- 51 years old
- Date of birth: Oct 30, 1958
- Place of birth:
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- Date of passing: Oct 26, 2010
- Place of passing:
Seattle, Washington, United States
|Devastation Dan - He Danced Til He Dropped|
On October 26th, 2010, one of the world's bright stars faded prematurely, losing his 29 year battle with cancer. Edgar's quick wit, tenacious spirit, and wacky sense of humor will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him and loved him.
Edgar lived his dream as long as he could, designing lighting and stage effects for hundreds of bands & productions during his short career. His website www.StrokeLight.com has photos of just a small fraction of the impressive work he's done over the years. With his last show completed just months ago for Corey Feldman's Band "Truth Movement", Edgar did what he loved most for as long as he could and ultimately "He Danced Til He Dropped".
We will remember Edgar forever, because after all, how could we possibly forget him????
Edgar's obituary and a related story was posted in Lighting and Sound America Online. LSA had done a lengthy feature article on Edgar back in December 2004 highlighting his work and his battle with cancer. Today's story is located at the following link.
"While I did not know Edgar as well as others and only spoke with him infrequently, I am saddened to hear of his passing. Edgar taught a semester at Cypress College where I was a film student. I spoke to him a few times over the years and even went out on a Karaoke night. He managed to talk me into singing Gerogia Sattelites Keep Your Hands to Yourself with him on stage. Evertime I hear that song I think of Edgar. The last time I spoke with him it sounded like the cancer was in remission. I'm sorry you lost your battle my friend, you will be missed."
"Edgar must have been a dear friend to all. I have been following the website since about 2000 when I contracted “Acinic Cell Carcinoma”… a very rare salivary gland cancer. And I got the the lower salivary cancer kind. Both Edgar and I were blessed to find the doctors who knew a little bit about this recurring Cancer. It has come back twice for me and I was just biopsied again last Wednesday. I don't know what I would have done without his website when I was first diagnosed. God Bless You Edgar. God Bless You!"
"It was beautiful day in July that many of Edgar's family and friends gathered at the cemetery to honor and celebrate Edgar's life. A magnificent stone designed by his loving mother was unveiled. See picture posted today.People came from all over the US to remember Edgar-the stone says it all. Afterwards we all gathered at Beruria's to share stories, anecdotes and watched some of his films he produced.
I love you and miss you Edgar!"
"Today I met Skye Borgman, a cinematographer who was went through the USC film program in the early 2000's. It brought to mind the Amerasian film that Edgar worked on. I don't recall it ever being finished to Edgar's satisfaction... I remember long discussions about how this wasn't working or that, or what was the story really about, and then this part worked much better, but this other part not so much... All part of the wonderful world of Edgar, as we then would move on to dissecting other parts of our work that did or didn't go the way we wanted. And Edgar, thank you again for introducing me to one of your colleagues in the program who was doing a documentary on homeless people, and whose footage wound up in the War Pigs music video I did for Ozzy Osbourne. Opportunity. Synergy. I miss acting in your shorts :)"
"On Sunday, July 12th, 2015 there will be a ceremony to dedicate the marker on Edgar's grave. Following the dedication ceremony, visitors are invited to Beruria Stroke's house in East Setauket. Anyone who would like to attend, please call Beruria directly or you can reply to this message and I will put you in contact with her."
"I am going back for my third battle with acinic cell cancer of the lower salivary gands. This page helped me tremendously when it all started back in 2002. It is a recurring Cancer that has not quite been figured out yet. I am happy for the love and laughter Edgar brought all his friends to the very end. I hope I can follow in his footsteps through this 3rd battle. Thank you Edgar."
"Edgar my friend, I can't believe you are gone 4 years! Although, you are in a better place, no longer in pain or suffering, there is still a void! The world was a better place with you in it! Missing you always and your quirky sense of humor, thanks for the laughter!"
"I still miss you Edgar. Yet every time I think of you or share an Edgar story with a friend or loved one, it brings a smile to my face--and theirs."
