It is with great sorrow that I inform knowers of Edwin “Ed” Luardo that this human genius and suckler of life’s pleasures, shuffled off life’s mortal coil on October 25th, 2022. While he is already greatly missed, this unusual man will live on in the hearts and minds of those closest to him as well as those who shared brief conversations with him in checkout lines, movie theaters, and Olive Gardens. His unique and often baffling ability to always have it his way followed him throughout his life to his last day, as he died exactly the way he wanted: at home, watching Three’s Company reruns, surrounded by his beloved daughter, Rose, his son, T.J., his son-in-law, Thom, his late-in-life daughter (cat), Bela Lugosi, and a multitude of Trader Joe’s frozen fettuccine dinners. He also leaves behind his beloved children Edwin Jr., Eduard and Edna who reside in the Philippines.
He was born on November 4, 1934, to Thomas and Rosalia Luardo in Cebu, Catmonda-an, Philippines, the youngest of 12 children; 2 died as young toddlers. Ed was the president of the Young Men’s Association and was responsible for the barrio's yearly fiesta. Not owning a tie at the time, Ed was known to don a palm frond around his neck and waist to dress up for the special event. Seen from 20 feet away, he could be mistaken for a Filipino Gregory Peck. As a boy, Ed loved American films. As an adult, he faithfully took his family to Saturday brunch and a Hollywood blockbuster, choosing movies not because of their potential to entertain, inspire, or move, but because they were “top money makers.” Ed’s American dream consisted of computer chess, a Blockbuster Video membership, and being left alone in his abode to have it his way with the TV and a Coors Light. As witnesses to most of his days, we are pleased to report that he achieved these goals and more! Along the way he became a psychiatrist and took a residency at a hospital in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, where he met his wife, Sharon.
His wife, Sharon, passed and he later found love again with Dr. Phil McGraw, host of ‘The Dr. Phil Show,’ becoming an avid viewer of the program. The relationship was written in the stars, as Ed himself was a titan in the Main Line psychiatric community. He was employed at Haverford State Hospital for 30 years and was known for his method of encouraging patients to “act normal” by simply asking the question: “Do you know anyone who is normal? Act like That.”
Ed was old. He was a living relic of not only an older America but also an older Philippines. He was one of the few people left who could tell fascinating, funny, sometimes shocking, and unsettling stories from a world many of us know absolutely nothing about. Tales of third world basketball teams, psychiatric treatments (sometimes a bamboo cage), hunting fish and plucking snails for dinner and bootleg wine made from fermented coconut water (tubâ). In his old age, after retirement, his fashion sense tended towards three items: a fedora, khaki pants, and Converse All-Star high tops, in white. These were the embodiment of the evasive Americana of which baby Ed dreamt. You could see him in the community, at the Lankenau Hospital ER, the Fresenius dialysis center dressed like a gangster from the 1950s.
Those close to him knew him for his uncanny ability to pull no punches, downplay catastrophe, and take a plunge into the simple pleasure principles of life. Ed’s greatest joy was found in his routines. Every day began with the newspaper and a strong cup of coffee “Ah, the best coffee is on planet Earth and I just love it!” When Ed had a stroke in 2013, he would not go to the hospital until he was served the shrimp scampi dinner that had been agreed upon the night before. “Dad, you’ve clearly had a stroke and we need to go to the hospital right now!” “But what about Shrimp Scampi?”
Specially, his respect and admiration for routine carried over into his insight. Ed was a truth teller, serving honesty with no chaser to whomever he was speaking to. He conversed without prejudice or bias, never catering to the needs and wants of someone else but acknowledging with honesty; insight shared for no other reason than to convey the truth. He was also shameless, responding in the affirmative when asked: “Dad, is this a bandaid on the floor hiding cat feces?” He told the truth: “It could be feces.”
Ed would pour a cool glass of water on life’s most searing hot topics. A need for intravenous antipsychotics? “Just high anxiety.” Life-threatening tapeworm? “Here’s your sick bowl.” Psychedelic trip? “Sit down.” Wound-in-need of suturing? “Band-Aid.” Home in need of an exterminator? “Flush it down the toilet.”
In his grand autumnal period, he relished eating Doritos simply for the crunch of it all. He found great joy in petting the smooth fur of his beloved Bela Lugosi as he rewatched Avatar—he unofficially holds the title for most times a human being has watched the film ‘Avatar,’ just beating James Cameron by six views. He loved his favorite “chickie doodle,” Martha Quinn, an original MTV VJ, and going to Applebees or Red Lobster, though he was always disappointed.
One of his greatest recurring pleasures was going on a yearly dialysis cruise with his adult children, Rose and T.J., who did not partake in the dialysis, but did partake in the buffets. The great excesses of America were magnified on these floating Wal-Marts with tablecloths and Ed could not get enough of them. His often stubborn manner even led him to take a final cruise in February of 2020, while the COVID-19 pandemic was creeping up on the world’s population. “We paid for it! We go!”
Ed never felt inferior. He was a truly odd man who had varied, sometimes niche interests, such as the Wynona Rider shoplifting scandal – “We will never know why she stole.” He was fascinated by the relationship between Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love – “There was a lot of passion, still he wasn’t understood.” You could get the full experience by sitting and playing a game of UNO with him once – “Did you say UNO?” His inimitable view of the world and distinctive sense of humor will live on forever and can be enjoyed through his photographs and videos as a model for Hoof Hearted Beer.
Please feel free to share your cards, tokens of care, flowers, frozen dinners, and gift baskets with the family. They will be accepting these items at 254 Hathaway Lane in Wynnewood, PA 19096.