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife Annette, his daughters Colleen Anne McGuirk, Alanna Marie Ham and her companion Don Russell Piche, Jr. – the son he never had, his grandchildren- Aiden Edward Anderson, Enola and Christopher Eoghan McGuirk, sisters-in-law Maura Diviney, Bernadette Keenan, Martina Dolan, Rose Curley (Matt), brother-in-law John James (JJ) (Anne) Dolan- all in Ireland; his brother Howard Arthur Jr., cousin Marion (Richard) Thompson and several nieces and nephews including John Paul (JP) Ham (Lori) to whom he was “Uncle Eddie”
The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of St. Vincent’s Medical Center, St Joseph’s Manor, Lord Chamberlain Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, DaVita Blackrock and Hartford HealthCare at Home for their professionalism and loving care of Edward and family support.
Donations may be made in his honor/memory to the Children's Dyslexia Center of CT and /or Knights Templar Eye Foundation.
Edward was a gentleman, a class act with a strong work ethic who touched many lives in a positive manner. Family and friends will cherish and honor his memory and carry on his legacy.
Rest in Peace, dear Edward.