"Remembering Edgar on his birthday today reminds me of his birthday in 1983. Sue Dain and I conspired to break into Edgars Porsche and install a new tape deck & speakers to replace Edgar's crappy AM radio. With covert planning & a bit of luck we pulled it off, and he was totally surprised. The look of joy on his face was worth the effort. I miss you my friend. Happy Birthday!"
"We're thinking of you, Edgar. You are missed. Mark and Quita"
"Although I never knew you, this website has given me the passion to go fight this horrible and rare disease. Acinic-Cell Cancer. There was no information about it online when I was diagnosed over a decade ago. Ah- but yes, your site was being built and although a lot of the pages were under construction, it still gave me hope. Continue to RIP and Happy Birthday on the 30th! You're missed."
"2 years after his passing, subscribers to the ACOR Acinic-Cell list-serv still regularly mention Edgar's great contributions to the sharing of information about that cancer and its treatment - through the AcinicCell.org website and the above forum. And yes, he is very much missed."
"As a big storm threatens to reach the east coast, I think of the enormous storms dear Edgar weathered in his life ---- with such grace and courage. Such an inspiration! My love goes out to Beruria, always."
"Thinking of you today. Peace and love to your family and friends."
"I was talking to my husband today about who we remember from 1st grade. I immediately said "the only person I remember is Edgar Stroke." As I recall, Edgar was the only Jewish boy in the class and I was the only girl invited to his birthday party. Doing a google search, I found that Edgar had a wonderful full life but passed away too soon. He was clearly remarkable, even from the start!"
"I hate to hear that this took his life. I fear that of my sisters. She has had acinic cell now 3 times and battling it a 4th time as of today. My family hopes to raise money and research the cause of acinic cell carcinoma. He did a lot of work already on aciniccell.org. My family would like to continue his work...does anyone have a way for us to reach the family? 713-857-5255"
"Hard to believe a year had gone by. I always smile when i think of Edgar, so that's a great gift i got from this wonderful guy who was my big cousin in Amercia : )"
"Although a year has passed you are very much missed by all.
i still think of you every time i see a stick um and say i need a edger note miss you and Happy birthday you will be remembered
"On Edgar's yahrzeit, I remember one of the sharpest, silliest, and gutsiest people I have ever met. As a student, he was brilliant and always ready to collaborate on projects; I always thought of him as a professional. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Perhaps he is now working to light up the sky."
"Yesterday was unusually dark - an unusual symptom these days as I continue to fend off my own cancer cells. Then, I realized that it was Edgar's memorial anniversary. As long as the fight against cancer continues, his light will burn bright as an inspiration of courage, good will and above all, curiosity and skepticism. That energy lives on and we love you for it!"
"I cannot believe it is a year since Edgar passed. Edgar you were one of the funniest people I have ever known and the nicest as well. God Bless you Edgar you are so missed. You may not be here in body, but you are certainly here in spirit. You will always surround us until we meet again. Love you"
"Edgar was a bright light in my life - someone I absolutely adored. That laugh - I still hear it. That mischievous twinkle in his eye - I still see it. I'll remember his stories - his irony, his irreverence, his wit, his quick mind, his generous and deep friendship & his bravery for all that he faced. He'll be kept in a special place in my heart for the rest of my days. With love, Liane"
"When I was diagnosed with ACC, Edgar's website was the only one I could find with useful information about ACC. I corresponded with Edgar from time to time, and truly appreciate the information he shared with me both via the website and via the personal emails. He will be missed."
"I never met your friend however his work helped me and my doctors gather information when it was discovered to have acinic cell carcinoma. I could never thank him enough for helping me understand what I was dealing with. Sorry for your loss."
"Edgar when he was 17 when we first met and I was on my way to Warsaw with the help of Edgar, Beruria and the Slavic Center. We slept on the set he had designed onstage in the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village."
"The world lost a bright light, it seems. Like a large number of others, I got to "know" Edgar and his fine wit through the mail list and website he established to help others with his disease. In great part because of those, there is and shall long be tremendous respect and admiration of Edgar and lasting appreciation for his help of others even as he himself confronted his own health challenges."
