Note: The following tribute was written by lifelong friend and 75-year Burbank Resident, Jim Barnfather
Born August 1, 1947, at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, Ed grew up a stone’s throw from Valley Park in Burbank with a deep love of baseball, At an early age, he began attending Kids for Christ, a Christian Youth Club, and instantly became friends with fellow Burbank Sports Walk of Fame inductees Jim Barnfather, Mickey DePalo and Don Ludwig who remained close friends for over 65 years.
Ed was a short left-handed pitcher who reminded many of Yankee Hall of Famer Whitey Ford. Ed and Jim spent hours at Valley Park’s tennis courts practicing their hitting skills with a tennis ball on the tennis court. Hitting a ball over the net was a single, hitting the fence a double, above the bar halfway up the fence a triple, and, over the fence a home run. Many tennis balls found their way into the yards of Valley Park neighbors.
Ed attended Mingay Elementary, Luther Burbank Junior High, and graduated from Burbank High. He served in the US Army and then married the love of his life. Leuonna, who blessed his life for over 50 years. They were blessed with two wonderful children, EJ and Shelly. EJ, who earned a doctorate at USC, was a 4-year varsity, All-Foothill League, and All-CIF baseball player at John Burroughs High.
During Ed’s four years on the Burroughs Baseball Booster Club, Ed helped other boosters in raising nearly one hundred thousand dollars from caring residents and businesses in Burbank to purchase uniforms for Burroughs’ Varsity, JV, and Freshman teams, new equipment, and completely rebuild the baseball field which included new outfield fences, new grass infield, pitching bullpens and the electronic scoreboard, all that still stand today. Ed had the joy of coaching Hap Minor Baseball and Ponytail Softball and playing and coaching a men’s softball team.
His daughter, Shelly, was a tremendous athlete on her own, demonstrating skills she learned from her father on the softball field and basketball court at John Burroughs High. Married and living in Stevenson Ranch near Valencia, she tirelessly dedicated the last months of Ed’s life to being at his bedside and supporting and strengthening her mother.
Giving did not stop with his family and Burbank Sports Programs. Ed also gave so much to the Burbank Community and customers of his business, Ed Pape Plumbing.
On the day after Thanksgiving, for over 35 years, Ed would begin work on what became known as one of the top Burbank Holiday Decorating homes in Burbank, winning the top award numerous years. Thousands upon thousands of visitors found their way to North Catalina Street to view Ed’s craftsmanship.
So many of his customers also felt the kindness, honesty, and simple benevolence of Ed with work completed with a high degree of craftsmanship, well below the expected cost.
After valiantly fighting various diseases, including a stroke, Ed went home to be with his Lord at 6:13 am on August 13, 2022 and again had the joy of coaching his son, EJ, in heaven. Ed will be missed by his wife, Leuonna, daughter, Shelly, grandchildren, cousins, and the entire Burbank Community.