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Edward P. Witham

October 17, 1942 — August 14, 2023

of Reading, formerly of Belmont & Cambridge, Massachusetts

Edward P. Witham

Edward “Eddie” P. Witham of Reading MA, formerly of Belmont and Cambridge, died peacefully with family at his side on August 14, 2023, following a brief hospitalization. Devoted husband of the late Santina “Tina” (Chinappi) Witham, he is survived by his son Paul and daughter-in-law Elizabeth (Toole) Witham of Reading, and their children Katherine and Alexander; his son Edward Witham Jr. of Arlington MA, his partner Dana Stiffler and their daughter Anneliese; and also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Eddie was born to Amos and Mae (Ferriter) Witham in 1942, the youngest of seven siblings. He grew up in East Cambridge, where he met and would later marry his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Tina. Eddie graduated from Cambridge High and Latin in 1960, and was a veteran of the U.S. Army, enlisting in 1963. After his tour he returned home, where he briefly worked for the Polaroid Corporation, and then became a police officer, serving with the Cambridge Police for twenty-five years. During that time, he and Tina raised their two sons, first in Watertown and later settling in Belmont, where Eddie would be spotted all over town on his daily runs, waving to and shouting out the names of friendly faces along his route.

A lover of sports from baseball to racquetball, Eddie’s true passion was running, and he took part in countless road races. He was a fixture of the Falmouth Road Race for many years, successfully finished many Boston Marathons, and even managed to work a triathlon into the mix. Eddie also put his expertise to work as a race director, including helping found the Bill "Doc" Linskey 5K in Cambridge, and the Doug Flutie 5K for Autism in Natick MA.

After retiring from the police department in 1992, Eddie went on to coach cross country and manage the sports equipment rooms at both the Belmont Hill School and Buckingham Browne & Nichols (BB&N) in Cambridge.

Following the loss of his beloved Tina in 2011, Eddie moved to Reading MA to take on his favorite and final job as full-time Papa. Here, he dedicated his days to helping with after-school pickups; monitoring neighborhood traffic and placing “Slow Down” signs at every corner; regularly asking the family “Did you know your front door was unlocked?”; never quite acknowledging appeals for “no more sweets” as bags of Skittles, Junior Mints and Sour Patch Kids mysteriously appeared on the dining room table; arriving at least 30 minutes early to give rides to dance class and football practice; making sure their cat Maisy was never lonely when the family was away; arranging for countless dinnertime “pizza parties”; and other daily thoughtful acts too numerous to list.

Despite his legs no longer allowing for a quick jog around the high school track, and his body’s relentless efforts to slow him down, Eddie never sat still for long. Even on the day of his hospitalization, he was out making his rounds, quietly slipping into his grandchildren's house one more time to leave each a five-dollar bill at their place on the dinner table. Then happily making his exit, a job very well done.

The family will be holding a memorial celebration of Eddie’s life at a later date.
 
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to one of his favorite recent charities, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Gift Processing Administrator, 18251 Quantico Gateway Drive, Triangle, VA 22172, or online at https://www.toysfortots.org/donate/mail-in-donation.aspx
 
For more information, www.facebook.com/BarileFamilyFuneralHome
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