Thanks for all the continued well wishes regarding the loss of my Dad. Public services are going to be held this Friday, May 12. There will be a mass at St. Pius X Catholic Church at 11am, followed by Interment at Miramar National Cemetary at 1pm. After 3pm, we'll be having an open house/reception at the family home in Chula Vista. Please reach out if address is needed, I can be messaged on socials or text me if you have my number.
It is so hard to write about my Dad in any kind of way that really gives the picture of his full life and character, but I finally overcame the anxiety of such a task. You can read after the jump if so inclined.
This week we'll be welcoming tons of family and friends from out of town and I'll do my best to still do listings...maybe it will actually be a good distraction... but please know that I'm still seeing all the messages and appreciate all of the love and they are being warmly received by my entire family.
Our beloved Big Eddie, took his final breath at approximately 5:40 pm, on Easter Sunday, April 9th, 2023 at home among his beloved. Edward Joseph Bystrak was 74 years old.
Born on September 7, 1948, Ed grew up in Buffalo, New York, the youngest of parents Stephen Bystrak and Emily (Kubiak) with siblings Stephen and Alice. He attended Catholic school in his primary years and took college coursework while still in high school.
While his contemporaries began being drafted for Vietnam, he made the choice to enlist in the Navy for a Kitty Cruise, serving on the USS Constellation until age 21, when he found himself in San Diego, California where his life would be established. He attended SDSU where he attained a B.S. In his life, he remained mostly quiet about his service years, but continued in his career helping other veterans with his 27 years at the Veterans Administration, as a Finance Director and in Vocational Rehabilitation until his retirement.
Big Eddy's greatest pride and joy was his family. After meeting Blanca “Rosie” Martinez at a discotheque in Tijuana, their whirlwind love would see them married four months later, on April 4th, 1970. Parents of Edward S. Bystrak (3/19/73), Rosemary A Bystrak (9/28/1976), and Christy S. Bystrak (4/15/1978) and bonus child Claudia Bermudez (7/14/1998), their home in Chula Vista was the gathering place of multitudes of friends, family, and countless children through Rosie's Family Daycare, always ready to take in anybody who needed the warmth of the Bystrak Family or to “borrow” groceries from their stockpiles of supplies acquired through Dad's couponing.
As a family, the Bystraks would vacation whenever possible, with dozens of trips to Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas, really anywhere a casino was to be found. A wiz with math and numbers, Dad taught us all blackjack and how to master video poker, and would gleefully share his winnings with us and boast about his comps and the Pit Bosses knowing him on a first name basis or by his nickname “Zippy”, because his Main Street Casino ID matched the local zip code.
He was so proud of his wife and the kids and all of their accomplishments, and in his latter years took on the role of Grandpa with great pride and adoring love of Nova, Johanna, Gabe, Nadia, Gia, and Evan.
While health problems compounded over the years and eventually took away his ability to leave the house, the family rallied in his home health care and he never lost his quick wit and sarcasm, even when experiencing bodily pain. He would still debate the news, torture his kids with the volume of the television way too loud, and excitedly sift through his DVR for programs the kids could all watch together.
In his final weeks, he was heartbroken over the loss of daughter-in-law Melissa Hayes Bystrak to breast cancer, but it was in this heartbreak that he began to see that he must bravely face his final days as well. The kids gathered for Mom & Dad's Anniversary on April 4th, and a few short days later, he was preparing us and himself for his final rest.
To say Big Eddie is already missed is the understatement of the century. He was so loved and loving and leaves behind a legacy of service, honor, and lessons of what it means to be a family of love when times are good and especially when times are tough.
Dad, you will be forever in our hearts and everyone who knew you, loved you, and will carry on your spirit of kindness, generosity, and your ability to laugh at ourselves and find light in every situation.