Obituary Edward Symes III

Edward (Ned) Symes, Ill (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 honours 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 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 a 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 a radically 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 communities 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 colour. Because he received a fellowship to attend graduate school, he later endowed a chair at the UNC School of City and Regional Planning.

Ned 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 honoured for their contributions to Family and Child Services of the District of Columbia.

He 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.

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