MADISON-Harold Edelbach passed away on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.

This is Harold’s story written by his guardian who followed Harold’s journey from February 1994 to July 2, 2013.

Harold was born on January 25, 1938. His parents were Doris and Harold, and the family lived in Carlstadt, N.J.

When Harold was 8 years old, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. He never finished school because his mother kept him home because other children would tease him. When Harold was 16 years old, he worked at Rhoers Nursery until they closed, then at Trader Horn (an appliance store) until they closed and at a golf course as a gardener. Harold struggled with deep depression and had to be hospitalized and was given shock treatments. Harold was not the same person after that.

Harold loved to ride his bicycle everywhere. In July of 1990, in the middle of the night, he would ride off on his bike, always returning home, but not this time. Harold never told anyone that he was leaving. The only contact the family had with Harold was from the Police in Dodge City, Kan. Harold was stopped for a minor infraction. Harold refused to speak to his parents, the police could not detain him, so he rode off again.

The next time the family knew of Harold’s where-a-bouts was in February of 1994 in Madison, Wis. In February of 1994, Harold was found in Marshall with severe frost bite, and was rushed to the UW hospital emergency room. After several days there, Harold was taken to the Badger Prairie Health Clinic Center and was appointed a guardian. The Edelbach family was notified and two brothers came to visit him. On the first visit, Harold welcomed their company, but on the second visit Harold refused to see them. Harold refused to see anyone, even me, his guardian. He would turn around and walk away from everyone. It was a difficult time for the staff at the BPHCC to treat Harold.

However, after several years at BPHCC, and with good nutrition and medication, Harold slowly "came out of his shell." He was able to work at Miller & Sons, riding his bike to and from BPHCC. Harold gained trust with the owner of Miller & Sons, which helped in his recovery process. Harold was discharged from BPHCC and went to live at Hometown Village until Hometown was torn down to make room for Farm ‘N Fleet. Harold then went to a CBRF, Autumn Light Home, still riding his bike to and from Miller and Sons. Harold would even bring back to the CBRF flowers for everyone to enjoy. When cold weather started, the staff from Autumn Light would drive Harold to and from work. In 2010, Harold had open heart surgery to replace the old heart valve that ended his employment at Miller and Sons.

In April 2012, Harold stopped taking his meds, causing him to spend three days at Mendota MHI Stovall GTU. Instead of Harold going back to Autumn Light, his guardian moved him to another CBRF, Timberwood Home. It was at Timberwood Home that Harold found his adopted family, with trusting, sharing, and love.

On June 24th, of this year, Harold was again rushed to the UW Hospital emergency room with breathing problems. After many many tests, the heart value was not functioning and doctors said the heart value was inoperable! Harold returned back to his adopted family at Timberwood Home. He again had breathing problems on July 1st, but by now nurses from Agrace assisted the staff with his care.

A pastor read the 23rd Psalm to Harold on July 1st, and Harold passed away on July 2, 2013.

On behalf of Harold and his guardian, a special “thank you” goes out to all of the doctors, nurses, social workers, attorney’s, BPHCC, South Madison Coalition, MOST, UW Hospital, employees of Home Depot, Mallet Pharmacy, Autumn Light, Miller and Sons, Agrace, and especially Timberwood Home for their care and love given to Harold; sister, Ellen Kunz; and guardian, Emy.

There will be no service and Harold’s ashes will go to the Edelbach family in Carlstadt, N.J.

Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Dr.
(608) 221-5420