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If I could only talk to Eddie for one more time tonight, I would tell him, “Eddie, your Mother will be okay”. Meanwhile, I pray, God rest his soul.

Death of sportscaster ‘King of Fight’ Eddie Zawadzki


By —— Bio and Archives--August 31, 2016

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It is with a heavy heart that I write tonight that sportscaster, ‘King of Fight’ Eddie Zawadzki is gone.  Eddie’s sister, Christine called to tell Canada Free Press (CFP) that Eddie died this morning of a massive heart attack, age 55.

The sad news is bound to be a shock to his many friends in the boxing world, as it was only two days ago when Eddie posted to Facebook a picture of him doing color for a live TV boxing match at Richard Souce’s Stockyards Gym, writing:  “Featured here is a great boxing champion, dear friend and one of the classiest human beings I have ever met, 1988 Olympic Silver Medalist Egerton Marcus!  Souce puts on amazing amateur shows.  Next one is October 1st and I’m happy to be part of it.”

A poster to be found on his Facebook page later the same day:  “Best woman in the world? My Mom! Repost it if you love your Mom”  best encapsulates what Eddie Zawadzki was all about: his profound love for his 97-year-old Mother, Wanda, who lived with him.

Christine said that only yesterday Eddie had called her to say he thought he had a heart murmur and was going to check in with a doctor.  Since he had diagnosed the heart murmur himself,  she didn’t worry about it.  But news of Eddie’s death came the next morning.

Everyone who knows about her is worried about Eddie and Christine’s Mom, so distraught when the ambulance arrived for Eddie this morning, they decided to take her to the hospital.

Eddie cut his writing teeth at Toronto Free Press, forerunner to CFP.  We sort of “inherited” Eddie from George Chuvalo, the Canadian Boxing Champ who Muhammad Ali could not knock off his feet.  George, TFP sports editor, asked Eddie to take over the job, needing time for grief after his wife, Lynn, distraught over the death of her son, George Jr.,  took her own life.

When it came to writing, Eddie never looked back.  Though boxing and sports were his passion, he took reporting to heart by going after scoops.  It was thanks to Eddie that the editor of TFP once took a call from the Toronto Police, thanking him for solving a cold case murder.

And just to think I was leery of the story when he handed it in!

No one who knew Eddie was the least bit surprised when he went on to be the author of several best selling Canadian trivia books that highlight Canadian achievements in the world of sports, or that proud son of Poland that he was, he would move on to chronicle the lives of Poles in the New World.

Eddie, who never married said “my mother is my life”.  With a sense of humour, he told me he warded off the marriage minded by telling them outright: “I’m a Mama’s boy”.

It was two years ago this summer when Eddie told me from a hospital bed at St. Joseph’s Health Care Center, “I’m a tough guy, but it is tough being in a hospital bed having to look down at this stump that was my foot.”  Eddie, then 53, diagnosed with the sudden onset of diabetes, had been rushed to hospital,  where he underwent partial amputation of his foot .

I will always be grateful that he and his mother came to visit last summer.

What I have always loved best about Eddie was the abiding love he had for his Mother.  Understanding the heartache she bore over the untimely death of a son, he strove throughout his entire lifetime to try to make it up to her.

 

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Living together Eddie and Wanda, were rarely ever apart.  Wanda, in incredibly good health despite her advanced years,  even accompanied Eddie on many road trips throughout the United States where Eddie was invited to book signings.

Family is everything to the Zawadzkis.  Orphaned as a child in war-torn Poland, the highlight of Wanda’s life is when Eddie took her back home in 2006, to reunite with her sister, keeping the meeting a surprise until the two sisters were within physical view of each other.  Wanda and sister, Janina hadn’t laid eyes on each other for 60 years.  Wanda was imprisoned in a German war camp,  and having never heard from Janine in the many years that passed after the war,  thought she was dead.  It was an incredibly joyous occasion that brought people to tears when Eddie sent back a video showing the reunited sisters’  first hug.

Knowing just how much he loved his Mom, some of us worried what would happen to Eddie if Wanda passed away.  We never thought it would be Eddie who would go first.

If I could only talk to Eddie for one more time tonight, I would tell him, “Eddie, your Mother will be okay”.

Meanwhile, I pray, God rest his soul.


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Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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