The City of Cerritos is deeply saddened to inform the community of the passing of City Councilmember and former Mayor Jim Edwards. Councilmember Edwards died peacefully at home surrounded by his family at 3:14 a.m. on Sunday, May 10. His death resulted from complications related to cancer.
Cerritos Mayor Naresh Solanki said: “Jim was a remarkably dedicated and inspiring leader who loved serving the City of Cerritos. He will be remembered for his tireless dedication, professionalism and concern for the community. He made outstanding contributions to the betterment of the City of Cerritos as an elected official, volunteer, coach and teacher, and he is greatly missed. I am honored to have served with him and extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Connie, and their children and grandchildren.”
Members of the community are welcome to place memorial tributes to Councilmember Edwards at the City of Cerritos Veterans Memorial located in the Cerritos Civic Center. Councilmember Edwards served in the United States Army, including a year in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Councilmember Edwards was elected to the Cerritos City Council in 2005, was re-elected in 2009, and served as Mayor of Cerritos from 2008 to 2009 and 2012 to 2013. He was re-elected to the City Council again in 2015 and in 2020. A Cerritos resident for more than 43 years, Councilmember Edwards previously served as a Cerritos Parks and Recreation Commissioner and as a Cerritos Community Safety Committee member.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in 2013 and 2014, including a term as president.
Councilmember Edwards was active in the Cerritos Optimist Club, the Vietnam Veterans Association and the Friends of the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion Adoption Committee. He was a volunteer photographer for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. His photography assignments for the Department have included photographing fires, rescues, training events, special events and graduation ceremonies.
He served on the Board of Directors for the Fisher House of Southern California at the Long Beach VA Hospital. He had served as president for two years on the Pathways Volunteer Hospice Board and was a board member. His community involvement also included serving on the boards of the Los Cerritos YMCA, Community Family Guidance Center and the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce. He previously served as president of the County of Los Angeles Cerritos Regional County Park Authority from 2000 to 2002 and served on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association from 1998 to 2001. He was honored with the Spirit of Service Award from the Human Services Association in 2010 and the Protector of Children Award from Community Family Guidance Center in 2018.
Councilmember Edwards was retired from a career as a teacher and administrator in the ABC Unified School District. He served four years at Whitney Community Learning Center and 30 years at Richard Gahr High School. He was also a part-time instructor at Cerritos College and served for 10 years as the Director of Cerritos College Summer Sports Camp.
Councilmember Edwards had nearly three decades of experience in athletics, coaching various varsity sports, including baseball, cross country, soccer, softball and track and field. He served as the Director of Athletics at Gahr High School and meet manager for the San Gabriel Valley League in cross country and track and field.
For members of the community who wish to make a contribution in memory of Councilmember Edwards, the Edwards family has suggested donations to the non-profit organizations that he supported and served, including Fisher House, Pathways Volunteer Hospice and Community Family Guidance Center.