Obituary courtesy of The Lewiston Tribune
Eddie Lee “Ed” Wilsey, age 65, of Marsing, Idaho, passed away Monday, May 21, 2018, in Nampa. Ed was born April 12, 1953, in Lewiston, the first child of Mark Lewis Wilsey Jr. and Elise Jeanette (Forsman) Wilsey.
At an early age, Ed lived south of Lewiston, in Upper Tammany with his maternal grandparents, Carlos and Gertrude (Paris) Forsman. He yearned for the ranching tutelage of his Grandad Forsman, who was one of the most influential people in Ed’s life. Ed loved his wild and free days roaming the Craig Mountain/Waha area with cousins James Joseph “Jim” and William Franklin “Deet” Forsman. Ed only left the ranch once his parents told him he had to attend school. Even then, every holiday and summer vacation were spent on the ranch working cattle, breaking horses, haying or shooting bullfrogs.
Under the guidance of his much-admired Coach Blair Harrington, Ed’s love of sports developed. He participated in football, wrestling and track at Kamiah High School. In 1971, his senior year, Ed was the 185-pound Idaho state wrestling champion. The draft for Vietnam was calling, but because of a ranching accident, Ed’s eyesight prevented his passing of the required physical. He went on to attend Walla Walla Community College, where he played football in the guard position as a Warrior.
On June 2, 1973, Ed married Debra Kay Bowles in Kamiah. He then started his 15-year career as a timber feller and dozer operator working for Dabco, Beryl Lane, Wise Brothers Logging and Carl Finke and Sons. Ed’s logging career had him working in the woods from the Pierce/Headquarters, Idaho, area to Unity, Ore. Ed always said that he got paid to do things and see country that others had to pay good money to enjoy. He was referring to his days working with his buddy, Al Latch of Kooskia, while they trekked throughout the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness/Rhodes Peak area with Lost Lake Outfitters.
Ed began working in the Alaskan Arctic and over a 20-year span worked his way up the ranks from a toilet cleaner to superintendent. After working at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, he worked as a gas pipeline job site inspector and then as a line inspector in Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota and California. Throughout all these jobs, Ed has always maintained a cattle ranch and over the last 10 years his efforts had been focused on building a sustainable grass-fed beef business with the help of his wife and family, on the McBride Creek Ranch in Owyhee County, Idaho. Longtime area ranchers want to know what their secret business strategies are, as they are the first and only family to be successful on that ranch. He has been fortunate to partner with Bob and Pam Howard to form Desert Mountain Grass Fed Beef.
Ed is survived by his wife, Debby; daughters Rachel (Jake) Higgins of Melba, Idaho, and Lisa of Marsing; son Matthew (Nerea) of Nampa; grandchildren Hayden Higgins and Matteo, Isabella and Amaia Wilsey; sisters T.J. (Danny) Breeze of Kamiah and Diana (David) Wilsey Geer of Cheyenne, Wyo.; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m Sunday in Boise, at the Basque Center, 601 W. Grove St.
Ed liked to say: “Good people are like good horses and good dogs. You never forget them. The bad ones you get rid of as fast as you can.”