Edward W. Santos Story

Edward “Ed” Santos passed away at age 92 after a life of service to the Community of Plymouth. The list of his service to organizations is not easily recited, and anyone that tries to cover it, invariably, comes up short, it is that extensive.

Ed served on the Jordan Hospital Board of Directors for many years as well as Vice Chair of the Capital Campaign and Vice Chair of the Jordan Health Foundation and Vice Chair of the Philanthropy Board of Beth Israel Deaconess (BID) – Plymouth.

In addition, Ed’s service included:

Even at age 92, Ed continued his service in making Plymouth a better place, including serving as:

Ed was a man of great faith and was devoted to his family. He was a lector, Eucharistic Minister, and Chairman of the Parish Finance Council at Saint Peter Parish. Also, for many years he and the Sisters of Divine Providence recited the morning rosary on radio station WPLM.

Ed loved his hometown, its people, its history, and the organizations that made up the fabric of the community. His most important contribution to Plymouth was as President of the Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) for more than forty years. The PIDC was a much-needed force in Plymouth, starting with the inception of Plymouth Industrial Park during the 1960s, at a time that the community was facing major economic downturn due to the loss of manufacturing jobs as the mills closed one after another. Ed was the leader then and he saw it through until the Park was built out. The result was more than one hundred twenty-five new companies and more than five thousand jobs. Ed and the members of the PIDC brought the town back from the brink of economic ruin and laid the groundwork for a thriving economy that continues to this day. 

The PIDC, at its end of charter, was able to provide more than eight million dollars to local organizations. Without Ed, it can be said, that it would not have happened.

Ed was also a mentor and guide to many including elected and appointed officials, town and community leaders, business owners, professionals, and “average Joes”. More than a few North Plymouth kids benefitted from Ed’s counsel, advice, and by just being able to watch him in action.

It can be said that if something needed doing in Plymouth, the first call was to Ed Santos.

In a day when communities are divided, fewer and fewer people want to serve. We live in an environment that includes threats - and actual acts of violence, slander, betrayal, and exposure to the so-called “crazies” among us. We need a renewed interest in community service. 

Edward W. Santos, and those like him, come around rarely. Plymouth has probably never experienced such a giver of time, expertise and money. 

How can such a life and legacy be celebrated? By celebrating those, who like Ed, give of themselves to make the lives of those who call Plymouth home, better.

For that reason, the Edward W. Santos Community Service Award is fitting.

quote icon

“It truly has been a gratifying and rewarding experience.”

Edward W. Santos