"Chissy, I liked your comment about Edgar being a glass half full kind of guy. In some ways he glass overflowing kind of guy; always with boundless energy with a 1000 ideas waiting in line, and more often that not he got to many of them.
Speaking of projects, I found a copy of Gallery, Edgar's film project he shot at Stony Brook, and posted it at http://vimeo.com/168264"
"Edgar, Edgar, Edgar. I thought he would live forever. He was always so full of life. Always so positive - a glass half full guy - no matter what. Wouldn't it be great if more people in the world were like him. I will miss him and his indefatigable spirit. He was a great guy & a great friend."
"One of my favorite memories of Stony brook was riding Devastation Dan into the End of the Bridge on my motorcycle. I wish I knew he had filled the place with dry ice fog. Between the fog and the water on the floor it’s a miracle we did not go right out the second floor window. Being close to Edgar was like being close to a tornado. His enthusiasm was infectious and his talent was boundless. I am sorry to hear of his passing. The world needs more people like Edgar"
"the world is now a smaller, quieter, darker place for missing you Edgar. You were one of my closest, dearest, most exasperating and endearing friends. I've admired your bravery and hated the unfairness of your last years. I'm glad you're at rest and devastated (yes) that you're gone. You're a part of who I am and how I became, and will be in my heart and memories 'til I pass, too."
"Most of all, I remember Edgar's joy of life. I remember his passion for the family. Shlomi and I share Beruria's grief and are with her in our thoughts always."
"Edgar is my cousin and will stay that. Unfortunately I am not with my family at this moment due to distance. This was also our biggest problem for not being connected as close family should be. Baruch Hashem my brother is there with Beruriah and is present for all of us. Edgar you are in my thoughts!"
"sadly, i read in the local three village paper about edgar's passing. i met edgar when we were both working at the slavic cultural center in port jefferson - we shared many nights at the lighting board - the theatre there was really terrific - great shows - condolences to beruria -"
"I met Edgar in college at Stony Brook via mutual friends Jim & Russ. Worked with him on a couple of his films; his energy was ENDLESS! Even as a casual acquaintance from many years ago, to this day Edgar remains one of the most intelligent, quick witted and fun loving people I've ever met. I'm very sorry for the loss, my condolences to his family...."
"Whenever my sister and I found ourselves in the same country, we used to call Edgar. It started for whatever reason I can't recall now, and became a kind of tradition for many years. All three of us used to enjoy these "conference" calls tremendously, because they were always whimsical and surprising. I will miss that."
"Edgar,may You rest in peace after so many years of suffering. Beruria, We are with You in Your sorrow.
Ruthi and Max."
"Edgar, Edgar, there was no one like you. Edgar was my right-hand man for years at the Fine Arts Center at SUNY Stonybrook. He was amazing with the students that that worked with him. His energy was beyond anyone. "Devastaion Dan" showed it. I knew him for about 30 years. I miss him greatly."
"I knew Edgar practically my whole life...and he has driven me crazy pretty much for most of it...but i loved that guy...he was given a shitload of lessons to work out in this lifetime, and he never gave up...he was smart, and tenacious, and yet always gentle...he would never wish to hurt anyone, and was a real mensch...Edgar will always be in my heart, and always with a warm flame."
"I engaged in brief conversations with Edgar a few times while I attended college at Stony Brook University. I met a lot of people there. After thirty years only a few stick in my memory. Edgar is one of them. He projected such a strong sense of the positive and fun that this life has to offer, you could never forget him. I feel fortunate to have been able to connect with such a bright soul."
"Edgar’s energy and creativity are an inspiration to all. Beruria’s tireless commitment to seeing Edgar through this long and difficult time is so very impressive. I hope I could be as selfless as her if I was called upon to support a loved one through difficult times."
"I met Edgar through our mutual friend Jim Dexter. I knew him mostly through Jim's telling me about what an amazing person he was and his long journey with cancer. My Dad always told me that you live on through the people who's hearts you touched, and Edgar lives on through many; for his courage, his strength and his fortitude. May you rest in peace."
