On November 18, 2013, the GCMAS lost one of our longtime members. Dr. Ed Quigley was killed in a car accident on his way to work near San Diego, CA. The GCMAS offers our sincerest condolences to Ed's family, and together we grieve the loss of a colleague, mentor, and friend.
Ed's family has requested that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to send memorials should be directed to the crowd funding website at http://www.gofundme.com/5d8gxg. This page was created by a close friend of the family.
We invite GCMAS members to share remembrances and stories in the Comments section on this page. If you have photos you would like to share, please email them to GCMAS President Bruce Macwilliams (BMacwilliams@shrinenet.org).
Ed's mentor and friend Jim Richards has graciously provided us with his thoughts:
Remembrance of Edward James Quigley
by Jim Richards
When I met Ed in 1992, he was working as an engineer at a flooring manufacturer. He was less than enthusiastic about his current career path, and told me that he was interested in returning to school and pursuing a master’s degree in sports biomechanics. I told him that there were very few jobs in sports biomechanics but he didn’t waiver, and I admitted him into the program. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I made, and Ed went on to become my first doctoral graduate.
His time at Delaware was remarkable. I won’t bother expounding on his numerous accomplishments since anyone who knew him is familiar with his intelligence, his humor, and his respect for everyone he met. He succeeded at just about everything he did. I’ll simply say that while at Delaware, he was brilliant, engaged, productive, and happy. Just as meaningful as his academic success were the deep friendships he developed with his fellow grad students that would endure the test of time. They kept each other focused, they collaborated on projects and assignments, and they enjoyed life together.
Ed also had a mischievous side, and one occasion, his efforts came back to haunt him. The group had a long-standing habit of playing practical jokes on each other, and sometimes they were pretty creative. Ed decided to target a colleague who had a habit of being the first person in the lab every morning. He put his engineering background to work and implemented an improvised device to dump an entire bag of flour on him when he opened the door. While the device worked flawlessly (it dumped the entire bag on the victim’s head), Ed had neglected to take two factors into consideration. The first was that he had mounted his device on drywall, and when it was triggered, it not only dumped the flour, it also removed the outer layer of drywall. Ed had also forgotten that his colleague was the first student to enter the lab every day, but not the first person. The custodians entered the lab very early in the morning to empty the trash cans, and on that particular day, a custodian on her first day at work was assigned to maintain the lab area. She was at work for less than an hour when she opened the lab door and took a flour shower. It was a classic backfire, and I don’t believe that the group has ever let him forget it.
His commitment and resourcefulness were also evident when they were needed most. During a late night data collection, one of the subjects accidentally broke one of the sprinkler heads for the fire suppression system, and within minutes the entire lab floor was underwater. That included our two force plates, which were completely submerged in the pit area. Ed pulled the plates out of the water, tracked down his colleagues in the center for composite materials, and gained access to their large ovens which he used to “bake” the plates overnight. He reinstalled the plates the next morning, and some 20 years later, they’re still working perfectly.
Over the years, I’ve followed Ed’s career, from managing a lab to managing a research foundation to managing a hospital’s research mission. In Florida, he met Tristan, and I swear that she made him the happiest guy in the world. He lit up whenever he talked about her, and when she accompanied him to the conference in Lexington, he smiled for the entire week. His life was in order.
This year, we decided to host the GCMAS conference in Delaware, and when it came time to find someone to plan the program, Ed’s name was at the top of my list. The job required someone who was enthusiastic, well respected, well connected, organized, and mindful of the organization’s mission and history. There was no doubt that he was the perfect choice to lead the program planning, and I was overjoyed that he accepted the responsibility. He didn’t disappoint. He exceeded all expectations and took on added responsibilities for the good of the society and his partners on the planning team. He was just being Ed.
I considered Ed a colleague long before he graduated, and have been extremely proud to have him as a colleague ever since. He was also my friend. We played golf in Tampa, we talked on the phone and at conferences about jobs and careers, about old friends, and about future plans. He was a devoted husband and father, and he adored his family. I’m heartbroken that he won’t get to grow old with Tristan, that he won’t get to watch his beautiful daughters experience the rites of passage in high school and college, and that none of us had the chance to say goodbye and to tell him what a good man he was and how big an impact he had on our lives. I am left only with memories, and along with all of his friends and family, I will keep him alive in my thoughts and in my prayers, and I will continue to miss him dearly.