Edwin Ernest Black
1922 - 2000
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Edwin Black's oldest son was born November 28, 1922 in Limerick, Maine, weighing four pounds. Named Edwin Ernest, he walked at two years old and stayed bald until he was two. His school days started in Rockland, but he attended Waldoboro High School. The new address was his grandparents' farm, which it remained until after World War II. He graduated from Waldoboro High School in 1940, where he excelled in the sport of basketball. However, at home his sport was baseball, which he played in the field with a neighbor.
Edwin attended Gorham Normal School for three years, at which time he enlisted in the army to serve in the European theater during World War II. In 1945, he married my mother, Edna Elizabeth Jacobsen, whose family had moved to the Waldoboro area, and returned to Gorham State Teachers College to complete his Bachelor's degree. While at Gorham he was nicknamed "Red" Black for his bright red hair and added table tennis to his sporting accomplishments. From that point he headed to Boston University to earn his Master of Arts in Education, which would herald a long, dedicated career as a teacher, primarily of high school mathematics but also of science, drama, and sports.
He began his teaching career in Connecticut, but soon returned with his growing family to reside in Waldoboro, Maine, and teach high school in the neighoring town of Union for nearly a decade, where he also served as principal. During this decade and a half, he fathered five children: Ellen Elaine in 1946, Ernest Edwin II (me) in 1951, Eileen Edith in 1953, Evelyn Elise in 1954, and Earl Eric in 1959. He also became active in the Masons during this time. When Earl was not yet 4 years old and I was entering 6th grade, the family moved to Framingham, Massachusetts and Edwin began two decades of teaching mathematics at neighboring Natick High School. Not long after moving to Framingham, I joined a neighborhood Boy Scout troop badly in need of a scoutmaster. My father quickly volunteered to be scoutmaster for Troop 2, Saxonville (a part of Framingham), a post he held for nearly 20 years. I became a Life scout under his leadership, but scouting became a much larger part of his life and he, along with my mother, continued to serve the Boy Scouts of America as leaders and trainers well into the 1980s.
My father retired from his teaching career in 1984, and he and my mother decided to sell the family home in Framingham and return to Waldoboro, Maine, where they bought a beautiful house overlooking Broad Cove. Once more, my father became very active in the Masons, twice serving as master for the Masonic Lodge in Waldoboro. Here they planned to stay, but the harsh Maine winters proved too much for Edwin's failing heart and they decided to move one last time, to a home in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the gentler climate would be more welcoming. My sister Eileen bought their house in Waldoboro and the last chapter of my father's life unfolded in Wilmington. There he passed away on March 14, 2000. Some would say he lived to see the next century, but my father was a stickler for accuracy and held that, since there was no year 0, the next century would not begin until January 1, 2001.
All of the above barely begins the paint a portrait or even sketch a biography of my father. For instance, I have not mentioned his great love of travel. He was loyal and caring in all his undertakings, beloved husband, father of five, grandfather of five, greatgrandfather of four, teacher/principal for 37 years, B.S.A. leader for 30 years, and twice past master Mason. He is survived by his loving wife, Edna, and four children, Ellen, Ernest, Eileen, and Evelyn. His memory will stay with all of us who knew him so long as we live.
The Dark Sky Brightens - a memorial tribute poem by Ernie Black.