"I went to High School and Jr. High School with Edgar. He was unforgettable - his intelligent, cheerful spirit, positive attitude and kindly soul.
I had no idea he was ill. We reconnected on FaceBook recently and he didn't mention it. "Just sayin' hello..".
Rest in peace, Edgar."
"Edgar (you) will be missed. Great sense of humor and a great help when I was getting started. May not have always seen eye to eye ie... as mentioned by Profaca that Cory show gig was ridiculous but you were always still a great friend and a great inspiration."
"Edgar started working with Truth Movement in 1994. He enjoyed the challenge we presented, turning small venues into a concert experience. It was Edgars passion for this production that kept him aboard for the next 16 years. I give Edgar credit for the spectacle our show has become.Throughout his battle with Cancer,he created til his last breath. I am grateful his final vision was also with us."
"I had been wondering why the sunsets lately have been particularly colorful. Rest now Edgar."
"Edgar was beautiful. I met Edgar when he was just starting out to light up the world. He worked with Foghat at Boogie Motel He was exuberant almost to a fault, always smiling and being very positive. He fought this beast inside him with great courage and tenacity. Edgar was always seeking ways to help people and further his knowledge. He was a joy to anyone that he met. I will miss him!"
"I am so sorry to hear this, he was so brave and so strong for so long......the last show I did was the Cory Reunion Show at a small club in LA....the gig was ridiculous, Cory was rude to say the least, but we had sooooo much fun.......I will miss him!"
"I only knew Edgar through through the cancer email list. He has helped so many people through his tireless work. It takes a selfless person to have put forth so much effort so that others didn't have to go through what he did. I wish I would have met him, especially after reading the stories and seeing the pictures. My heart aches for his friends and family left behind."
"We, Michal & Miriam, Nada's & Bandi's Daughters, (from Israel) want to share our deep sorrow with Beruria's loss.
Ws want to lite a candle for Edgar's blessed memory."
"I'm just absolutely in shock. Edgar was probably one of the funniest people I knew. I remember going to the 20 year high school reunion along with my boyfriend, of course, Edgar talked to him like a long lost friend Joe graduated in 73 but found Edgar really interesting. Edgar you will be missed my friend. Gracemary Ponzio-Sjolin Rest in peace my friend"
"Edgar was one of the first friends I made when my family move to Stony Brook in 1968. He was the epitome of my father's definition of 'class' - "it is measured by how comfortable you make other people feel." When I peruse my memories of school-age peers, no one was of a larger stature than Edgar."
"I'll always remember all the crazy fun it was to speak with my big cousin Edgar on the phone. All his stories about theater and music and life, from his unique and beautiful point of view. A poem of wackiness and joy! Heartful thoughts to Bruria and all those who knew Edgar and share his memory with a tearful and tender smile."
"Edgar would have turned 52 today. A moment of silence -- & perhaps a moment of the noise of your choice, as well: fitting tribute to a great sound & light man."
"Edgars genuine emails to me as I started my own journey with ACC has had a huge impact on my thoughts and treatment. My family,my doctors and I scoured his Website and emails for information. What he created is an amazing gift to those of us still fighting... How much strength he had, to give that to us! Thank you Edgar!"
"My first memory of Edgar is as a preteen dressed in my red miniskirt, playing a nymphet in a Polish play. A decade later, he designed & lit a Romanian play for me. Edgar was brilliant, nutty, generous; he should have lived to a cranky old age. His service to those who suffer from acinic cell cancer was invaluable. He was well & truly loved. And he is already missed."
"Most gentle boy, Brave man, Mensch. Flights of Angels, Edgar ,Flights of Angels....."
"Edgar asked me to dress up as an elf for one of his Devastation Dan shows and...because he was my boss at the time...as well as my friend...I agreed. I had a LOT of fun and felt very supported in the pantyhose I had to wear.Thanks Eddy, for so much FUN!
