It is with great sadness that I share that the Rt. Rev. Edwin Leidel, Jr., first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan, passed away earlier today following a long battle with cancer. He had just entered residential hospice care. That he entered into God’s nearer presence on the feast of Pentecost is not lost on us. 

Among his many gifts, Ed was called to Eastern Michigan for his innovative spirit, his vision for lay empowerment, and his great, great humor. Consecrated to serve the new diocese in 1996, he served ten years as bishop diocesan. As an ordained leader in the Church, Ed’s ministry took him across the world, serving in the US Navy Reserve as officer and chaplain, as a priest in Indianapolis, Australia, and Minnesota, and to his beloved Great Lakes states, Michigan and Wisconsin. Ed was a pioneer, leading us into big questions of identity, structure, and call – questions we’re still mining today across the Episcopal Church.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Ed in the House of Bishops and found him a genuinely caring leader with a twinkle in his eye. I spoke to his wife, Ira, who was relieved that he was not suffering anymore. She cherished the warmth of their love story of over fifty years. She wanted to make sure the faithful knew how much Ed loved them and rejoiced in their thriving. I assured her and their family of our prayers for comfort during this season of grief, loss, and gratitude.

Plans for a memorial service to be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin are pending and will be shared with our diocesan communities as soon as they are available.

Please hold Bishop Ed’s loved ones in your prayers as they grieve: his many friends; his beloved wife, Ira; their two children; and their grandchildren. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. 

Yours in the risen Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh

Bishop Provisional
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan
Almighty God, Father of mercies and giver of comfort: Deal graciously, we pray, with all who mourn; that, casting all their care on you, they may know the consolation of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.