Edward Charles Liebler (W8NRE)

Edward Liebler passed away on November 24, 2018. He was born in Brown City, MI, on April 6, 1939. He was the eldest son of Harris and Golda Liebler who predeceased him. He was also predeceased by his wife Connie. He is survived by his children, Dr. Juli Liebler and Edward Jae Liebler, and two grandchildren, Julian and Alex Liebler. Also surviving are his brother, John (Phyllis) Liebler, his sister, Nancy (Bill) Thurston, and several nieces and nephews.

Ed graduated from Brown City High School in 1957. He enrolled at Michigan State University to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. He earned a BA in 1962 and his DVM in 1964. He moved to Caro, Michigan, where he opened his practice in both large and small animals. In 1980 he entered Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing and earned his JD in 1983. He also completed a Fellowship in a Post-Doctoral Program, “Science, Politics, and Animal Health Policies.” His legal practice consisted mostly of helping other Veterinarians with problems with the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

He was very active in civic events. He joined the Caro Lions Club, where he served on the Board of Directors and later became President. He also served as Zone Chairman and Deputy District Governor. When he moved to Lansing he again served in leadership roles on the Board of Directors and as President. He held a life membership with Lions International and had a Fifty-Year Membership Pin. In Caro he was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and was also its Chairman. He also was Chairman of a special committee to change from a Village to a City form of government. He also served the Caro Community Schools by helping establish a fundraising connection with school Alumni. In Lansing he served three terms on the Turner-Dodge House Board of Directors.

Ed was interested in many things. While he was in high school he learned the Morse code and went on to get his General Class Amateur Radio License, W8NRE. He had been active in ham radio until the time of his death. He was a member on the Thumb Amateur Radio Club and served as its President. He participated in many “Field Days.” In Lansing he was a member of the Central Michigan Amateur Radio Club and the “Lunch Bunch” group of amateur radio operators. He was also involved with the MSU Amateur Radio station W8MSU. As a “Ham” he contacted all fifty states and communicated with other hams in over one hundred countries. He was a life member of the American Radio Relay League.

He was a member of the Thumb Veterinary Medical Association where he served as Treasurer, Board of Directors, President and State Delegate to the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. He was also a member of the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association where he served as a member of the Finance Committee, the Ethics Committee and the Legislative Affairs Committee. He was also a member of the Mid-State Veterinary Association. He was also awarded a Life Membership in the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. While in college he was the Business Manager for the MSU Veterinarian and worked as a Research Assistant on the Bovine Leukemia Project.

In 1993 he and about twenty-five other like-minded persons met in Minneapolis, MN, to form the American Veterinary Medical Law Association. He served very actively in this organization, being its first Executive Director. He also served on the Board of Directors and was Secretary-Treasurer and President. In 2000 he was awarded a Distinguished Life Membership in the organization.

Ed was also very active in the construction field. He was a member and President of the Thumb Homebuilders Association and served on the Board of Directors and as its President. He also served as Regional Vice President for Legislative Affairs. While in Caro he platted three Subdivisions, and built more than one hundred homes and apartments. He built and leased over thirty Post Offices, and many other commercial buildings.

He was a very avid alumnus of Michigan State University. While in Caro he helped start the MSU Tuscola County Alumni Association. He also served as its President. While in Lansing he was appointed to the MSU National Alumni Board where he served for ten years. During that period he served as Secretary, Treasurer, and was appointed to the Best Practices Committee. He was Chairman of the By-Laws Committee and helped to rewrite the By-Laws. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Mid-Michigan MSU Alumni Association. He continued to serve MSU with donations to the Spartan Fund and gave Three Point Two Million to fund an Endowed Chair in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He also attended five Final Four events and two Rose Bowl trips.

Ed was also very interested in politics. He was a member of the Tuscola County Republican Party and served on the Executive Committee. While in Lansing he served on the Ingham County Republican Executive Committee and was its Vice Chair for eight years. He also served on the Eighth District Republican Committee as the Ingham County Representative and as its Vice Chair. He attended many state conventions and several Mackinaw Island Leadership Conferences. In 1988 he was the Republican Nominee for MSU Trustee. He was appointed by Governor John Engler to serve on the Michigan Higher Facilities Commission.

In 2001 he traveled to Matamoros, Mexico, along with thirty MSU student volunteers for a Spring Break experience. He was serving as Superintendent of Construction for the Dr. John and Cindy Shinsky Charitable Endowment. In a period of five days he and the student volunteers were able to construct four dormitories for an orphanage, La Cuidad de Ninos. He returned to the site numerous other times to complete other buildings. This new facility now houses and educates over one hundred orphans, in a comfortable setting.

Ed was recognized in the publication Inside Michigan Politics for having been issued the most licenses by the State of Michigan. He held the following licenses: Veterinarian, Attorney, Real Estate Broker, Master Electrician, Homebuilder, Heating Cooling & Ventilating, and was an Instrument Rated Private Pilot.

His hobbies included travel, ham radio, and woodworking. Ed traveled extensively and visited many foreign lands. He visited all the European Countries numerous times. He also made two trips to China. He visited India, Russia and Brazil. During his retirement he built several pieces of furniture for his Grandchildren and for his home.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, November 29, 2018, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Entombment will follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Lansing. The family will receive friends from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the MSU Veterinary College of Medicine. Online condolences may be left for his family at www.EstesLeadley.com.

