By Dorany Pineda
Edward “Ed” Serrano, an alumnus and retired Psychology professor at East Los Angeles College, took a nap after breakfast and died in his sleep of a heart attack on Sept. 30. He was 65.
Serrano’s wife of 31 years, Joan, remembers that he always wore shorts. “It had to snow before he put pants on,” she said.
She said he was dearly loved by students and was known as the “James Brown of teachers because he was a performer.”
Serrano was the first Latino to be hired in ELAC’s Psychology department, a fact that he was always proud of.
Joan said he loved making wine and liked to cook, and was always making things and giving them to people.
“I loved Ed, he was one of my favorite people,” Maria Mayoryk, an ELAC psychology professor, said. “He was very humorous, compassionate and helpful.”
Serrano and Mayoryk met when she was hired as an adjunct professor in 1994. A year later, when she got a full-time position, he became her mentor.
“Ed was my mentor at the time, so we became really close. He was very helpful,” Mayoryk said.
When he was working at ELAC, Serrano took over the multimedia equipment in the Psychology office, Mayoryk said.
She remembered how Serrano made a giant binder on how to use all the multimedia equipment, like cameras and computers.
“That must have taken him hours,” Mayoryk said. “He was very high tech, very interested in technology.”
In an email, Mayoryk remembered how beautifully Serrano played the guitar.
“It was also lovely to hear his classical guitar in our office. He was always creating and mastering something. I remember when he retired, he must have gifted at least 25 people with exquisite boxes he made from beautiful types of wood,” she wrote.
Tiffany Rice, professor of Psychology at ELAC, wrote in an email that Serrano helped shape her as not only a professor, but a person as well.
Professor Randy Ludwig wrote that he loved how much he cared about others, especially his students.
“His students really seemed to adore him. The way he taught was definitely student-centered. He saw things from their perspective.
“He wasn’t arrogant or rude. He really seemed to care about students in ways that I think is often missing in college instruction,” Ludwig wrote.
“Ed was devoted to his family and his church,” wrote Serrano’s colleague Barbara Moore. “He was well-appreciated and well-respected by his students. He will be missed.”
Serrano is survived by his wife Joan; sons Joshua, Daniel and Gabriel; sister Erlinda; and daughter-in-law Jamie.
His funeral will take place at St. Thomas Aquinas, located at 1501 S. Atlantic Blvd. in Monterey Park, Saturday at 10 a.m.