Edwin Morris Prentke
1904 – 2007

Edwin Morris Prentke, age 103, co-founder of the Prentke Romich Company, died at his home in Lyndhurst, Ohio on May 21, 2007.

He was born February 27, 1904 in Omaha, NE, attended East Tech High School, and graduated in 1926 from Case School of Applied Science, now part of Case Western Reserve University. Edwin married the love of his life, Esther Green, on November 12, 1933. She preceded in him in death in 2002.  They had been married 69 years.

During WWII, Edwin taught at Case and then Fenn College, now Cleveland State University.  He formed a partnership, Tech Machine Ltd., which manufactured parts for the military.

After the war, Ed worked for the Cleveland Institute of Electronics where he wrote mail order electronics courses, among other endeavors.  When he and Esther were married, they opened a camera shop, Prentke’s, at E101st and Euclid Avenue.  They sold the store in 1956.

Beginning in the early 60s, Ed worked as a rehabilitation engineer at Highland View Hospital in Cleveland, OH.  In 1964, he first met Barry Romich, who was an engineering student at Cleveland's Case Institute of Technology (now part of Case Western Reserve University). The two participated in a federally funded medical engineering research program, completed several small projects together, and subsequently formed the Prentke Romich Company (PRC) in 1966 to continue their collaboration on the development of assistive technologies for individuals with disabilities. Ed contributed to the growth of PRC until 1979, when at the age of 75 he retired from PRC. The Prentke Romich Company has continued to grow and has touched the lives of many tens of thousands of people with disabilities around the world.

When he was nearly 88, Edwin retired from Highland View Hospital, which had become part of the MetroHealth System.

A consummate photographer and sailor, Ed also enjoyed traveling, classical music, and playing his Rogers electronic organ.  His charitable contributions significantly improved the quality of lives for many individuals.

Ed is survived by nieces and nephews Mark Green, Edith (Green) Orenstein, Larry Levy, Howard Levy, their spouses and children, other dear relatives, and many beloved friends. 

The legacy of Edwin and Esther Prentke is being perpetuated through an endowment supporting the needs of people with severe disabilities.  Memorial contributions can be made at www.aacinstitute.org.  An online tribute to Ed and his late wife Esther and their life journeys can be found at http://romichfoundation.org/prentke.

A special thanks to his devoted caregivers, Loretta Brooks, Vinnie Curd, Latoy Nelson, Bonnie Priest, Vernita Ranch-Scott and the staff of Western Reserve Hospice.