March 31, 1915 - May 5, 1999
Edward Frank Kulhan was born in Vienna Austria on March 31, 1915, during the First World War. His parents were from Prague, which was part of Austria-Hungary. Prague later became Czechoslovakia. Ed's father died in 1920 from tuberculosis. Ed's mother, Mary, at this time was convinced that moving to America was the thing to do. In 1925 Mary finally saved enough money for herself and her son to travel to America
Ed grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from high school in 1933. After Los Angeles Junior College he transferred to the University of Nevada, Reno. While at Reno he wrestled and was the catcher for the baseball team. He earned his Engineering degree in December 1939. After graduating, he spent almost two years surveying in Nevada.
On October 14, 1941 Ed enlisted in the Army, possibly wanting to help his native home country. Ed was sent to Officer Candidate School, and met his future wife, Lois. He proposed to her on December 7, 1941. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Engineering Corps, Ed promoted rapidly, and later saw action in Europe with the 655th Engineering Topographic Battalion. Major Edward Frank Kulhan was discharged on May 11, 1946.
Ed's next step took him to Central America working for the Army Map Service, and was based in Guatemala. Four years later Ed went to Penn State to study surveying for his masterís degree. He received his Master of Science degree in Engineering in 1953, and stayed on to teach for a few years until Ö.Fresno State.
Ed was hired at Fresno State College in 1956 to teach surveying. By the spring of 1958, he started the first surveying conference in California. From this he began to incorporate new ideas into his instruction and developed elective courses. By the early sixties Ed realized that surveying professionals were not adequately educated. He attended conferences, and heard similar stories from other educators. He took a sabbatical leave during 1966-67, and traveled Europe to check on the surveying education there. He managed to get into Czechoslovakia for a brief time, and rumors have it that he provided information to the CIA after this visit-
Ed retired in 1978, but stayed on to teach part time. In 1979 his mother passed away, and this was a difficult time for him. Ed & Lois moved to Wheatland, CA. in 1980 and began to raise horses on their ranch with their two daughters, Rozanne and Suzanne. Ed did visit two Fresno Conferences, 1986, & 1996. In January 1999 he fell, broke his hip, and was misdiagnosed. He made a miraculous recovery on his birthday, but a host of viral infections began to take their toll. Ed finally passed away on May 5, 1999.
The man who pioneered the educational reshaping of an entire profession was laid to rest on Friday May 14, 1999 in Wheatland, California. The next day, just nineteen hours later, a small earthquake rolled through Fresno, a fitting tribute!
(This memorial was reprinted from then fifteenth edition of the Mount Diablo Surveyors Historical Society newsletter from July of 1999 (Vol. 8, No. 2)
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