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Holy Trinity custodian was a true caretaker to all

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HARTINGTON — Ed Meyer’s job duties as the custodian at Holy Trinity Elementary School went beyond mopping floors and cleaning toilets, and included a whole lot of fun.

He not only looked after the school facilities keeping them spic and span, he also served as the caretaker for those who occupied the building. He was a friend to all - teachers, parents and students alike - loved to tease and was known to take a break and join in recess frequently.

“I liked to play games with the kids when I had time, in the gym with a soccer ball,” Meyer said. “There was a couple times I went outside for recess. They wanted me to push them in the swing or push them in the merry-go-round and constantly wanted me to do it. I was so tired.”

After more than 30 years, Meyer hung up his broom and made a clean break, entering into retirement. But while he no longer goes to work every day, his thoughts still linger on the fulfilling relationships he made. Meyer, who had no children of his own, found his calling and passion for working alongside youth within the halls of Holy Trinity.

“I still have to admit how impressed I am by Ed,” said Larry Weigum, a friend. “ All those 30-plus years doing a job nobody wants amidst talking and entering into so many relationships, all the while remaining humble and caring for so much. So much history has been made on Ed’s watch at Holy Trinity.”

Oftentimes, if Meyer asked a teacher to send a handful of kids to help him with a project the whole class would want to come. Was it likely they just wanted to get out of class? Or was it that Meyer was so fun to be around?

“I loved to tease the kids as they come up and down the hall, pretend chase them I did. They really enjoyed it,” he said.

If there was a part of his job he didn’t like, well, Meyer just learned to love it.

“I went ahead and did it anyway,” he said and always with a smile even if that meant clearing snow from the sidewalks at 5 a.m. and sometimes going out two or three times in the day.

Meyer learned and adapted to changes over the years with lights, heating, cooling, vacuums and even water fountains.

The decision to retire did not come easy but health concerns prompted him to cut down to part-time in the past two years.

“It came to be the last week of school and I thought I should try one more year but everyone said, ‘No, no, no, you better not,” Meyer said.

He always received praise for a job well done so he was caught off guard for the overflowing of recognition, gifts and well wishes upon his retirement.

He was recognized at the school’s spring concert as a special guest of honor which was another surprise to him.

“I just had a feeling something was up that night,” Meyer said because of the fuss his friends and family were making over him attending.

He said at the end of the concert, the students started chanting his name.

“There were tears in my eyes and the kids were going wild,” Meyer said.

He was also recognized at Mass with an open house that followed at the school. He was able to visit at the open house with everyone from teachers, parents and students who presented him with all kinds of Thank You cards.

As for retirement, Meyer said he’s enjoying it so far but he misses the students already. And he knows they’ll miss him, too, especially when the school bell rings again next fall.

“If I wasn’t there, they’d ask, ‘Where is Mr. Meyer? Is he sick?’ They just really did miss me,” he said.