Ed Wolfe, a longtime donor, dedicated volunteer and patient at City of Hope, died Dec. 30, 2011. He was 86.
Wolfe was a familiar face for visitors to the Main Medical Building. He volunteered for a decade at the front desk, where he greeted patients with his trademark warmth and humor.
Volunteer and donor Ed Wolfe encouraged patients. (Photo by p.cunningham)
He and his wife, Bea, raised funds for City of Hope starting in the 1950s as members of the Monterey Park Chapter and later the Partners for Hope Chapter. City of Hope honored them with The Spirit of Life® Award, as well as a Tabak award.
The Wolfes donated more than $1.1 million, supporting the Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center and researchers such as Marianna Koczywas, M.D., assistant professor of medical oncology, and Don J. Diamond, Ph.D., professor of virology.
“Ed cared about what I did,” said Diamond. “He was really devoted to the message of City of Hope — the power of the knowledge that is percolating around here.”
A native of Malden, Mass., Wolfe served in World War II on Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s personal staff, earning a Bronze Star Medal. He settled in Los Angeles afterward, where he met the then Beatrice Alpert at the neighborhood tennis court prior to college. He worked in the metal industry until his 1981 retirement.
Wolfe underwent surgery for sarcoma at City of Hope in 2002. He spoke of his empathy for fellow patients in a 2009 interview about his volunteer work.
“We know what people go through when they come to the hospital … If I can get them to leave my desk with a laugh or a smile, to just forget where they are for maybe a few seconds, then I feel like I’ve given them a real gift,” he said.
Those who encountered him remember Wolfe as generous, down-to-earth and deeply funny.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years; his siblings Enid and Laurence; his daughters Helena and Diane; his grandchildren, James, Rick and Stephanie; and two great-grandchildren.