Edward R. Alt, 50, a vice president at IBM

Edward R. Alt, 50, affectionately known as “Big Ed,” passed away at home surrounded by his family on March 16, 2013 after a year-long battle with Leukemia.  Never one to give up easily, he fought his disease head on with courage, dignity and grace, never losing his sense of humor.

Ed was not only a person of huge stature, but a person with a huge heart and personality.  He was a devoted husband and father, who treasured time with his family and friends.   Ed worked hard, but he enjoyed life.

He gained much joy out of lending a helping hand to friends and neighbors, never expecting favor in return.  He cheered for the Yankees, was a big collector, loved decorating for Christmas, and appreciated spending time on the water.  Ed had a knack for bringing joy to people’s lives, and for making a positive impact on so many.

Born on September 7, 1962 in Passaic, New Jersey, Ed was raised in Wappingers Falls, NY, where he floated rafts down Wappinger Creek, reveled in playing harmless pranks, delivered newspapers, and boated on the Hudson River.  At an early age, Ed developed a strong sense of adventure, determination and achievement.

In 1985 Ed graduated cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston, where he met his best friend and the love of his life, Rhonda.  Upon graduation, Ed joined IBM in Kingston, NY.

In his 28 years with IBM, Ed’s assignments enabled his family to experience different parts of the world from Kingston, NY; to Boeblingen, Germany; to Austin, Texas, finally settling in Ridgefield, CT in 2001.

As an IBM Vice President, Ed was not only a subject matter expert in pricing, but he excelled in his ability to develop, mentor and teach others.  He was always approachable, and never let titles go to his head.   Creative problem solving, growing interpersonal relationships and negotiating were just a few of his strengths.  He loved his work, approached each day with enthusiasm and made every assignment a new challenge.

Ed is survived by his wife, Rhonda,  two beautiful children, Alyssa (18) and Stephen (17), who filled him with much pride and joy, his mother, Pat Alt; grandmother, Emily Andrasick;  sister, Stephanie Alt Lamm; mother-in-law, Rita Murphy, and his father-in-law, Dominick L. Merino.    He is also survived by special aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Howard A. Alt.

Ed was deeply touched and extremely grateful to all those who fought with him, near and far, through their constant prayers, calls, texts, cards and visits.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ed’s memory to the following charities:  Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, PO Box 2387, Danbury, CT, 06813 (http://regionalhospicect.org/programs-services/hospice/)  or the Alt Children Education Fund, PO Box 459, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Viewing will be held on Thursday, March 21, 4-8pm at Kane Funeral Home in Ridgefield, CT.  The funeral will be held on Friday, March 22, 1:15 pm at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Ridgefield Ct.

Condolences can be sent to Rhonda, Alyssa and Stephen Alt, 34 Rising Ridge Road, Ridgefield CT, 06877 and Pat Alt, 3711 Al Britton Drive, Durham, NC, 27705