Ed was born January 14, 1942 in Buffalo, NY, the middle child of Charles R. and Betty (Phillips) Bullis. He went to be with Jesus November 16, 2020 at Porter Hospice with his wife, Carol, by his side. We are thankful that the hospice had less stringent covid restrictions, and his children were able to spend significant time with him in his last days.
Ed’s childhood and teen years were typical for the 1940’s and 1950’s and were times of learning many life lessons that have served him well throughout his life. He was very eager to make a buck and worked at a gas station and restaurant as soon as he was old enough. He also delivered newspapers -to the doorstep of course - during his teenage years. The winter weather in Buffalo (Kenmore) was a paper boy’s nightmare, but his dad taught him that, like the mailman, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” When Christmas came, Ed really looked forward to collecting the generous tips of his satisfied customers. That work ethic stayed with him all of his life.
From a young age Ed was always at his father’s side as he learned how to be a do-it-yourself guy and maintain a home. He became Johnny-on-the Spot when repairs were needed in his own home. Doesn’t every woman dream of a husband like that?
Ed loved being a Boy Scout which apparently led his father to believe he was ready for challenging outdoor adventures. When he was 12 or 13, Charles dropped Ed and his friend Mike off for a weekend camping trip in Letchworth State Park. The weather was much colder than expected, and they weren’t prepared for it. They had serious doubts that they would survive. It was a basic”Always Be Prepared” Boy Scout lesson that Ed learned very well.
But the biggest adventure occurred when Ed and Mike decided it would be really cool to walk across the railroad trestle high over the Genesee River. Halfway across they heard a train in the distance. There was no time to make it to either end, and they had no choice but to hang on to the vibrating railing for dear life as the train went by. That led to Ed’s lifelong fear of heights which he overcame when it was necessary, but it didn’t stop him from seeking challenging situations and growing through them. Needless to say, Ed and Mike were overjoyed when Charles picked them up Monday morning. Nowadays Charles probably would be charged with child abuse. (The trestle was built in1875 and was replaced in 2017. Search “Letchworth State Park Railroad Trestle Bridge” to see the location of this harrowing adventure.)
Because of his father’s job, the Bullis family moved to Tucson in the late 1950’s and to Denver in 1960.
Ed got a job at Public Service, a large utility company, shortly after moving to Denver. He worked there for 27 years. Wanting to provide more for his family, he also worked part time cleaning offices. He soon realized he could make more money if he worked for himself. One of his clients was Dr. Arthur, who was Jeff and Stacey’s pediatrician. Dr. Arthur’s nurse was married to an architect who was working on some projects at the home of a well-known and very wealthy Denver oil family. The Mrs. wasn’t pleased with the care of her marble floors. When Dr. Arthur’s nurse asked Ed if he did that kind of work, of course he said yes. He had no experience with that, but he knew he could learn. To buy a little time, he told the Mrs. that since the floors were in bad shape, it might take a few weeks to get them looking good. And in short order they were perfect. That started many years of Ed getting up at 4 a.m. every Friday to clean and polish the floors before the family started their day. The icing on the cake was that the nurse told Ed that he needed to charge them double what he would normally charge, or they wouldn’t think he was doing a good job. He was happy to oblige.
Ed’s life took an unexpected turn in 1988 when he and Carol took a class called “Discover the World.” The class taught us that Christians were commanded to share our time, talent and treasure even beyond the boundaries of our community and comfort level. After the class, Ed went on a short-term mission trip to an impoverished community south of Tijuana. He wasn’t enthusiastic about the trip because there was another option that felt right to him, but that trip didn’t materialize. The team built a small house for Hector, his wife, several children, his mother and an aunt. Ed had a hard time understanding why a person who was so poor would have so many children. As their relationship developed Ed finally asked Hector that question. Hector said, “I don’t know what all you have, but all I have is my family.” That totally changed Ed’s perspective. He developed a great respect and love for Hector. He realized that Hector was poor not because he didn’t work hard enough. He was poor because of a systemic lack of opportunity. Ed came back from that trip knowing that God wanted him to continue to help the poor in Mexico, but he couldn’t do it full time until his planned early retirement, which was seven years in the future. In the meantime he would work at Public Service and volunteer as much time as he could.
