Edward Patrick Trahan, a pharmacist, independent business owner, community leader and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died on May 21 at 75 years old following a brave, 15-year battle with COPD. He continued to travel and dine out as long as possible while using oxygen, even appearing in a local TV ad. In this way he quietly inspired others with his positive attitude and good sense of humor.
Ed was born on April 22, 1942 in Bay City to Harry Trahan and Grace (McManmon) Trahan. In his youth Ed was well known by family and friends as a joker and a dare devil. He loved to spend summer days at Linwood beach sailing and swimming.
He attended St. Thomas Military Academy in Minnesota for his last two years of high school and went on to graduate from Ferris State College with a pharmacy degree in 1966.
While at Ferris Ed met his best friend and wife, Carole M. Yankoviak, on a blind date. They married three years later, Aug. 8, 1964, in Cheboygan. Together they lived in five houses over the first five years of their marriage, having three kids under the age of two (a fourth came along later).
Ed eventually joined his father, also a pharmacist, in owning and operating the Drug Shoppe in Bay City. Through those years Ed and Carole could almost always be found in the stands of Little League games, basketball games, tennis matches or waiting for the curtains to open on the latest high school musical.
In the 1970 and 1980s, Ed served on the Essexville Hampton school board and co-created and coached in the Essexville Girls Softball Little League for many years.
Ed took a job with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan in 1985, which moved the family to Traverse City. He developed the state's pharmaceutical coverage plan for Blue Cross and was on a state committee in Lansing to evaluate drug interactions and protocols. He retired from BCBS in 1997 and immediately took a job with Med Impact doing similar work at the national level. He was proud of his work and annually earned outstanding sales achievement awards.
Ed loved to cook and was a master at grilling. Many who have had his hamburgers say they're the best they've ever had. He also enjoyed dining out and tweaking his favorite restaurants' recipes. One named its garlic bread after him, "Ed's Bread."
In his more active days he loved to sail on Mullett Lake, play golf and tennis (what he always told his kids were "lifetime" sports), as well as bowl and cross country and downhill ski. He worked hard but always had time for his family. He was known to tell his too-busy or worrying kids, "Just remember to have fun."
Ed and Carole celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Old Mission Tavern the summer of 2014. They were surrounded by family, for whom they have always set the highest example, and dear friends.
Ed is survived by his beloved wife, Carole M. Yankoviak; four children, Merideth (Brad Carl), Steve (Alicia), Kathy Goodrich (Jim) and Erin (Nathan Van Houzen); eight grandchildren, Elise and Nick Carl, Lauren, Alexandra and Maxwell Trahan, Madeline and Owen Goodrich, Iris Van Houzen and "Supercub" (due in September); and one great-granddaughter, Alani Trahan. Also surviving Ed are his brother, Michael Trahan (Lynne), of Hastings; and sister, Maria Trahan, of Rochester Hills.
A good family friend recently said "Ed never met a stranger, everyone felt welcomed in his presence."
Visitation will be held at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Please join the family in a short prayer service at 7 p.m. and to share your favorite memories. The funeral service will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, where Ed and Carole have been members for many years, on Friday at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Father Fred Foundation.
The family would like to express sincere gratitude to Drs. Will and Pacer for their compassion and care, Chronic Care management team and the kind staffs of Munson Hospice team and Munson Hospice House.
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share your memories with the family.
Published on May 24, 2017