Edwin “Eddie” J. Palinski, a 31-year Toledo police veteran who organized fishing excursions and was frequently among the top teams in the department’s annual walleye tournament, died Friday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township. He was 77.
He had suffered a massive stroke this month while in Fort Myers, Fla., where he and his wife had a winter home, and was flown back to Ohio and placed in hospice, his daughter, Diana Palinski-Roberts, said.
Mr. Palinski joined the police department in 1959. He served in the Army, stationed in Alaska, and after discharge took a job at a stamping plant. He left the factory in pursuit of a more stable job, his daughter said.
Mr. Palinski made sergeant in 1971. In 1987 he was promoted to lieutenant, the rank at which he retired in 1990.
He was born Jan. 5, 1936, in Toledo, attended Woodward High School, and played football as a linebacker and running back. He graduated in 1954.
Rick Reed, a fellow command officer, said Mr. Palinski “could be friends with anybody.”
“Even the crooks liked him. He treated everybody with kindness and respect,” said Mr. Reed, who also retired as lieutenant.
Another retired police officer, Chuck Guckeyson, said Mr. Palinski had a knock for remembering people.
“I don’t think he ever forgot someone’s name or face,” he said. “He could stop somewhere for gas, and we’d be there for a half-hour talking.”
Mr. Reed said the two of them remained close after Mr. Palinski left the force. They participated in the annual Toledo Police Walleye Tournament, a three-decade-old event that still attracts Toledo lawmen to Lake Erie each summer.
Mr. Palinski was the team captain and skipper. He named his boats “Make My Day,” in a nod to the Clint Eastwood catchphrase spoken by Dirty Harry in the film Sudden Impact.
Mr. Palinski often invited Mr. Reed to take along his children and grandchildren on other Lake Erie fishing outings.
Mr. Guckeyson, a retired sergeant, said he too was a frequent passenger on “Make My Day,” whether on Lake Erie or Lake Michigan, where a group of retired policemen would take boats and fish for salmon each summer.
“It was not so much about the competition,” Mr. Guckeyson said. “He just wanted to go out and have a good day fishing, with the camaraderie.”
Daughter Diana said Mr. Palinski stayed current with the news and politics.
“He was a patriot,” she said. “As a kid … he wanted me to be informed. He thought it was our duty as citizens to be informed of things going on.”
Mr. Guckeyson concurred, adding Mr Palinski was a staunch conservative.
Mr. Palinski’s interest in sports swung toward University of Michigan football, the Boston Red Sox, and Detroit Red Wings hockey.
He had season tickets for the Toledo Goaldiggers hockey team and after that team folded, he and his wife of 53 years, Donna, held season tickets to the Red Wings for a time, his daughter said.
He loved animals, a compassion he shared with his daughter, for whom he adopted two donkeys.
Mr. and Mrs. Palinski moved in with his daughter and her husband in a separate apartment the younger couple had built on their property near Swanton.
In Florida, the Palinskis wintered in a community that attracted several dozen Toledo police and fire retirees, his daughter said.
Mr. Palinski is survived by his wife, Donna, whom he married June 18, 1960; daughter, Diana Palinski-Roberts; brothers, Len and Donald Palinski; sister, Judy Peters, and two granddaughters.
Visitation is 2 to 8 p.m. today in Coyle Funeral Home. There will be no funeral service. Memorials are suggested to Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
Contact Jim Sielicki at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.