Profiles of Impact: Ed Tschappat – junk, and a legacy, of distinction
“He was a self-made man,” said Larry Tschappat of his father, Ed. “My father earned everything he had. He paid his own way through Brown Business College, while working a night job and supporting his family.”
In 1940, Ed married his high school sweetheart, Lucille Hughes. He worked as a bookkeeper at Brady & Co., a Rock Island salvage company, before and after serving with the Navy in WWII. Ed purchased the company with Jim Nies in 1951, and renamed it E & J Metal Company. “He had such a great sense of humor,” recalls Ed’s daughter-in-law Jane. “He created the company slogan – ‘Junk of Distinction.”
He carefully invested, saved and worked hard. “The flood of 1965 nearly devastated the company,” remembers Larry. “But Dad simply ran a phone line out to one of the scrap cars not under water and worked out of it. He made sure his customers could reach him despite the flood.”
Ed was active in the community, and always generous with his time and money. Yet he was modest. When a friend could not afford to send his child to summer camp, Ed quietly reached into his pocket and gave his friend the money. “He was always thinking about others and didn’t look for recognition,” said Larry.
Through his estate, Ed wanted to provide for his family and give something back to the community that helped him succeed. His financial advisors suggested that he establish a Charitable Remainder Trust with the Community Foundation.
When Ed passed away in 2010, the trust was created. It accomplished Ed’s personal and financial goals, while saving significantly on estate taxes. The trust provides lifetime income to Larry. The remainder will endow The Edward R. Tschappat Scholarship with the Foundation. Ed knew that perseverance pays off and he wanted the scholarship to encourage Quad Cities area students – especially ones who are in danger of dropping out of school – to complete their education.
Larry and Jane are pleased that countless generations of youth will be inspired to succeed through Ed’s legacy, which lives on in the Quad Cities. Ed’s sense of humor lives on as well, as his epitaph reads, “Junk of Distinction.”
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