Ed Bieler, the son of Ralph M. Bieler and Sara K. Bieler, was born on November 26, 1945. He loved his family and friends, his church, and the Upper Perkiomen Valley, and spent his entire life in service to others. While growing up in Pennsburg, PA, Ed's interests included music, competitive swimming, the Boy Scouts of America, and the study of American History. As a teenager, he joined the staff of the newly built Upper Perkiomen Recreation Council community swimming pool and worked his way up from a maintenance position, becoming the head lifeguard and teaching swimming in addition to the Red Cross lifesaving course. He was eventually hired as the pool's Director and became a member of the Recreation Council.
After graduating from Upper Perkiomen High School in 1963, Ed went on to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Education degree from West Chester State College (now West Chester University). He later attended Lehigh University, where he received his Secondary School Principal's Certification. An educator for 32 years, Ed began his career teaching American History at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School before joining the faculty at Upper Perkiomen High School. There he taught various subjects within the Social Studies curriculum, focusing on American History and Advanced Placement American History. He was honored to complete his teaching career as Chairman of the Social Studies Department. In the years following his retirement from teaching, Ed and his wife Kathy were able to enjoy spending time at their farmhouse in the quiet beauty of Sullivan County’s Endless Mountains.
An advocate for music in the public schools, Ed volunteered for 10 years as a member of the Upper Perkiomen Band Booster Club and traveled with the band as the "Voice of the Marching Indians". He also played piano and tuba, joining the Upper Perkiomen Valley’s own Red Hill Band, and performing in the back row bass section for 58 years. Twice he became the band's President and was also recruited into the ever-popular Geryville Hobo Band. When Ed and his wife purchased a home in East Greenville, he fulfilled his goal of participating in local government, serving as an elected member of the East Greenville Borough Council for 14 years, and was eventually named as the Council's president. At the invitation of East Greenville Boy Scout Troop #108, he also became their Citizenship Merit Badge Counselor. Following his retirement from Borough Council, Ed spent 8 years on the East Greenville Borough Planning Commission and finished his service to the borough as an alternate to the East Greenville Zoning Hearing Board. In 2008 he received commendations from the PA State House of Representatives, the PA State Senate, the US House of Representatives, and the Borough of East Greenville for his service to the Borough and to the Upper Perkiomen Valley.
Committed to fundraising for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life events in the Upper Perkiomen Valley, Ed was a co-founder of both the high school's "Tribe Stride" Relay for Life Team and the Palm Schwenkfelder Church's Relay for Life Team. As a cancer survivor himself, his participation extended to every Relay for Life event held over the years in the Upper Perkiomen Valley.
Since childhood, Ed was devoted to the programs and missions of Palm Schwenkfelder Church. He held the office of Deacon, sang in the choir, volunteered on the Board of Directors for Partners for Community Preservation, and was elected as the church's Moderator for 10 years. He packaged meals at Rise Against Hunger’s 10,000 meals events and helped his church to prepare dinners on 1st Monday Meal days at Pennsburg United Church of Christ. From 1970 to 2021, Ed held the position of Senior Choir Director and, in addition, became the Handbell Choir Director and Palm's Director of Music. From 1982 to 2019, it was his honor to conduct the United Schwenkfelder Choir, an ecumenical musical organization based at the Central Schwenkfelder Church in Worcester, PA. Ed was able to continue serving as a mentor on matters related to the church’s music programs until two weeks before his death on February 2, 2022, in the Lehigh Valley Hospital’s Hospice Unit.
He leaves behind his wife Kathleen (Weiss) Bieler; brother Joel Bieler and sister-in-law Debbie Garlicki; brother-in-law Michael Boykin; sister-in-law Judy Weiss and her family, and a cousin, Robert Bieler, his wife Ruth, and their family.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022, at 1 pm, at Palm Schwenkfelder Church, 833 Gravel Pike, Palm, PA 18070. There will be no calling period prior to the service. A video of Ed’s service will be available to view after the service via his “Book of Memories” at falkfuneralhomes.com.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his memory to either the Palm Schwenkfelder Church, PO Box 66, Palm, PA 18070 or to the Red Hill Band, PO Box 403, Red Hill, PA 18076.