Then one of the worst things that can happen - happened. Ed’s job at Public Service ended. It was devastating to Ed since he had been a productive employee and had risen in the ranks for 27 years. Much of his identity was related to his job.
But God has a way of making beauty out of ashes!
Ed was now available to minister full time to the poor in the colonias of Juarez. Through many totally unexpected, unbelievable and miraculous circumstances, the ministry began to take shape.
If you would like to read more about the amazing growth of Missions Ministries there is more information at the end of his obituary.
Ed served with Missions Ministries for over 20 years. He was a man after God’s own heart who became an example of how an ordinary man can do extraordinary things when he is willing to answer God’s call and trust Him for guidance and provision. May that be an encouragement to all of you.
Ed read the Bible and prayed every day. He read through the Bible several times. He found much wisdom in “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. He bought dozens of Bibles and “My Utmost for His Highest” devotional books to give to friends and people he encountered in daily life. He must have been one of the best customers ever at “Inklings” book store at Cherry Hills Community Church.
As Ed became more confined to his home, he spent hours every morning in the garage, his man cave. He sat in the vehicle he could no longer drive listening to sermons, reading his Bible and Oswald Chambers’ daily wisdom. He prayed for his family, his friends, the ministry in Mexico, our church, our nation and the world. Our church called a new pastor after the founding pastor of 32 years retired. Ed knew it would be a tough transition from one to the other, so he wrote the pastor’s name on a coffee pot box that was sitting on a shelf right in front of the driver’s seat to remind him to pray for our pastor every day.
Although Ed had many friends, he was especially blessed in his declining years by the men in his Bible studies who stood by him as his health deteriorated. When he could no longer go to Bible study, they had some of their Bible studies in our garage. When he went to memory care,
they joined him in the dining room once a month. The men never abandoned their buddy and loved and prayed for him till the end. What a precious gift!
Ed met two very special friends in the 1960’s.
He met Roger Summer when they worked at Public Service. Their friendship lasted until Roger’s passing in 2017. Their conversations would have solved all of the problems of the world if anyone had paid attention. Roger knew how to fix anything, and he was the angel who took care of many of our home repairs when Ed was no longer able to do them. In retirement years Ed and Carol and Roger and his wife, Carol, had lunch almost every Friday - most often at Olive Garden, Black-Eyed Pea or Old Chicago - with a stop at Dairy Queen afterward for a “cone with a curl on top” or a Blizzard.
Ed met Walter “Shef” Presnall at church. Shef was 25 years older than Ed, but they developed a very special bond. In some ways they were birds of a feather, and they both loved to fish. That led to decades of trips to a secret canyon near Walden in Colorado’s northern mountains. As Shef’s health declined, he and Ed went on their last trip to Walden. They left at the same time as always - 5:30 am, had breakfast at the same restaurant in Idaho Springs, checked into the same motel in Walden, ate in the same restaurant in Walden and drove to the same canyon. But this this time there wasn’t even a short hike into the canyon. They took in the beauty of God’s creation and reminisced about their friendship and the fun they had together. Shef passed away in 2011. No amount of cajoling by their other fishing buddies could convince them to reveal their secret fishing stream. They took the location of the canyon to their graves.
Ed’s best times were times spent with family. He enjoyed many family celebrations that included all the kids and grandkids. We celebrated these milestones with Stacey and Jeff’s mom, Diane, and her husband Bob. We are so thankful for the bond that grew between all of us. Pappy loved cheering for his grandkids’ at games involving balls of various shapes and sizes until he was no longer able to go. He fervently prayed for them, and his prayers were answered as his children became responsible adults who are now raising their high school and college-age children to be amazing human beings. He was so proud of all of them.
