Ed Simmons: In Memorium, 10-07-1952 – 9-22-22

Ed Simmons. Self-Portrait. LA. 2018.
Ed Simmons. Self-Portrait, Los Angeles, 2018.

In Memorium: 

Ed Simmons: 10-07-1952 – 9-22-22


Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2022


It figures that today is a dreary rainy day.  Not easy getting bad news on a day like this, but it happened anyway. Jacqueline Simmons, the daughter of a dear friend,  Ed Simmons called at 10:42 this morning to inform tearfully that  her Dad passed away peacefully from complications of renal cancer. She was by his bedside at the time of his passing.  Anyone that knew Ed would know how much he was comforted by Jacqueline’s presence.  His daughter was the apple of his eye, a complicated relationship but they loved each other immensely none the less.  Ed called early in June of this year and gave me the news his diagnosis was terminal.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Ed always appeared fit and healthy. He didn’t exactly know how much time he had in June. He was acutely aware his time was very limited on this earth.  We talked about therapy options that he didn’t want any part of.  I tried to encourage him to look on the bright side, hoping against hope there would be a miracle, certainly there were plenty of prayers. Ed was steadfast. He starred squarely at his mortality and accepted his pending demise without complaint. He remembered seeing his dad suffer with the end stages of the same disease and decided after conferring with doctors not to take any chemo or radiation. He didn’t want to suffer with ineffective treatments the way his dad did.  He said the disease was really nasty. 

So we talked since  June numerous times about what he would do with his personal effects, especially his photography collection.  Ed was an amazing photographer and always offered his assistance on my shoots  whenever I worked in Los Angeles.   He loved LA’s nightlife and became a fixture, particularly around Melrose and his home away from home, Venice Beach, where he wished to have his remains released to the sea, where his spirit can eternally enjoy the sun and surf.

A life well lived and a close friend I will truly miss.


Here are a few links to past contributions Ed Simmons made to this blog. He would love for visitors to enjoy the articles he left behind:

. Dancing Girls Harvard and Stone: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/ed-simmons-dancing-girls-harvard-and-stone/

. Venice Beach Trashed: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/ed-simmons-dancing-girls-harvard-and-stone/

. Jay Adams Local Hero: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/ed-simmons-jay-adams-local-hero/

4 thoughts on “Ed Simmons: In Memorium, 10-07-1952 – 9-22-22”

  1. There is an empty place in my heart ❤️…. I asked for a sign as he entered heaven…. He was to blink my lights and sure enough 20 hours after he left us my lights blinked….how lucky 🍀 was I ….he was ready to go so I could ask💔 I love you Ed…. Your older sister Lynn xxxooo

  2. I met Ed in the mid-late 1990’s. I am an agent, representing photographers. Ed called my office, what appeared to be out of the blue, asking for help with a photography assignment with the state of Pennsylvania. He was looking for an agent who could help him in the estimating and negotiation of the project. I was never clear how he found me, but I was more than happy to work with him. Although that was the only project we worked on together, we remained in touch ever since – usually talking about photography and life. He had told me about his cancer, but I wasn’t aware of how little time he had. I was so very sorry to hear of his passing.

    I never met Jacqueline, but I am hoping that through this blog my heart felt condolences will be sent to her.

  3. Ed was my Cousin Brother. A name he came up with about 25 years ago. We were very similar as family has told me but we were also very different. I didn’t realize how much he meant to me. We only spoke a couple times a year but I’ll miss the things he would tell me and I’ll miss hearing “Yo, Doug.”
    I hope Jacqueline all the happiness she deserves in life, I’m very sorry for your loss.

  4. Ed and I met on a John Sexton photo trip way back when… I got him started in darkroom work and we did several shoots together when I lived in Manhattan Beach. I kept up with Him up to a week before he passed. I helped him get into his last apartment through PACE. A great friend, I will miss greatly!

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