Edward Robert Mann

October 21, 1923May 7, 2018

Edward Robert Mann, age 94, of Los Angles, California, passed away on Monday, May 7, 2018 (22 Iyar 5778). Edward was born October 21, 1923 in New York, to David and Dorothy (neé Cohen) Mann.

Edward is survived by his beloved wife of 72 years, Zona Mann; his son, Jonathan (Mary McDevitt) Mann; his daughter-in-law, Cherrill (Peter, OBM) Mann; his grandson, Eli Mann, his niece, Dorothy (Robert) Giansiracusa, his nephews, Paul (Bonnie) Nelson and Neil (Marcia) Grossbard; and his dear friend, Jefferson Crain. Edward was preceded in death by his twin sons, Peter (Cherill) Mann, Of Blessed Memory, and Andrew Mann, Of Blessed Memory.

Funeral services for Edward will be held Graveside, Thursday, May 10, 2018, at 2:00 PM, at Eden Memorial Park, 11500 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills. Services will be officiated by Rabbi Yardeni-Funk (AKA Rabbi LYF). Flowers are being accepted.

Mr. Mann was an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Army-Air Force, WWII. As a B-24 mechanic in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War, he was pleased to have helped defeat Hitler. Mr. Mann was a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He was also an electrical inspector for the City of Los Angeles. In his retirement, he volunteered weekly to read books to children at the Van Nuys Public Library and was a member of his neighborhood CERT team. An accomplished musician of the harmonica, bag pipes, and banjo, he played with such icons as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. He was a self-taught folk artist, working with paper mache, wood carving and whittling, and stone sculpting. Mr. Mann was a long-time participant in the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest. He married the love of his life, Zona Grossbard, on May 5, 1946.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Mann family. Arrangements are under the direction of Groman Eden Mortuary.


  • Zona Mann, Wife
  • Jonathan (Mary McDevitt) Mann, Son
  • Cherrill (Peter, OBM) Mann, Daughter-in-law
  • Eli Mann, Grandson
  • Dorothy (Robert) Giansiracusa, Niece
  • Paul (Bonnie) Nelson, Nephew
  • Neil (Marcia) Grossbard, Nephew
  • Jefferson Crain, Dear Friend
  • Peter (Cherill) Mann, Of Blessed Memory, Son
  • Andrew Mann, Of Blessed Memory, Son


  • Funeral Services Thursday, May 10, 2018

Edward Robert Mann

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kevin Patterson

May 14, 2018

I am one of the lucky ones who were raised in Laurel Canyon within the creative and loving orbit of Ed and Zona. My own parents Ron and Phyllis Patterson, were inspired, …perhaps by the burgeoning bohemian nature of the Canyon, perhaps by the changing times, to teach the children of the Canyon about life through art and drama. They held a children’s workshop in their back yard and called it “Into the woods”. Zona and Ed were leaders in this little Canyon community, and they undoubtedly fell instantly in love with their new neighbors, the Patterson’s, who were so focused on helping the children of the canyon become creative, open mined, loving people.

Life in the early 1960s still felt like the 1950s, but in Laurel Canyon, things were clearly changing. Ed and Zona, and many other Canyon parents wanted their children to grow up in a different world. Looking back, it’s clear that they chose to create one. It was built out of their sense community, their respect for the arts, and their deeply held belief that the world should be loving, inclusive, and filled with individual freedoms and mutual respect.

As a child I saw my parents and the Mann’s and the other parents of the canyon create and maintain such a world for their children. For nearly 60 years now, Ed has modeled that for me. When I would “drop by” hopefully once a year, after moving to Northern California, there they would be. Ed and Zona, so happy to see me, so full of love and genuine interest in what I was doing, with genuine words of wisdom, and practical knowledge.
Yes, my wife of 33 years and I know the value of 3 hugs a day. And so do our children.

Ed was many things, but to me, most of all, he was a role model for how to live a loving, creative and curious life. He truly changed the world for all of us who were lucky enough to know him.

Thank you Ed.

Mary McDevitt

May 11, 2018

Ed and Zona. A WWII correspondence turned into a 72-year marriage.

Mary McDevitt

May 11, 2018

And Ed played a mean blues harmonica.

