It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our brother, Edward Jerome Makara, who died on May 27, 2017, in Helena, Montana. He was first and foremost a United States Marine, proud to have served our country, both here and in Viet Nam.
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the youngest of four children, his three older sisters cheerfully catered to and spoiled him. He spent 11 happy years in New England, surrounded by 12 cousins and many aunts and uncles. After the death of his beloved parents, he moved with his siblings to California, where he graduated from high school, began college, then enlisted in the military when the Viet Nam conflict started. When he left the service, he began a successful career in banking, both in California and Seattle, Washington.
As his health deteriorated due to his exposure of agent orange in the war, he decided to move to Montana, with its healthy air and easy access to the veterans’ hospital. He loved this “big sky” state, always ready to show it off to family and friends. Here he was able to indulge in his enjoyment of gourmet cooking.
Another important aspect of Ed’s life was his love of animals. Whenever he went to a rescue facility to look for a dog or cat, he always asked to be shown the animal who was most abused. The lucky dog or cat found a new life, filled with love and attention. His backyard held a variety of bird feeders, always filled to the brim. He also loved children, and one of his favorite photos was being surrounded by kids grinning at him, which was taken in Viet Nam.
Ed also spent many hours listening to his extensive collection of classical and jazz music, as he retired to his library in the evening, with a cigar, brandy, and one of the hundreds of books he acquired over his 69 years. Whenever anyone wanted to discuss politics or the military, they knew Edward would be available, with both wit and knowledge.
Besides his three sisters, Geraldine, Alice, and Sandra, he leaves behind nephews Stefan, Sean, Shannon, Kerry, Steven, and Phillip, nieces Laurie and Trina, many cousins, special neighbors Dave and Sue Smith, and cat Muriel.
A Graveside Service with Military Honors is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. Friday, June 9, 2017 at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery, Ft. Harrison. Please visit below to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Ed.