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- In Memoriam
- The Ds of Old
Symes III, Edward 'Ned' (5/3/2021)
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Edward (Ned) Symes, III (Age 74) passed away at home in Chevy Chase on May 3, 2021 surrounded by his family. The cause was complications from Alzheimer's Disease. He led a life devoted to his family, the communities in which he lived, and the organizations he served.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky on November 10, 1946 to Anne Patterson Symes and Edward Symes, Jr., Ned spent the majority of his childhood in Aiken, South Carolina and Seaford, Delaware. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Merrielou Howser Symes, his three children, Nathaniel, Edward IV (Teddy), and Frances, his brother Randall and his family. A 1964 graduate of Wilbraham Academy (MA) and an English-Speaking Union Fellow at Blundell's School, Tiverton, Devon, Ned graduated with honors from Dartmouth College in 1969. After interning for New York City Mayor John Lindsay, he decided to pursue a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. Following graduate school, he moved to Maryland, his adopted home for the next 50 years. At the age of 23, he became the Historical and Cultural Administrator for the state, where his projects included the restoration of the William Paca House and Garden in Annapolis. Later he joined the Community and Economic Development Administration for Maryland, before he and a partner started their own firm, Quadel Consulting, in 1978. They grew the company over the course of three decades, providing direct management, consulting, and training services to the housing industry and serving dozens of affordable housing programs across the United States. Quadel helped local, state, and federal clients launch and develop the Section 8 voucher program, which was aradically new and effective way to provide housing assistance to low income Americans. Their work included a contract with the City of Moscow - leading Ned to travel to Russia multiple times in the 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Ned was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Washington Business Journal. Ned was an active member of the commu nities of which he was a part. He served on the Board of Trustees at his boarding school, Wilbraham Academy, for a dozen years, funding an athletic cup award and an academic scholarship for students of color. Because he received a fellowship to attend graduate school, he later endowed a chair at the UNC School of City and Regional Planning. He also had a deep appreciation for all the wonders of nature. His passion for the natural world drew him to support several science and conservation organizations. He served on the board of The Nature Conservancy MD/DC Chapter and the Maria Mitchell Association, a science education organization on Nantucket, where he spent his summers. An active member of Christ Church, Georgetown, Ned served on the board of Episcopal Senior Ministries as well as the Corporate Board of Jubilee Jobs. Ned and Quadel were honored for their contributions to Family and Child Services of the District of Columbia. Ned possessed an abiding curiosity about the world, including history, nature, and the arts, and was a willing participant in a wide range of activities - from visiting gardens with his wife, Merrielou, to watching documentary films with his son, Teddy, to attending the symphony with his daughter, Frances. Every Christmas, family and friends waited in anticipation for a delivery of his "famous" toffee. He was an avid volunteer for a range of organizations and causes - from coaching sports teams and teaching Sunday School to serving on his church vestry and participating in many outreach programs.
Throughout his life, Ned demonstrated a sharp mind and convivial personality, a powerful combination that made him loved and appreciated by all who called him a friend. He was a thoughtful and gentle man and a wonderful listener who loved to mentor and support others in their endeavors. His warmth and kindness were matched only by his enormous energy and determination. His family would like to express their gratitude to his attentive and loving friends and caregivers who stood alongside him during his long journey with Alzheimer's Disease. :
The family requests that donations in Ned's memory be made to the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Hospital (memory.georgetown.edu/make-a-gift/), Jubilee Jobs (https://www.jubileejobs.org/) or The Nature Conservancy, MD/DC Chapter (425 Barlow Place, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814). Due to Covid restrictions the memorial service will be private. His family would like to express their gratitude to his attentive and loving friends and caregivers who stood alongside him during his long journey with Alzheimer's Disease.
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(Published in The Washington Post from May 9 to May 10, 2021.)