June 29, 2022

Death Announced of Edward John “Ed” Sopneski of Old Lyme; Lifelong Environmentalist, Joined Other Pioneers Who Led Successful Restoration of Ospreys in OL

OLD LYME — Edward John “Ed” Sopneski passed away peacefully April 12, 2022, after a recent cancer diagnosis …

He was born at St. Raphael Hospital in New Haven, Feb. 27, 1935 …

In 1961 Ed married June Kensel. They bought a home in Old Lyme, where they raised their three sons. The family loved living near the ocean, the Connecticut River and the tidal wetlands …

From his youngest days, he was keenly interested in nature, conservation and the environment …

In the mid-1970s, Ed and friend Jennifer Hillhouse joined with other pioneers who led the successful restoration of the Osprey population in Old Lyme, and the lower Connecticut River. In 1974, there were only nine osprey nests in Connecticut …

Preserving open space was another of Ed’s keen interests. He participated in the purchase campaign for the Watch Rock section of the Old Lyme Land Trust Preserve spending years and untold hours removing invasive plants that were endangering native trees and plants in this preserve …

He cleared an incredible three acres of invasive plants by 2016, and was named the Trust’s Steward Extraordinaire. Quietly, working with hand tools and a bow saw, Ed worked diligently and methodically until recently, when cancer took its toll …

He also worked part time for Roger Tory Peterson and his wife Virginia, as a gardener. Ed designed, installed and maintained a beautiful butterfly garden for them.

Ed’s greatest love on this earth was his family …

Funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. June 4, at the Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church Street, Deep River. Relatives and friends are kindly invited.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Old Lyme Land Trust, Box 163, Old Lyme, CT 06371, or to www.oldlymelandtrust.org …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published May 15, 2022 in The Day.