A blessed event on May 1, 1940, occurred in Ansonia, CT, with the birth of an only child lo Walter Zdrodowski and Mary Anne Pazacskas Zdrodowski. The baby boy was baptized Edward Walter Zdrodowski on May 26, 1940, in St. Anthony Church. He received his elementary education at Assumption School in Ansonia. Brother Edward related that during second grade, he could not write his entire name on the line provided for the heading of his schoolwork. With advice from his father, he dropped the middle "do" from his last name. He was known from that day as Edward Walter Zdrowski. This caused a problem many years later when a community member bought a plane ticket for him and the ticket did not match Edward's ID.
For his high school education, Edward traveled to Notre Dame High School in West Haven, CT. The school was administered by the Brothers of Holy Cross. It was during his years there that he became inspired by the Brothers' life and ministry. He sought to enter the Eastern Province of the Brothers of Holy Cross upon his graduation from Note Dame High School in the spring of 1958. He was accepted into the Brothers' candidacy program in June, 1958, and received into the Brothers' Novitiate in Valatie, NY, on August 22, 1958. He made his first profession of vows on August 23, 1959, and professional vows on August 23, 1963. Edward has the distinction of being one of the "pioneers," the first group at Valatie, NY.
Upon leaving the novitiate in August 1959, Brother Edward was assigned to college studies at St. Edward's University, Austin, TX. While living at Vincent Hall on the university campus, his studies were in the field of science and chemistry. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from St. Edward's University in June 1962. He was then assigned to teach science at Msgr. James Coyle High School in Taunton, MA. In the summer of 1964, Brother was assigned to teach science at the Province's school in Rome, Italy. This was to be his first assignment to Notre Dame International School, Rome, Italy.
In 1970, Edward returned to the States to teach science at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, CT. He was there for two years before being asked to return to Rome. During summers he studied and received a Master of Science from Southern Connecticut State College in 1975.
The Eternal City was a highlight in Brother Edward's life. The time he spent in the classroom and in perfecting the student residence or joining them on student trips throughout Europe were fond memories which he often shared with his fellow Brothers. When he returned to the States in 1983, one could see that his heart was, and always would be, in Italy. He continued to relish Italian food and wine and would often raise a glass of wine to toast a painting in the Brothers residence of the Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy.
From 1983 until 1988, Brother Edward taught science in the far north of New York State at Cardinal Mooney High School in Rochester. Leaving snowy Rochester, Brother went to Waterbury, CT to teach for one year at Holy Cross High School before going to the Big Apple of New York City. But, before he began teaching at Holy Cross High School in Flushing, NY, he studied at Boston College for a Master of Religious Education, which he received in 1990.
Brother Edward began teaching at Holy Cross High School, Flushing, NY, in the fall of 1990 until the summer of 2014. While at Flushing, students enjoyed his presence in chemistry and religious studies classes. From 2011 through 2014, he assisted in the Senior Service Program at the school.
At Holy Cross Flushing, as with all the other schools at which he ministered, faculty and students remember his outgoing friendliness and the interest he would take in their lives.
In the summer of 2014, he retired to St. Joseph Hall on the campus of St. Edward's University, thus coming full circle back to Austin, TX. The evidence of aging began to catch up with him, but he would walk almost daily from St. Joseph Hall over to the fountain behind the main building on campus, where he would sit and greet students and birds alike.
Failing health overtook him in the form of an aggressive and stubborn form of pneumonia which was resistant to all the antibiotics he was given. He entered St. David's Hospital South on April 3 and was discharged to the assisted-living residence of the Brothers in Austin, Brother Vincent Pieau Residence, where he passed into a new life of rest in the Lord on Good Friday evening, April 14, 2017, with Brothers Harold Ehlinger, David Turmel, two medical attendants, and me at his side.
Mass will be celebrated Monday, April 17, 2017, at 10:30 am. in the chapel of Brother Vincent Pieau Residence, Austin, TX. A Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at the chapel of St. Joseph Center, Valatie, NY, followed by interment at the St. Joseph Center Cemetery.