Ed had a special bond with Carol’s sisters and their husbands - Ken and Peggy Heffleger, Harrisburg, Pa and Dick and Rue Megonnell, Dauphin, Pa. Ed and Carol spent most of their vacations with them and loved hosting them when they came to Colorado.
Ed is survived by his wife, Carol, and his children Jeff Bullis, Stacey (Matt) Dowling, Susan (Kevin) Schlatter, Jill (Greg) Gould, and his grandchildren,Tommy and Robin Dowling, Joshua, Matthew and Ben Schlatter, and Greg Jr. and Sally Gould. He is also survived by his sister, Esther. He is predeceased by his father and mother, Charles and Betty Bullis and his brother, Fred Bullis. His father and brother passed away in the the mid-1970’s. Ed loved them dearly and deeply felt their absence all of his life.
Rest in peace Ed. You have been a good and faithful servant.
Ed’s memorial service will be at 10:30 am MST (12:30 pm EST) Wednesday, December 2, 2020 in The Dixon Chapel at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, CO. His cremains will be placed in the Memorial Garden at the church. Unfortunately due to covid, attendance is by invitation only.
The service will be live-streamed.
To access the service on Facebook, search “Heflebower Funeral Services” The live-stream will be the most recent post and will not be visible until shortly before the service. To enjoy the prelude music, log in early.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, follow these steps:
Scroll to the bottom of the home page.
Click on the Facebook icon, the middle of three icons.
The live-streamed service will be the most recent post on the page and will not be visible until the time and date of the service. To enjoy the prelude music, log in early.
Online memorial donations to build a home for a precious family in Juarez are welcomed.
To donate online go to
Click on the light blue Donate button
Choose “Most Needed” and type “Ed Bullis Memorial” in the Notes section.
or mail to
9457 S. University Blvd. #518 Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
More About Ed’s Call to Juarez
When Ed received his call to minister in Juarez, there was a huge obstacle right off the bat. Ed knew no one in Juarez! But he decided he had to go and see what happened.
Doug, a man from Garden City, KS who often came to Denver on business, attended a Bible study when he was in Denver. Ed attended that Bible study too. When Doug learned of Ed’s calling, he gave Ed the phone number of VJ, a college friend who was a chef at a hotel in El Paso. He told Ed to call VJ, and assured him he’d enjoy a delicious free meal. So when Ed got to El Paso he called the chef, who sure enough invited him to come to the hotel. When VJ asked Ed what he was doing in El Paso, Ed told him. The chef said, “there’s someone I want you to meet.” He just happened to employ a waiter from across the border who had a passion to help the poor people and pastors in the colonias. He happened to be working right then.
Chuy took Ed miles outside of the city to a desert area dotted with cardboard shacks. He introduced Ed to Pastor Francisco, whose congregation worshiped in a very small off-kilter shack made of cardboard, wooden pallets and plastic. Since the foremost goal of the ministry was to lead people to Christ through humanitarian efforts, Ed knew that he needed to partner with the pastors who knew the needs of the community far better than he did. Meeting that pastor that day was another amazing answer to prayer.
Another miracle was in the making. Just three months later, the congregation was worshiping in a safe and sturdy 24’x 48’ church! The congregation grew, and additional space was added on. When the church was built there was no electricity in the area. A generator provided light for the dedication service, and when we went out of the building and looked back, it truly was a light shining in the darkness. Missions Ministries built churches for all of the pastors we partnered with over the years. Pastor Francisco is still the pastor at the first church.
A group of pastors determined that the first need of the community was to have safe housing. Since then over 1000 homes have been built. They are 12’x 36’ and have a concrete floor, insulation, drywall, wiring, safe windows and doors and a sanitary outhouse. Shingle roofs were recently upgraded to metal roofs, and now most teams provide basic furniture - a cooktop and refrigerator, kitchen table and chairs, kitchen and bath supplies, bunk beds, storage shelves, and gifts for the family. There are always tears as the keys are handed to the family.
