A life well lived: Remembering former City Clerk David Edey

The ninth City Clerk of the City of Edmonton, David Edey, has died. He leaves with us an indelible legacy of professionalism, public spirit, integrity and kindness.

David was a gentleman.

“He was principled and ethical—a decent man in every sense of the word”.

David began his career with the City of Edmonton in the Office of the City Clerk as Secretariat Manager in 1990. In 1997 he became Edmonton’s City Clerk. With a love of the democratic process, David viewed the City’s many policies, procedures and bylaws not as barriers to, but ways of, making things happen.

“David was an exceptionally intelligent man,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “His decisions often appeared intuitive, but you always knew they were based on evidence, experience and great reflection.”

“David’s work paved the way for Council to do their best work,” said City Manager Linda Cochrane. “He was an unwavering supporter of staff and his community, always believing that a helping hand could make a meaningful difference.”

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In 2008, David became the General Manager of the Corporate Services Department until he retired in 2013.

“Being General Manager of Corporate Services has been a great learning experience for me,” David had said when he retired from the City. “Learning complex functions that I have taken for granted my whole career has been truly illuminating.”

Within the City of Edmonton, David always advocated for doing the right thing in the right way. He was a man of the highest integrity. He was known widely and loved so deeply for his leadership, kindness, courage, dedication and unfailing generosity.

“David was my first boss at the City,” said longtime colleague Marilyn Johnman. “He respected and empowered his staff, and was always open to new ideas from any one of us. He would never let you fall. He was principled and ethical—a decent man in every sense of the word. We have lost a friend.”

David’s commitment to public service was not confined within the walls of City Hall. He was active in his church and community volunteer activities. Often during tax season, David could be found in the basement of his church doing income taxes for others who could not afford to hire someone. He was a strong advocate for the Downtown Farmers Market. He also volunteered with the Riverdale Community League.

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It was always his family who remained the central figures in David’s life — his wife of 45 years, Wendy, his children, Mark, Ruth and Lawrence and five grandchildren. It was, they, who gave him the greatest joy and comfort.

David passed away on January 10.

In his final years as David battled Multiple System Atrophy and his body began to fail, his generosity of spirit did not. In an final act of kindness, he donated his brain to the Mayo Clinic, with the hope that his life, and death, might help scientists prevent the suffering of others.

We will miss him.

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  1. […] Edey, who served as Edmonton’s City Clerk from 1997 to 2008, passed away on January 10. “David’s work paved the way for Council to do their best work,” said City Manager Linda […]

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