He was born in Fort Wayne, March 21, 1930, the son of Albert “Bert” and Catherine (Michel) Dahm. “Ed was a devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather. A man of simple, unwavering faith in God and others.”
Ed graduated from St. Jude Catholic School in 1944, attended two years at St. Joseph’s High School in Rensselaer and then graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1948. He attended Indiana University for two years before joining his brother Joe in the car wash business in 1950. Ed was a pioneer in the conveyor automatic car wash industry with the first automatic car wash in Indiana and the 18th in the United States. The car wash motto was “Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.”
He said what made the car washes great was the quality of its people, the associates. The associates were like family to Ed and Joe. Ed’s leadership in the car wash industry was recognized early on as he was chosen president of the International Carwash Association and he was inducted into the Carwash Hall of Fame. Ed was involved in many church, community and civic affairs, including serving in the United States Navy Reserve for eight years.
Ed organized the Fort Wayne Chapter of Citizens for Decent Literature, started and ran a paperback bookmobile offering free or reduced cost books, and served on the board of Benet Learning Center. Ed was a life-long parishioner at St. Jude Catholic Church where he served as Eucharistic minister. He was the co-founder of what he considered one of his greatest achievements, the St. Jude Chapel of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
With the blessing of then Bishop John D. D’Arcy and former Pastor John Pfister, the chapel was opened in 1985 and offers an opportunity for perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since the chapel opened, there have been more than a million hours of adoration. For nearly 60 years, Ed corresponded weekly with 45 different Carmelite Monasteries throughout the U.S. asking for prayers for countless individuals and families.
Ed was a devoted husband to his wife Linda during the nearly 62 years of their marriage and was by her side when she died two years ago. Throughout his life, Ed enjoyed many wonderful experiences at Lake Wawasee. He and his beloved dog Bella were on the way to the lake for Christmas when he died. Ed and Linda opened their Wawasee summer cottage to family and friends.
Ed especially enjoyed being at the lake with his 16 grandchildren where they gathered with their cousins. He often told the grandkids, “Aren’t we having fun.” Ed received the Notre Dame Man of the Year, the Xavier University Man of the Year and Father Thomas A Brandon Knights of Columbus Council #4048 Man of the Year. In 1978, Ed was named an honorary fire chief by the Fort Wayne Fire Department. He was awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. He was inducted into the Greater Fort Wayne Business Hall of Fame in 2001 and received the Donald Wolf Award in 2014.
Surviving are his two brothers, Joe (Dene) Dahm and Mike (Dee Dee) Dahm; his five children, Jerry (Ann) Dahm of Fort Wayne, Anne (Mark) Alderfer of Indianapolis, Joe (Joanne) Dahm of Chicago, Bert Dahm of Fort Wayne and Maureen Hunzicker of Louisville; his 16 grandchildren also survive him, James, Patrick, Casey, Henry, Claire, Sam, Peter, John, David, Andrew, Catharine, Mary, Ben, Jane, Grace and Edward.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:30 a.m. today (Wednesday) at St. Jude Catholic Church, Fort Wayne. Most Revered Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades officiating. Burial was in Catholic Cemetery, Fort Wayne.
“The family sincerely thanks all of the responders who assisted at the accident scene, including police, fire and medical responders and asks for continued prayers for all involved.”
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Catholic School Tuition Fund, St. Jude Perpetual Adoration Chapel Fund, 2110 Pemberton Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46805, www.stjudefw.org or to Bishop Dwenger High School Tuition Fund, 1300 E. Washington Center Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46825, www.bishopdwenger.com. To sign the online guestbook, visit www.mccombandsons.com.