Other buildings were needed, and early on the ministry built an orphanage for a man who had a calling to care for orphans and abandoned children and no funds to build it. The orphanage blessed not only the children, but the entire community because when it was built, the government ran the first power line into the area. The grid has expanded over the years and now thousands of people have access to it.
Ed had another seemingly impossible goal - at least to anyone who was realistic about things, including his wife! He felt he needed to build a walled, secure environment to accommodate the teams in motel-like rooms and provide their meals in a dining hall, instead of staying at the Holiday Inn and having a long commute to and from the hotel every day. We also needed a secure space for the warehouse and a medical clinic. It was a huge and costly project. Where would the funding come from? Who knew? Well of course it was the Lord, but he hadn’t told Ed that yet. I guess He wanted to surprise him again.
A 7th grade team was spending their spring break building a house. The father of one of the team members decided to make a brief visit to the team. Ed had no idea who he was. Ed saw him talking on a cell phone and was concerned that he might not be aware that calls to the US were about $4 a minute at that time. (A few team members had found that out the hard way.) He told him, but the man wasn’t a bit concerned. The man turned out to be the CEO of a major international company. He was so impressed by what he saw that he facilitated a very large donation to Missions Ministries from his company’s foundation. The ministry bought two acres of land littered with trash and transformed it into a beautiful team center/ministry hub which is now the delight of every team member and greatly enhances the mission trip experience.
The scope of ministry expanded with the building of two libraries, The need for educating the children was an emphasis early on. The libraries offered tutoring, computer skills and ESL classes, help with homework and a welcoming and safe place where children experience the love of God. Many team members have provided scholarships to cover all the fees and other expenses for school children, some of whom have gone to universities.
The clinic inside the team center is staffed by a Mexican nurse. Many medical teams come from the US and have cared for untold numbers of people who need medication for acute illnesses and chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes, which are rampant in the community. Other teams focus on biblical training for the pastors or Vacation Bible Schools. A team of amazing women focuses their time on encouraging and pampering the women of the community. Tons of donated goods have fed and clothed people in desperate need of help. Teams keep coming up with new ways to serve during their trips. One woman saw the need for diapers and formula. You can search “Babies of Juarez” to see the incredible results of her passion for helping with these needs. All of these things have happened because of God’s miraculous provision of everything that was needed.
There are so many stories . . .
All of this was accomplished in partnership with a wonderful Mexican staff. Missions Ministries employs about 40 men and women from the community. All of these people desperately needed a job, and the Lord provided. They have been led by Leo Pineda for 28 years. His wife
Susy was a teacher and uses those skills to capably oversee the libraries and education ministry. Leo was an angry teen gang member who went to prison. In prison, he asked for Christ’s forgiveness and made Him Lord of his life. That happened when he began to read a Bible. His testimony is riveting. Susy is a gentle woman of God, a loving and supportive partner to Leo and the perfect person for her job. The ministry wouldn’t have thrived without this godly husband and wife providing great leadership. We are so thankful God brought them into our lives.
Although God worked in mysterious and miraculous ways, there were many challenges in the ministry as well. There’s no need to make a list. God brought the ministry through all of them. Two big ones were because of the times we live in. The ministry was greatly impacted by the violence caused by the drug cartels turf wars. Many teams canceled their trips, but others came, and the ministry never stopped serving. Ed’s “crazy” vision to build the secure team center was a major factor in Missions Ministries ability to serve during those difficult times. In 2020 covid has closed the border and no teams have been able to go since March. But Adrian Waller, Executive Director, and the Board of Missions Ministries along with the Mexican staff have found many creative ways to carry on significant ministry in spite of the obstacles. As everyone else, we are praying for a better 2021.
And Ed’s goal of seeing masses of people putting their faith in Christ is continually realized as many Mexicans and Americans have asked Jesus to be their Savior and Lord and have become faithful followers of Christ. How wonderful that the Bible tells us that we all will be neighbors in heaven.
God has looked upon Missions Ministries with favor, and we trust Him to guide us in the future.