In Qenya,an actual Elven language created by J.R.R.Tolkien, I name you :
Bronwe athan Harthad ....Endurance beyond Hope"
"From moving seats out of the Slavic Center, to all kinds of Fine Arts Center fun, through Devastation Dan meets Pet of the Year, to moving out to LA (Come Edgar, you'll love it!) to working on projects, we've had a long, long friendship. Even the last "Corey" show was pure Edgar: overcoming all insurmountable obstacles to create by all accounts an incredible show. Well done! You are sorely missed!"
"Edgar,cousin once removed,we were always trying to figure that out.As far as I was concerned you were my first cousin.Despite the good little girl I was, somehow, with you we always managed to get into mischief and trouble growing up-Stonybrook, NJ and most memorable Israel!But your mother was always on our side-defending us! I will always cherish my trip to Seattle last February. With love always"
"I was touched when Nancy C. put a post on Facebook, transcribing something I had wrote about Edgar. I responded: "RIP Mr Stroke! Many years ago, you (and, perhaps, something I smoked) inspired me to write those words. I, for the life of me, do not now know what I meant then. But, for the life of me, YOU meant a great deal!""
"Before there was Devastation Dan, there was E-Man the super hero. As a child, he wore a cape with the letter E. Family was always so important to him...as well as his friends. Despite the circumstances, he always had an incredible sense of humour and a passion for living. No one was more loyal, committed and proud of him than his mother, Beruria. She was his rock and will keep his spirit alive."
""Devastation Dan" will live on in my memory. After SUSB,in California, we began a very different relationship, evolving through work at Yosemite and then, when I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in 2008, Edgar became my cancer coach and mentor, teaching through example to take responsibility for my health. It's like an AA member losing their sponsor! An unforgettable and selfless friend!!"
"Edgar, I love you and I miss you. And I'm a better person for having known you. Your love of life and sense of humor are an inspiration to us all. You're a part of our family and will be forever."
"Edgar was such the leader at StonyBrook, artistically and as an organizer. He pushed the limits and created projects that were outside of the box. I last saw him about 4 years ago when he was in the Princeton area, he contacted me at McCarter Theatre and we met for a few hours. I learned about his story then. I too am glad he is not living with all that pain...what a brave man he was."
"Edgar, thanks for fun times, and there were plenty of them. I'll always remember those times with a smile, whether they were late at night striking a show or during the day getting ready for one...you made them fun. I learned a lot from you. I'm still doing theatre part time. Every time I focus a light or fire up a light board, I'll think of you. Rest in peace. You made a difference. Thanks"
"I had the great fortune to know Edgar in college and we kept in touch from time to time through the years. I have never known anyone who approached just about everything he did in life, and life itself, with such intensity. I admire the courage he exhibited in his battle with cancer. He will be missed."
"One of the last times I saw Edgar, he & Jim Dexter & I went to a balloon festival at Brookhaven Airport - the kind of balloons people go up in. The Doobie Bros were playing that night. We had a blast watching the balloons being blown up, and the Bros were terrific, too.
I too am SO glad he is free from his pain. Relieved. Love you, Eddy."
"I Will always remember Edgar for his love of sticky notes through out the house. while washing my hands i noticed his best note ever.... yellow stickum over hot water nozzle says ........( Hot water is hot ).... Rest in Peace"
"I have known Edgar since 2005 - working around his house. The most funniest moment is while we where working on his house scraping and painting Edgar sent us in his garage and to my surprise there was a shelf on scrapers with yellow stickums on them labeled lite duty heavy duty and so so scrapers. i will always remember him every time i see a scraper....You will be missed ......"
"I knew crazy Edgar since 1979 - and he was a "classic". He will be sorely missed. He touched so many lives that we are all glad to have made his acquaintance over the years. He lived his dream...something so many of us wished that we did. I am sure he is in heaven now...doing the lighting and sound for Michael Jackson, Elvis and Corey Haim. I am sure they are happy to have him there :o)"
"I'm glad that my friend suffers no more, but in another more selfish sense, I know that we were robbed too quickly of his amazing wit, crazy humor, outstanding talent and gregarious smile. Edgar was a devoted friend that will live on in our hearts forever. Rest now my friend, you've earned it. And as one of his favorite comics, Steve Martin, would say "He was one wild and crazy guy!!!""