Edward Joseph Sabelawski, 74, of Montague passed away peacefully with his wife in their beloved Meadow Road home on September 9, 2021 following an arduous but valiant fight against neuroendocrine cancer.
Edju (or Sabo), as his friends and family knew him, was born to Nina (Lawor) and Edward John Sabelawski of Gill, Massachusetts in June 1947. He lived the entirety of his life in the Bay State, which excited his lifelong joy in watching the Patriots and Red Sox organizations. Often restless unless working with his hands, Edju left Mount Wachusett Community College to pursue an accommodating occupation as a painter and later, to the great joy of his family and friends who often received beautiful, bespoke pieces, carpentry.
Edju is survived by his wife of 44 years, Rebecca (Rastallis) Sabelawski and their daughter Erica Sabelawski and son-in-law Daniel Roush of Chapel Hill, NC and his sons, Edward P. Sabelawski (Paula) of Chittenden, VT and Shawn Sabelawski of Greenfield, MA, as well as his five grandchildren Zachary (Whitney), Dustin, Ella, Josie, and Madeline and great-grandchildren Zoe, Cooper, and Theodore.
Edju pursued many passions during his life with a single-mindedness that belied his easy-going personality. As a self-taught carpenter, Edju applied himself to craftsmanship due to his simple devotion to construction and improvement, working diligently through his position at Deerfield Academy to preserve and maintain their historical homes and buildings. He spent considerable time constructing and then remodeling the home that he shared with Rebecca during their 40-year tenure at the property, where his workshop was always full and seldom organized, though he consistently knew “perfectly well where everything is.” When he wasn’t making a ruckus in his workshop, Edju savored curating and perfecting recipes that he could double or triple to feed family and friends or pursuing one of his hobbies, all rooted in his love and appreciation for being outside and entertaining. He enjoyed camping, fishing, (and served as a past President of Trout Unlimited) fly fishing, fly tying, rod construction, cooking, and later in life, golf. Edju would be the first to say that his tenure as a “duffer” required all the tenacity that he had learned throughout his life to achieve the calm, implacable patience that the sport requires. Though quiet and reserved, Edju’s more boisterous, joking presence was frequently called forth on the links as he battled for a better handicap amongst friends and family.
The greens (and sand traps) of Franklin County certainly aren’t the only places where he will be desperately missed; Edju served for 30 years on the Montague Center Water Commission and for 40 years on the Montague Center Old Home Days Mug Race Committee where his unflagging respect and admiration for his community made him a neighbor to all those he interacted with in either capacity and beyond.
Edju’s family will be holding a private interment ceremony presided by Reverend Randy Calvo followed by a public memorial service at Terrazza’s (Country Club of Greenfield) on Tuesday September 21, 2021 from 2-5pm where his family anticipates hearing anecdotes from Edju’s life and reminiscence with friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
In lieu of flowers, Edju’s family hopes that donations will be made in the spirit of his ecological stewardship to Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust (mountgrace.org/donate) and Trout Unlimited (gifts.tu.org).
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