In Remembrance: Meridian man served country, family

Edwin Pierce spent two years in the Army during WWII, suffered from Parkinson's before he died

Idaho StatesmanFebruary 11, 2007 

It would be years before Edwin "Ed" Pierce, an American soldier, would reveal what he went through during World War II. His recollection of the war was filled with anguish and sorrow. However, there was one story his family remembers.

While serving overseas, Pierce unexpectedly found himself in a foxhole with a German soldier. "Neither one shot at each other," said his wife, Marjorie. "He told me, ‘We just went our separate ways.'"

He never wanted to hurt anyone, according to his sister Lois Obenchain.

"When he came home, he really had a hard time," she said. "He felt so bad about (the war), but he had fought for his country."

Pierce died Jan. 27 at the veteran's home in Boise. He was 86 years old and had suffered from Parkinson's Disease for 10 years prior to his death.

Pierce served as a hero to many, including his fellow servicemen and his family.

He was born in Emmett and later went to Franklin High School in Boise before he was drafted into the Army in 1943. He served for two years before returning to Idaho.

Pierce married Marjorie Pinneo Woodward on Dec. 27, 1957. He had two children from a previous marriage and she had three.

Later, the couple had three more children. Pierce loved all of them the same — no matter whether they were his biologically or not, said Obenchain.

"Everyone of the kids absolutely loved their father," she said.

One of his children, Mike Woodward, was left paraplegic after an automobile accident almost 40 years ago. At the funeral, Obenchain put her arm around Woodward and expressed her sympathy for his loss. He replied "I loved my dad."

Pierce supported his family as a supervisor in the lumber industry locally and in South Dakota. After he retired in 1985, he went to work at Coast to Coast, a hardware store in Meridian.

Throughout his life, Pierce collected watches, radios and tools. He enjoyed working with his hands, picnicking and taking Sunday afternoon "rides" with his family — fairly simple and enjoyable pastimes.

However, his life was anything but "simple," based on his experience with the war and his crippling battle with Parkinson's. He never lost hope in spite of this, according to family.

"I hope I explained my affection for him," said Marjorie. "He was the love of my life."

In Remembrance is a weekly profile of a local resident who has recently died. Contact West Ada news assistant Monique Bosolet at mbosolet@idahostatesman.com or 672-6716.

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