Edmund Joseph Plese, 73, of Overland Park, KS, passed away on September 29, 2023 after a courageous battle against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He was preceded in death by his mother, Gerarda Plese, and father, Joseph Plese. He left behind his beloved wife of 47 years, Marsha Plese, as well as his daughter, Sarah Plese (Jeff Brack), son, Joseph Plese, and grandchildren, Quincy Brack (age 7) and Penelope Brack (age 5). In addition, he is survived by his five siblings: Patricia Gussin (Bob), Joanne Savage (Bill), Donald Plese, Mary Ann Bole (Dale), and Teresa Wallis (John) and many nieces and nephews.
Ed was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on January 27, 1950. He graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1968 and attended Aquinas College, both in Grand Rapids. He received his Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Manatee Community College in Bradenton, FL. He later received a BSN from Webster University in Kansas City, MO. He was a 21-year veteran in the Army Reserves 325th Nurses Corps, retiring as a Major.
Ed spent his career in nursing as a psychiatric nurse as well as a nurse administrator and mentor. He worked at many of the hospitals in the Kansas City area throughout his career finally retiring at the age of 70. He earned many awards and nominations throughout his career including Behavioral Health Finalist in the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year and HCA’s Representative for the National Milliken Humanitarian Award. He also earned many military honors and was active in local mental health organizations including NAMI and Pathway to Hope.
Ed was active in Boy Scouts of America for many years as a scout leader. He was an avid fly fisherman, KU Basketball fanatic, and Kansas City Chiefs super fan. He loved his dog, Archie, who watched every important game with him. In his younger years he was a Golden Gloves Boxer, runner, and long ball hitting softball player. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He was very active in caring for his grandchildren, Quincy and Penelope, including creating the game: Tonic Water Monster! Ed identified as a lifelong redhead even after his hair turned white. He sported an epic mustache throughout his adult life.
Ed had a passion for treating those with mental illness and helped lead many patients to live fulfilling lives. He was incredibly patient, compassionate, and empathetic. He will be remembered and mourned by his family, friends, and colleagues. He touched so many lives with his nurturing and gentle soul and was an inspiration to many.
A Celebration of Ed’s Life is tentatively scheduled for October 28, 2023 in Overland Park. Service details are listed below.