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Donald William "Don" Edick
Birth: May 7, 1961
Death: Aug. 23, 1995

Don Edick was a good friend of mine in high school, and we became close during the years we both were involved with the large school choir, as well as the the more select 30-voice Allen Chorale which was formed through competitive auditions. We also worked together on an independent summer production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

At school, Don always buzzed around through the halls, a large figure on quick feet, his face intense with his dark brows, but warm with his open smile. He had a fast mind too. He'll be remembered for his musical talents, his wicked wit and his distinctive laugh as well. He was a fine singer and accompanist. I liked his voice anyway, but especially adored it on one dark Russian song we did, where his voice would go low, extra-deep and passionate. He was a person who appreciated much about everyone, and could be a man's man of a singer while possessed of an almost feminine heart.

For all his earthy, bawdy humor, Don had faith too. When it came down to it, Don could speak truth and be close with an intimacy I envy. He wrote in my yearbook:

"This past summer and school year were really great. You were one of the main parts of my life these past few months. I really am blessed by the Lord because you're a part of my life, and there are a lot of times when I don't think I could've pulled through without your being there for me to openly discuss my thoughts and freely express myself. There are so many people I'm going to miss next year, but none as much as I'm gonna miss you because you were always there. You're an honest person, which is a very rare quality nowadays. That's a quality I hope you'll always keep because you're sure to never be pushed around, and have everyone's respect. You have my respect, more than any other person's at school. I could go on and on about my feelings for you and everything about you I admire and like. You are surely a person I want to keep in touch with over the summer and forever and ever. Best of luck with your journalism and college. Keep trusting and believing in the Lord, stay with him on your side, you can do anything. I love you and appreciate our friendship and the terrific relationship we've had. All my love, Don Edick"

Until recently, I hadn't recalled that I'd written a poem about Don while in high school. It was one of five I wrote in a group about people I knew in the Chorale. If I wrote it today it might be smoother, but so be it. When I wrote it, I was thinking of how he looked when accompanying the Chorale on piano, how he would play while watching our conductor, Mr. Boyer. Of him and that look, I wrote:

His face is a pause, a point of time
Eyes turned up
A physical request for approval.
Fingers like popcorn kissing the keys
Some black, some white
Press down, release.
Tickling the air the with the sound he sets free.
A wooden case with string veins
His mode of expression.

Time and life being what it is, we both went our ways, and if Don was like me, confident we'd meet up again. I'm sorry it was not to be. I don't remember writing in Don's book but if I did, I hope it was at least half as loving and heartfelt as what he was able to write to me. For the record, I never felt like I would "never be pushed around", in fact, often felt wimpish, so I don't know if he was telling me what I needed to grow into, or if he saw something in me that I did not yet recognize. All I can tell you is that I'm glad he wrote it.

I dug this up on Monday, January 12, 2009 because I saw over the previous weekend that his mom Grace Edick had died. It was while reading her obituary that I learned Don had died. He was near the bottom, after all the survivors, listed as "predeceased by a son, Donald."

It's hard to digest. It's made a little more painful by doing some research and learning that where Don died, Rainbow Home, was an AIDS hospice. Most of us don't choose how we'd like to go, but if we did, that would probably be at the bottom of most of our lists.

Since we went our differing ways, I don't know much about Don's life after high school, but I wrote to his sister, "I just pray that somewhere between when I knew Don and when he left Earth, that he knew real happiness, knew real love, and still kept some of his innocence too."

I can still hear Don's deep bass voice beseechingly singing

"Remember me,
oh Lord, remember me,
in thy kingdom."

No doubt he's there.


Random happy memories:

Sitting with Don in my bedroom, slapping a headset on him and letting him listen to Kraftwerk's "Autobahn". He was so excited to hear this new music of the time, artful synthesizer music, 20 minutes long telling a tuneful tale of taking the car out for a swift ride on the famous German freeway. I thought he'd just want to hear a few minutes of it, and I politely intervened so he would not feel obliged to hear it through, but he waved me off and closed his eyes to enjoy the whole thing.

His wicked laugh. Don had a deviated septum so when he got to really laughing he'd break into this wonderful sound... it was for real, but so unusual you'd almost think it was contrived... it was like alternating braying with snorts. I recall hanging out one night at his folks' house when the comedy "Soap" was on and some of his siblings and parents were there. My eyes popped wide as saucers when the first funny line was spoken, as the room erupted into a chorus of brays and snorts. It was a family thing!

Donald William Edick, 34, formerly of Allentown, died Wednesday in the Rainbow Home, Wernersville, Berks County.

He was a self-employed composer, conductor, vocal coach, music teacher and collaborative pianist. Last year, he was musical director for St. Benedict's Catholic Church, Montebello, Calif., and from 1992-93, he was assistant director of the California State University choir and also taught music theory and harmony there.

Edick was musical director for a number of musical comedies including, "The Boyfriend," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Damn Yankees" and "South Pacific."

Born in Allentown, he was a son of Edward and Grace (Schadler) Edick of Allentown.

He was a 1978 graduate of the Aspen (Colo.) Music Festival and School.

Survivors: Parents; brother, Edward E. of Highland Park, Ill., Timothy A. of Pittsburgh and Douglas J. of Folsom, Delaware County, and a sister, Suzanne, wife of James DuBose of Hampton, Va.

Graveside services: 11 a.m. Monday, Egypt Memorial Park, Egypt. No calling hours. Arrangements, Sell Funeral Home, Allentown.


Not mentioned here but found online is that in 1992 Don was the first place winner in the Creative Arts and Design category, in the sixth annual California State University Student Research Competition. Hosted by San Francisco State University and sponsored by the California State University Foundation with gifts from corporate sponsors, the competition is designed to encourage the spread of research experience among students in a variety of fields. Don's first place finish earned him $350 from sponsor Pacific Gas and Electric. 
Family links: 
  Grace E. Schadler Edick (____ - 2009)
Egypt Cemetery
Lehigh County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: sr/ks
Originally Created by: Frederich Otto
Record added: Aug 06, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20817132
Donald William Don Edick
Added by: sr/ks
Donald William Don Edick
Added by: sr/ks
Donald William Don Edick
Added by: Frederich Otto
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