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Official Obituary of

Edward Lee Protz

August 14, 1947 ~ July 26, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Edward Protz Obituary

Edward L. Protz, 92, of Galveston, Texas passed away on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.

Ed was born in 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri to Edward Earnest Protz and Mary Doty Protz. His immediate family called him “Eddie Lee” when he was a youngster. He grew up near the baseball fields of Sportsman’s Park and would watch Cardinals and Browns baseball games on the way home from school, with a knot viewing hole pass provided to school kids. His mother, Mary, was a seamstress. His father, Edward Ernest, was a carpenter that was killed by a drunk driver when Ed was 13. Hardships were many and his aunts, uncles and cousins played important roles in his early life. He attended Beaumont High School until the age of 16, when he had to leave high school and get a job to help make ends meet at home. 

He and his family attended Calvary Baptist Church where the minister encouraged him to further his education. He played the organ and the accordion in church. He applied to college, with a 10th grade education and was admitted. He received a scholarship to attend William Jewell College.  He graduated in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and history. He also was ordained in 1955 and later taught at high school in Kansas City. 

In 1957, while visiting a friend at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, he backed into Josephine Kidd in the cafeteria line, knocking the food tray out of her hands. That night he told his brother and sister-in-law he found the girl he was going to marry, and over the course of the next 6 months, after saying “No” three times, she finally agreed to marry him after much persistence with great charm. In 1958 they married in Josephine’s hometown of Newnan, Georgia. 

During the early years of their marriage, they lived in Dallas where their son Stephen was born in 1961. Ed then went on to attend the University of Texas in Austin, Graduate School of Social Work earning a master’s degree in 1963. He, Jo and Stephen returned to Dallas where he worked at the County Juvenile Department. Their daughter Laura was born in Dallas in 1967. 

In 1969, he interviewed and accepted a position in Galveston with the Moody Foundation as their Grant Coordinator.  In this role at the Moody Foundation, his work blended with his personal life in that he was part of a small, impassioned group of friends that were able to energize, influence and impact historic preservation and revitalization parallel with culture and economic development in Galveston throughout the 1970’s. Ed and Jo would often host parties and fund raisers during these years, celebrating birthdays, welcoming acclaimed artists or highlighting special programs in Galveston.  

In the mid 80’s he transitioned from the Moody Foundation to work and help Mrs. Mary Moody Northen with her own foundation, the Mary Moody Northen Endowment. After hurricane Alicia struck in 1983, Ed implemented and over saw the restoration of the Moody Mansion and its contents, into the realization of Mrs. Northen’s vision of her Moody family home becoming a living museum.  This also included his long dedication to Mountain Lake in Virginia, a place where Mrs. Northern and her father cared deeply about. He was instrumental yet modest, coyly turning down an opportunity to be in a new movie they were filming on the property in 1985, called “Dirty Dancing”.  As President of the Endowment for more than forty years, he and the Board of Directors advanced the mission of Mary Moody Endowment benefiting the Galveston community with a long list of philanthropic causes. 

Personally, he had a very adventurous spirit with a sweet and kind demeanor, and a slightly mischievous but good-hearted sense of humor. He was always generous with his time and knowledge.  He constantly went out of his way to help others. He was always friendly and cordial to both colleagues and strangers. He most enjoyed his “projects” of building things or fixing and figuring out things. He also was a fabulous chef and really enjoyed cooking extravagant dinners and hosting, whether it was for holidays, dinner parties or a small gathering of good friends. On holidays he often smoked brisket, ribs, chicken and sausage and included guests that otherwise would have spent the holiday alone. He could never prepare enough food when inviting people for dinner and never forgot dessert, usually his homemade ice cream. He would always wait until all were seated at the table, and thru the years reminisce, “You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream” and his granddaughters favorite, “You don’t have to like it, you just have to eat it”. 

He loved to travel, especially abroad. He really enjoyed talking with people. He went on all kinds of adventures, and you could always count on a special circumstance or something fun to happen. He loved classical music. He collected old things from days gone by like wood and decorative elements from old buildings with historic stories to tell. His family and friends would have bonfires and cookouts on the beach for many years, using the leftover wood from his house construction. 

He loved to plant things and work in the garden each day after work, fashionably wearing a V-neck white T shirt, shorts and his work knee high black or brown socks and work shoes.  He was self-taught in most everything he did, he had no fear of figuring things out on his own and was always helping the neighbors with any and all projects when needed. There were always projects abound every weekend. He taught his son, daughter and others how to use tools, how to cook, “how to” on the many projects they all did together. 

He devoted his life to family, friends, community, projects and the causes he believed could make a positive impact on people’s lives or make the community a better place. He lived with a can-do attitude and approach to everything in his life. He was always brainstorming with the movers and shakers by bringing people closer and achieved things, together. 

He truly made everyone’s life a little better and this world a better place because of how he was, and that he would try, be persistent and make things happen to reach a common goal.

His children and grandchild truly enjoyed his company and spending lots of time with him as he was always such a joy to be around. Always smiling and being funny. He was a fun person to be around and to be with as a person, as a father, as a friend. We could all be so lucky to have a person like that in our lives, even for just a little while. 

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Mary Doty Protz and Edward Earnest Protz, by his sister Mildred, his brother Raymond, and his wife of 50 years, Josephine Kidd Protz. He is survived by his daughter, Laura S. Protz, and his son, Stephen E. Protz, his wife Jane, and his granddaughter Sophia and cousins and friends. 

A celebration of his life and contributions will be held on Friday August 11, 2023, at 1:30 PM at the First Presbyterian Church, 1903 Church Street, Galveston, with the Rev. Stephen Hill officiating. A reception and celebration will immediately follow at the Moody Mansion, 2618 Broadway. 

The family requests no flowers, only plants or a donation in his name be made to the Galveston Tree Conservancy benefiting a future planting project in his honor.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Edward Lee Protz, please visit our floral store.

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Memorial Service
August 11, 2023

1:30 PM
First Presbyterian Church
1903 Church Street
Galveston, TX 77550


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