Life Story / Obituary
Edwin Arnold Bogucki passed away in the quiet of early morning on November 11, 2021.
Ed was born into this world on July 5th, 1932 in Racine, Wisconsin, to immigrant parents William Anthony (Boleslaw) Bogucki and Josephine (Jozefa nee Zych.) From an early age, he was taught to be self reliant and resourceful and his independent and inquisitive nature found him exploring the city by himself at an alarmingly young age. He liked to say that he lost track of time as a child and never found it again. Indeed, time was never a concern to him and he marched to the beat of his own drummer his entire life. Some of his earliest memories involved a fascination with horses so, when he saw his future wife, Shirley, riding her horse in the 1952 Racine 4th of July parade, he was instantly smitten. They became engaged before he was drafted into the army and they were married on September 1st 1953. While in the service, he worked as an artist in the Counterintelligence Corps. After his discharge, he worked in advertising for several years until the young couple read a book titled “How to Make a LIving as a Painter” and decided he was ready to quit his job and become a full time freelance artist. Against rather formidable odds, Ed managed to build a reputation as one of the finest artists of his generation. Specializing in painting and sculpting horses in particular, as well as other animals and people, his work is featured in private and public collections all across the globe. An unassuming and soft spoken man, Ed loved to connect with people. At public exhibitions of his work, they would be drawn to him as he spoke about his art and ideas, gathering in groups around a sculpture to hear the story of how it came to be. He was always the last to leave a gathering, whether it was a church service, a school play, or a fancy gala. “Is there anyone left that I need to talk to?” He would ask his tired family. He spoke to royalty, and he spoke to custodial staff, and he did it with the same genuine interest.
As a father he was kind and gentle, with a quick sense of humor and an inner child that loved to play. He taught his children to do things for themselves so they didn’t have to “wait around for someone else” to do it for them. He taught them to love animals and nature and music, and to accept everyone and everything for what they were. His life was a study in gratitude and serenity. Perhaps the greatest gift he gave his children was his devotion to their mother. He and Shirley were married for more than 68 years and they did everything together. As a team, they raised four children, maintained and grew a successful business, built a home, raised their own food, and travelled all over the country, with nary a cross word between them. Because of that important connection, a memorial service will be held at a later date when they are reunited once again.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Shirley Bogucki (née Joos), his children, Steve (Debi) Bogucki, Robin (Taichi Chen) Bogucki-Chen, Sheri (John) Wirtz, and Katherine (Jim Ferrell) Bogucki; his sister, Alicia Lawrence as well as his 7 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Arlene Strom.
His family are forever grateful to the amazing team of caregivers (Sheri, Kathi, Angel, Ina, Temeeka, Mima, and Jesse) that allowed him to stay in his home where he so rightly deserved to be.