Edward J. D’Alba
MAY 23, 1927 – JULY 1, 2018
D’Alba, Edward J. Of Radnor passed away peacefully on July 1 following a fall in his home earlier in the week.
He was 91. “EJ” as he was known to his co-workers at Urban Engineers, from which he retired in 1999, personified the work ethic and values of the company he cofounded with two others in 1960. He took tremendous pride in the projects he engineered in NJ, NY and PA which included the New York State Thruway, Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, Blue Route, the Center City Commuter Tunnel and the Phase IIA Expansion program at Philadelphia international Airport, where the architectural community nick named him the “Roads Scholar.” It was a title that only told a part of the story, for he had a passion for bridge design, aviation facilities and structures small and large. For “EJ” the role of the engineer was not limited to the calculations to satisfy the functional and structural requirements of the project. He instilled in all that he worked with, and for, the need to consider the aesthetics of all elements of the work. More often than not, he succeeded in that endeavor, showcasing the creative side of his mind, an extraordinary balance of structure and creativity. He was an artist, often sketching what needed to be done with the skill of an architect.
He wrote poetry, verse, and captured the stories of the folks he knew and loved in a collection of “Thoughts – Poems and Remembrances” which will be shared by his family for generations. For Ed the best 15 years of his life were shared with his wife Carolyn (nee Stout) whom he appropriately met at a Valentine’s Day Party. They loved to travel to Europe and shared what they discovered with friends and family and set up wonderful itinerary for others to follow. She predeceased him in 1991.
The company he founded continues to expand, having gone from an organization of seven in 1960 to 450 today, having been led by a team he mentored, which included his nephew Edward M. D’Alba, Urban is now an employee owned company under its third generation of leadership, with 15 offices in 8 states.
He loved sports and excelled in baseball. His high school coach declared, 25 years after Ed’s graduation that “lefty” was the best first baseman he had ever coached.” He joined the Navy right after high school, and was aboard the first ship that landed in Wakayama and Nagoya, Japan thus witnessing firsthand the destruction of the bombings that ended the war.
He was a graduate of Manhattan College. In a writing titled “Me” (A brief autobiography) of seven pages he closes with, “When the final score is tallied, it is my fervent wish that they will say that I played the game of life well.” He did!
He is survived by several nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces, having been very close to the families of Carolyn and Geoff Hill, Edward and Karen D’Alba. He will be remembered by family as Uncle Ted, Uncle Ed, and by all else as EJ, Lefty, and of course the “Roads Scholar.” A celebration of his life will be held at Waynesboro Country Club, Paoli. PA at 11:30 am on July 12th. In lieu of flowers contributions to The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society or the Radnor Conservancy would be appreciated.
D’Alba, Edward J. [MC???? RIP]
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