Obituary: Ed McIlhon

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Ed McIlhon. We’d like to share with you the obituary lovingly written by his family.

Edward (Ed) James McIlhon journeyed peacefully to Heaven on July 11, 2022. He was surrounded by his loving wife of 52 years and his four children every step of the way.

Ed was born to Daniel and Raymetta McIlhon on May 17, 1947 in Des Moines, Iowa. As the third of twelve siblings, he learned early on how to stand out in a crowd. His natural charisma and magnetism for fun guaranteed him a full life.

Ed graduated from Dowling Catholic High School where he played golf, studied a bit, never missed a party, and was a fierce football player. He received a preferred walk-on offer from then Notre Dame head coach, Ara Parseghian, choosing instead to attend State College of Iowa (now UNI) in Cedar Falls. It was the best decision of his life as he met the love of his life, Meri Jo Stocker (Joey) on a blind date. There, they created a life for their four children, established a successful branch of his father’s company, Iowa Industrial Products (IIP), and played more rounds of golf at Beaver Hills Country Club than the golf pro himself.

Ed and Joey moved back to Des Moines in 1999 where he took the reins of IIP, eventually selling to Switzerland-based, Bossard. This opened an opportunity for him to work alongside his oldest son, Casey, at McIlhon & Associates before purchasing a small piece of IIP back. He established Assembled Products, Inc. in 2005 and enjoyed every single day of his career.

For a guy who had fun going to the dentist, going into work was like a party. He eventually brought in both sons and sons-in-law to work by his side and nearly 50 employees who were more like family. His office door was always open, becoming a popular spot for Brotherhood poker nights, Thirsty Thursdays or simply a splash with Eddie. However, if he could be anywhere, it would be their cabin on Rainy Lake, Canada. Most often, you’d find them fishing off “Eddie’s Island,” back-trolling Camper’s Point, or watching the sunset together.

A close second and third would be traveling with Joey to their homes in Clear Lake, Iowa and Marco Island, Florida. While they loved traveling as a pair, the “six-pack” was always close behind. Countless memories were made as Ed captained one of their boats, usually with either Joey or a grandchild by his side. He said many times that their four children were their best friends, and he created a magical life for all of them, no matter where they were.

With $20 in his pocket in case he has to tip St. Peter, he joins his grandson, Andrew James Ulrich, parents, Daniel & Raymetta McIlhon, siblings, Daniel, John, Margaret and Joseph, nephew, Joseph, parents-in-law Wesley and Ann Stocker, and brother-in-law, James Cole. Left to continue the party until we see him again are his loving wife, Joey and their beloved rescue dog Sadie Jo, four children, Casey (Stacie), Kellie Ulrich (Matt), Megan Geary (Zach) and Riley (Misty), Joey’s daughter, Rose Fox (Dave), his thirteen grandchildren, Natalie, Ryan, Ayden, Melanie, Kiera, Luke, Talen, Aaron, Leo, Declan, Lauren, Katie and Maddie, siblings, Tim (Gwen), Jerry (Janet), Mary (Kevin), Tom (Linda), Jim (Cheryl), Joni (Jeff) and Matt, in-laws, Janett Aschbrenner (Duane) and Patti Cole (Jack Miller), Linda McIlhon, Richard Williams, Debbie McIlhon, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and fishing buddies.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Buroker and his team at Mission Cancer, Infinity Home Care, and Suncrest Hospice for the amazing care Ed received in his final days, and for providing the family exactly what we needed.

The funeral service will be held Thursday, July 14 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waukee, Iowa. Reception will immediately follow at Glen Oaks Country Club and per Ed’s wishes, “Food and drinks are on me!”

Memorials in Ed’s honor can be directed to The Andrew Giving Fund or AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport.

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