NO. 17524 • 8 Sep 1927 – 13 Nov 2007
Died in Kerrville, TX
Interred in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, Plattsmouth, NE
Edward John Gradoville was born 8 Sep 1927 in Plattsmouth, NE, the first child of Edward Hubert Gradoville and Louise Frances (Kalasek) Gradoville. Ed loved sports of all varieties and managed to balance physical activities with a love of learning. He attended St. John’s Parochial School in Plattsmouth from 1932 until 1940 and graduated as Valedictorian of his class.
Ed attended Plattsmouth High School from 1940 to 1944, lettering in baseball, football, track, and basketball and was captain of his undefeated Blue Devils Football team in 1943. In addition, Ed was very active in Chorus and Glee Club and participated in the Drama Club, including one-act plays, debates and the lead in his Senior Class play, “Magnificent Obsession.” He graduated Valedictorian of his high school in 1944 at the age of 16.
Ed then attended the University of Nebraska, School of Engineering, and was in the top three percent of his first-year group, earning an academic scholarship. Ed lettered in football at the University of Nebraska in 1944 and 1945. He received a Congressional Appointment to the United States Naval Academy, and entered with the Class of 1949 on 1 Jul 1945. An eye problem resulted in his departure, and Ed entered West Point 15 Jul 1946. He played football for Army as a walk- on from 1946 to 1948 and also participated in the Cadet Glee Club. Ed graduated on 2 Jun 1950 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Coastal Artillery Corps.
Ed was assigned to the 60th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (AAA) located at Ft. Ord, CA, from June 1950 until 4 Jul 1954. He had some funny stories about the cross-country journey, first from West Point to Nebraska and then from Nebraska to Ft. Ord. The 60th Battalion was transferred from Sixth Army Continental United States to be among the first NATO units in Europe from February 1951 until July 1954. This was quite a fateful twist for Ed, as he met and married his first wife, Jean Gladwin, in Kettering, England.
In July 1954, Ed returned from the NATO assignment to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma to attend the Field Artillery Transition Officer Course. Ed had been requested by the U.S. Military Academy’s Physics and Chemistry Departments to serve as an instructor from 1951 to1954, but Artillery Branch refused to release Ed. In 1955, Ed transferred from Artillery to Quartermaster Corps, QMC, and attended the Quartermaster Officer Advanced Course at Ft. Lee, VA. He also welcomed his first child, Stephen Paul, into the life of an Army brat.
From August 1956 to July 1958, Ed was assigned to the Georgia Institute of Technology, working on advanced mathematics. From July 1958 to September 1959, Ed went to Korea, while Jean and little Stephen took the Queen Mary to England and spent time with her family.
In September 1959, the young family was reunited in Washington, DC, while Ed worked in the operational mathematics office, applying his Georgia Tech learning. Their family grew with the addition of daughter Judith Anne in September 1960. In 1962, Ed and family transferred to Ft. Leavenworth, KS, where Ed worked at the Command & General Staff College. It was a bittersweet time, reunited and close to his parents in Nebraska, but his mother passed away suddenly, just prior to the birth of their third child, Gretchen Jane, in July 1962.
In June 1963, Ed and the family moved to England, stationed at Aldershot Southern Command as part of a NATO Exchange. Ed reacquainted himself with his love of golf and cribbage, while his young children were able to learn firsthand of their British heritage. In July 1965, Ed and family returned to Washington, and Ed was stationed at Maryland University, working with the Institute for Defense Analysis.
From October 1966 until April 1968, Ed was stationed in Viet Nam, and had to be content with cards, photos and audiotape recordings (do you remember those ancient reel-to-reel tapes?!) from his growing family. He returned to various assignments at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, from May 1968 until May 1971. And then he took his family on a grand adventure.
From May 1971 until July 1974, Ed and family were stationed in Asuncion, Paraguay, while Ed was part of the U.S. Military Group advising the Paraguayan Army. The whole family became fluent in Spanish, the children more so than their parents, of course, and enjoyed exploring and traveling to Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru.
Ed’s last assignment, from July 1974 until 31 Jan 1978, was as part of the U.S. Army Readiness Region VIII, Denver, CO, out of Ft. Riley, KS. In February 1978, Ed retired to Texas after 33 years and 10 months of military service.
The last 20 years of his military career, Ed served concurrently in the logistics program, as well as operations research systems analysis (LOG-ORSA), specialty staff assignments.
Ed was happily married for 16 years to his wife, Marie Gradoville, and is survived by his wife, his three children, one stepson, six grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. Ed enjoyed his retirement with Marie, traveling, golfing, playing bridge and each fall returning to the thrill of Nebraska football with his season tickets.
Up to the end, Ed continued his service, but this time to fellow Veterans. He faithfully volunteered at the Kerrville Veterans Medical Center twice a week, either in the library or in administration, and earned awards for his hours of volunteerism. It seemed, even in retirement, he couldn’t completely give up service to country and the pleasure of the company of his fellow servicemen from the Armed Forces. He is very much missed.
—Judith A. Lakes