Having fought the good fight, Malcolm Leroy Edwardsen (Mal) died April 2, 2013 at his home in Pineville, NC. Born in Jersey City to Florence Franklin and Ole E. Edwardsen, Mal graduated from Wood-Ridge High School in 1941 and worked as a blue printer and photostat operator before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps as a radio operator in 1943. On Mal's second mission, his B-24 bomber "Lil ' Max" was shot down over Nazi-occupied Holland, where he was rescued by the Dutch Underground and kept hidden from Nazi forces for eight months. As the war in Europe neared its end in May 1945, Mal and two other soldiers from his bomber liberated two Dutch Underground leaders from a Nazi prison where they were due to be executed. On the fortieth anniversary of VE day, Mal traveled to Holland where, with his usual grace and humility, he gave a speech in both English and Dutch about his experience during the war.
Mal earned his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 1950 and his Master's degree in Management Engineering from Newark College of Engineering in 1957. In 1954, Mal married Madeline Klein. Madeline and Mal adopted their daughter Linda in 1959 and their son Lee in 1962. Mal was a project manager for Celanese; after completing projects in several other locations, he transferred to Charlotte in 1965. Declining yet another transfer in order to stay in Charlotte, Mal later worked for Catalytic Corporation and Day Engineering. Born to be an engineer, there was nothing he could not fix or build. He built a sailboat that he sailed on Lake Norman with his young children; he was a member of the Antique Automobile Club and restored several antique cars, including a first place prize-winning 1929 Model A Ford, a vintage Rolls Royce previously owned by Silent Screen actress Pearl White, and a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. The only thing Malcolm loved more than technical challenges was his family. At gatherings for special occasions, he would always say that the best present was spending time with his loved ones.
After becoming a widower, Mal was a regular at the Senior Center in Charlotte where he often played bridge. While at the Senior Center, he met Helen Cunningham, who he married in 1999. Malcolm was known for his intelligence, his wonderful sense of humor and for being a gentleman in every sense of the word, qualities which he retained and which continued to shine through during the trials of his illness.
Mal was predeceased by his first wife, Madeline, and his sister Audrey Rohrer. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of fourteen years, Helen, for whose compassionate and tireless care his family is forever indebted. Mal is also survived by his daughter, Linda Dove (Dave), and son, Lee Edwardsen (Linda), his adored granddaughters Ginger and Grace Edwardsen, his brother-in-law Robert Rohrer, his sister-in-law Muriel Oblinger, his niece Denise Leonard (Gary) and nephew Keith Rohrer (Margie), and his extended family, Arthur and Penny Cunningham and their children, Rob and Jenny.
The family is deeply grateful to his home health aides and caregivers, particularly Mioara Elisie and Nelly Acevedo, whose love for him (and his for them) was clear with every word and deed. Heartfelt thanks are also expressed to Dr. John Benedum for his care and kindness, especially during Mal's difficult final days.
Funeral services will be held in the chapel of McEwen-Pineville, 10500 Park Road in Charlotte, on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM, with visitation prior to the service from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM. Dr. Robert J. Blumer, Pastor of Sharon Presbyterian Church, will preside. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn East. Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
Online condolences may be left at www.McEwenPinevilleChapel.com