UNION SPRINGS — Edward Sailer Adler, affectionately known to his family as Grandpa Slick, was born to Edward R. and Miriam Sailer Adler in Massillon, Ohio. He died June 30, 2018 at his home in Union Springs after a long illness.
Educated at Lehman High School, Western Reserve Academy, and Miami University of Ohio, his interests were many. When he was about eight years of age, a barnstormer came to Massillon. Ed pedaled his bike to the site and his love for flying was born. At 15, he took his first lesson, and had earned his pilot’s license by age 18.
During the early years of World War II, he served as a flight instructor with the U.S. Cadet Corps at Martin Field, Canton, Ohio. When that program ended, he accepted a commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps Training Command, receiving an honorable discharge in 1946. He continued to fly both commercially and privately until health issues forced him to surrender his license.
Following his discharge from the Air Corps, he returned to Ohio and founded Canton Products, a business he owned and operated until 1960 when he sold it to the HW Knight Manufacturing Co. of Seneca Falls. He remained affiliated with Knight’s until the mid-60s when he purchased the Art In Bronze Company of Cleveland, Ohio, and moved it to New York state, establishing a foundry in Union Springs which was sold in the late 70s to a company in West Virginia. Many examples of his work can be seen on college campuses, museums, in cemeteries, and identifying various businesses and municipal buildings, especially in the Village of Union Springs, i.e. the Jorgensen Pavilion, the Oscar Schlappi Memorial in Frontenac Park, the library, the village office and Chestnut Hill Cemetery. A few of his favorites hang in his home.
An accomplished woodworker, he spent many hours in his workshop, and rarely was without a project in progress. Neighbors grew used to the sound of his hammer as he worked on his home and many who were village kids in the late 80s still recall their envy over the tree house he built in his backyard. He spent many a summer afternoon among the branches, nursing a cold one. Antique autos and fire apparatus were also high on the list of things he enjoyed, and he spent hours on the ocean off the Maine coast with his best friend, lobstering in the summer. A highlight of one such afternoon on the water was the harpooning of a tuna – a day he never forgot.
In his younger days he sailed, frequently competing in the weekend regattas at Red Jacket Yacht Club where he was a member. He served a number of years on the Village of Union Springs Zoning Board of Appeals, and a short term as a village trustee. Other past memberships include The Seneca Falls and Penn Yan Flying Clubs, the BPOE, the American Association of Engineering Societies, Model T Club of America, and SPAAMFAA.
Twice married, Ed’s daughter, Terry (Fletcher) Phelan, of Asheville, N.C. survives. With his passing, a hole that can never be filled has been created in his second family. He will be forever missed by his wife, Toni; his seven step-children, Scot Russell, of Depew, Cindy (Dennis) Bunnell, of Union Springs, Gregory (Donna) Large, of Cayuga, Lon (Lori) Large, of Auburn, Bill (Gina) Large, of Surrey, Md., Kathy (Tom Magill) Malenick, of Throop, and Rebecca (Dennis Smalley) Ewing, of Union Springs; 14 step-grandchildren, and 14 step-great grandchildren.
That his death not end his earthly purpose, Ed’s wish to donate his body to the Anatomical Gift Program at SUNY Upstate has been honored.
At his request, there will be no services.
Brew Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.