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8 Messages to “Edward Charles Liebler (W8NRE)

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Troy c. Creed
November 26, 2018 at 4:08 am

73 Ed. My condolences go out to your family. You will be greatly missed.

73 de w8tcc, troy

Scott Westerman
November 26, 2018 at 11:01 am

My good friend, Edward Charles Liebler left us on November 24. He was 79. In nearly two decades of friendship, he was my role model for a renaissance man.

Born in Brown City, on April 6, 1939, he absorbed the classic American work ethic early and thought he might dedicate his life to the plethora of animals that populated rural Michigan farms. He followed that path, earning both a BA and a DVM at Michigan State and opening a practice in Caro.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Ed found he had a brain for business and a sixth sense for how to leverage opportunities to build things. This lead him back to school, earning his JD  from Cooley Law School  in 1983. Ever the advocate, he focused his legal practice on helping other vets deal with the bureaucracies that seemed to stand in the way of their success.

It was his daily interaction with these small business people that fired his imagination about construction. Combining his practical experience with an ever expanding knowledge base, he platted three Subdivisions, and built more than one hundred homes and apartments. Beyond the residential space, Ed built and leased over thirty Post Offices, and many other commercial buildings. If you mail a letter in rural Michigan, it’s likely you are in a building that Ed built.

By any definition, Ed Liebler was a success. But like many men of achievement, he wanted to model the behavior of giving back. His community service included a long association with the Caro Lions Club. He was a member of many boards, including mine at the MSU Alumni Association. He was interested in tackling complex challenges and joined us at a time when we were reinventing alumni relations. His wisdom was of great value and he lead the committee that created the bylaws that were our guideposts for over a decade.

We shared many interests. We were both private pilots. We liked woodworking. And we often compared notes about our common world travels. But our friendship truly deepened when we discovered that we were both amateur radio enthusiasts. As W8NRE, he constructed a station that was the envy of everyone in our group. He was fascinated with radio restoration and was continually redesigning the electronics inside while retaining the classical control panels he had grown up with.

This was the essence of the man. He understood that beneath a person’s exterior, there was always great potential to reach higher and be better people than we were before. He modeled that behavior with his time and talent and also with his treasure, endowing a chair at his alma mater with a donation of over $3 million dollars.

What I loved most about Ed was that wealth and success didn’t change him. Throughout his life, he was inquisitive, welcoming and impatient to move ideas forward. The last time we talked, he gave me a long list of ideas about how to rejuvenate the university’s amateur radio club. We discussed the latest construction project he was working on in the well stocked shop he built behind his house. And he outlined his thoughts on how the university could move forward in the wake of their current challenges.

His legacy naturally includes his children, Juli and Jae, and grandchildren Julian and Alex. But it was through the generations of people he influenced, whether it was helping them buy their first home, move their business forward, or simply learning about how to live a life of authenticity from a master, that has given Ed Liebler well deserved immortality.

His death is a highly personal blow to those of us who admired him. But even as he rounded his last lap, he approached the unknown without fear, wringing the most out of every extra day he was given. Only last week, he was sitting among his amateur radio buddies at the Flap Jack Shack, planning his next trip to the Dayton Hamvention and engaging in spirited conversation with friends who now share our grief, yet are grateful for his extraordinary life.

Long ago, Ed asked if I would be a eulogist at his funeral. Like everything else, he had that planned out in detail. When we decided to move to Florida to be closer to family, he was among the first to wish me well. I’ll be with his family in spirit at his memorial service on Thursday, thankful that he is released from a body that can no longer contain his spirit and forever grateful for the better person I am for having shared his orbit.

Ed Oxer, W8EO
November 26, 2018 at 11:29 am

Glad we could see Ed at lunch last Wednesday. 73 to a generous supporter of the Michigan State University Amateur Radio Club, W8MSU.


Sarah E. Wallace
November 26, 2018 at 1:42 pm

I send my condolences to Ed’s family. I wish you much comfort, love and grace during this very difficult time. Ed was a wonderful man and was extremely encouraging.

George Eyster VMD
November 26, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I got to know Ed when I came to MSU CVM when we worked together in development. Our other mutual interests were flying and construction. Ed was a master at both of them. His generosity to the College and his long time support was outstanding. Am out of the country so I will not be physically present for the service but I will be there in spirit. MSU and Veterinary Medicine has lost a giant and a great friend. Thanks Ed.

James Clements
November 26, 2018 at 11:05 pm

Ed was a great person and friend.Spent many days in his woodworking garage and Tuesday Hotdog lunches at Sparties.He will be truly missed.My Condolences to Ed’s family.

Mary Ann Seley
November 27, 2018 at 7:30 pm

My deepest condolences to the family of Edward Liebler. He will be missed by his High School Class mates of 1957 as he was missed, in August at the 2018 class meeting…His class mates will remember him well as a super, well loved guy. RIP Ed

Jon Armstrong
November 28, 2018 at 1:13 pm

I did not know Edward Liebler but I did know and work with Juli. I am sad to learn of his loss.

Juli, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


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