Per the request of Ed, his services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family sincerely asks that people consider making a memorial donation to the Bernardian Charitable Foundation, 45 Harvard St. Fitchburg, MA 01420 or https://bernardian.org/memory, to help sustain another Fitchburg institution that Ed believed in and considered important to the community and to helping young people and families.
Edward S. Krysiak, 85, who served as the president of Wachusett Potato Chip Company for over 50 years, passed away at Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster on June 20, 2022.
Ed was born on May 4, 1937 in Clinton. He was the first of seven children born to the late Theofil and Helen (Jaksina) Krysiak. Both of his parents were of Polish heritage. Edward grew up with two Polish grandmothers living with him at various times during his childhood, something he enjoyed talking about in his later years.
In 1948, Edward and his family moved into the warden’s house of the former Fitchburg Jail when the family bought the property to relocate Wachusett from Clinton to Fitchburg. That house and the jail were eventually razed to expand the production facility, but left Ed and his siblings with unique childhood memories of a piece of area history.
Ed attended St. Mary’s and St. Bernard’s Elementary Schools and graduated from St. Bernard’s High School in 1955. In high school he excelled academically and on the basketball court. He attended the College of the Holy Cross as a commuter so that he could both work in the family business – as he had since his early childhood – and attend school. He earned his BS in accounting in 1959.
Upon the death of his father in 1960, a 23-year-old Ed took over the responsibility of running Wachusett and supporting his family including his youngest siblings who were still small children. He dedicated his life to making the business successful and keeping it as part of the Fitchburg business community. Under Ed’s leadership and work ethic, hundreds of community members found steady work and good benefits. He continually modernized the business to ensure that it did not follow the fate of over 10 other regional potato chip manufacturers that folded under competition from the national competitors.
He was active in the Snack Food Association and over the years purchased and partnered with several companies. Ed had an extensive professional network from his decades in the industry. His professional capstone was the sale of the business to Utz in 2011, which kept the plant operational and the smell of cooking chips in the air above Fitchburg.
Although normally a reserved man, Ed was committed to helping his family and anyone who needed assistance. When younger he raised money for the Bishop’s Fund and was a Eucharistic Minister at St. Leo’s. He provided support to countless charitable causes throughout the years and was always there to help someone during a difficult time.
Ed is survived by his wife of 60 years, Barbara (Smith) Krysiak, his son David Krysiak of Garland, Texas, and his daughter Kathy Krysiak and her husband Andrzej Litra of Leominster with whom he lived. He also leaves his brother Thomas and his wife Patricia, his brother Robert, his sister Diane, several nephews, a niece, and many cousins. He was particularly close to his nephew Greg Krysiak, with whom he worked closely for decades. Finally, he leaves Mabel the Kitty, a feline spoiled rotten by Ed.
Ed was predeceased by his brothers John and Michael, his sister Jane Vaden, and his nephew Barry.