Edwin was born on 9 June 1929 in Ashland, Massachusetts to Herman and Margaret Gast. In his youth he raised pigs and other animals to raise money so that he could later go to college. He helped his father build a porch for his mother when he was fifteen. When not in school he did any odd job that would earn him some money. He joined the Navy and served in the Mediterranean Sea during the Korean Conflict.
He received a degree in Animal Husbandry at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), worked for several large farmsteads before purchasing his own farm in Tunbridge, Vermont. The farm was a Jersey farm but within four years he had made it a Holstein farm. He sang in the church Christmas Story and had a great tenor voice. Christmas seemed to be his favorite time of the year with making handmade gifts for family and friends. Later in life he was the Field Manager at Vermont Technical College and taught farming to young men and women. He has eleven grandchildren who remember him always having projects for them to do with a reward of some ice cream. He always had a smile for his grandchildren and loved to tease them and got such a chuckle at their reactions. He and his wife purchased the Fox Stand Inn and turned it into an Inn and restaurant. His youngest daughter helped him run the restaurant the first year that the Inn was open. The oldest daughter and family pitched in another year.
He retired in the mid 1980s and moved to Kernersville, North Carolina with his wife after she had recovered from a serious illness. They grew orchids on the back porch and tended 300 azaleas in the yards around the house. He taught all the older grandchildren how to play pinochle so that they could play whenever they came to visit. Ed had a deep spirituality and helped many people whom he met as he traveled with his wife around the world. In 1991 he moved to Surfside, South Carolina to be near the ocean. Other moves took him and his wife of 68 years to Copper Hill where he started going on long walks; Butler; where he started painting with abstract designs- each painting was special to someone and Mountain City, Tennessee where he made chocolate chip and gingersnap cookies to give to the folks in town who helped him.
He loved to go to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings to check out the produce and talk to the farmers. He and his wife got involved in the Senior Citizen Center making treat boxes for the Meals on Wheels for each holiday.
Ed leaves four children and their spouses, eleven grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren, his older sister, as well as nieces and nephews to mourn his passing.
He is now with his wife and all the many friends they have made throughout their lives that have passed on.
Austin and Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Gast family.