Mary McDevitt

May 11, 2018

Ed loved the banjo and folk songs.

Harry Timmins

May 10, 2018

When I was a very young boy growing up in Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills, I met Ed Mann through his twin sons Peter and Andrew. Ed was my first banjo teacher and we would spend time playing the old folk songs with his old guitar and banjo in his living room. Ed's wife Zona always made me feel at home, as did Ed.They taught me about Hanukkah , which for a little boy being raised protestant was extreamly interesting. When I bought my first banjo he helped me get it in playable condition and encouraged me to play, which I did, and still do today. Later on he got into the bagpipes and was seen all over Southern California playing, I would often see him at the Renaissance festivals entertaining the crowds. Several years ago I had a chance to re connect and tell him how much he meant to me and how he had had such an influence on my life, in typical Ed fashion he humbly thanked me for allowing him to be part of my life. I loved, and idolized this man for his special life and ways. Much aloha to Zona and all the family and friends. May God bless and give you peace today, Pastor Harry Timmins, Lahaina, HI

Mary McDevitt

May 9, 2018

Not so much a memory as a perfect image, an image of Ed with his son Jon (Jono to many). Ed used to say he had been a daydreamer as a boy; well, I think that daydreamer remained, and the plaintive notes of the bagpipe and the waves of the ocean spoke to the artist, the poet, the dreamer in Ed. We will always love you, Ed.

Craig Engen

May 9, 2018

I had met Ed through his son Jon. I actually had not spent a lot of time with him, but he nonetheless left an indelible impression. My favorite memory of Ed was the time we were all at a Chinese restaurant in San Jose and the place was packed and the staff was very hectic. It was after we ate the talk turned to music, as it often did with Ed, and before you knew it he had fished out a harmonica from his coat pocket and started playing live in the restaurant.

I was a bit embarrassed, worrying over whether or not his playing would disturb the other patrons. While I was trying to find the right combination of words to move the impromptu jam session out of the restaurant, I was suddenly aware that everyone was watching and listening to Ed play. He finished the tune and started another. And if memory serves the staff was smiling, and everyone was uplifted except me. Finally, I realized that Ed was just being true to himself and when I let it go I joined the happiness. When we did leave people were talking to him as he made his way outside and then two people came up to him and asked him about possible harmonica lessons.

Ed taught me by being Ed. He was not hesitant to enjoy the moment, not afraid of just doing something without having to be the best at it. Ed seemed to me to be always ready for a new adventure and often when I am stuck trying to be creative, and the world seems to be against me, I remember Ed whipping out that harmonica and the grey clouds part. A bright and unique light left us at a time when the world really needs that kind of light more than ever. Safe Journey Ed.

Derek, Sue, Tanya & Murray Hill

May 9, 2018

It was back in 1966 when 2 UK students were fortunate enough to be welcomed into the home and lives of Zona & Ed for a few days.
We were sorry to hear of Ed's passing, and send our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Zona, Jono and all their extended family at this time. Tomorrow (May 10) at 7pm UK time (10am LA time), we will sit and reminisce over our time with Ed with our thoughts being with you across the ocean. We will remember Ed & Zona welcoming us with open arms into their home, and Ed driving us to the beach, to museums, and to the other tourist sites. To us, Ed was both a gentle man and a gentleman.
We remember the bagpipes, and joking with Ed that a Californian could not play bagpipes - you had to be from Scotland or Ireland - Canadian maybe but never a Californian!! We remember Ed's whittling, and still have a carved walking stick, a wooden canoe, and a wooden whale in our prized possessions.
Ed played us much of his folk music and sang along with the tunes, and we recollect trying to teach Ed some of the old UK shanties. Mentioning his love of folk music reminds us of the old Maori song of farewell from New Zealand " Now is the hour for us to say goodbye. Soon we'll be sailing far across the sea. It's not goodbye, but just a sweet adieu". So Ed as you begin your final journey, we feel proud to have known you. May you find peace at journey's end.
To Zona, Jono and the other family members, do not forget that loves greatest gift is remembrance. Think of all the good memories and let them surround you incorporating all the happiness that you shared; the days of joy spent together; that special smile, caring heart, and warm embrace. Lock away in your hearts the laughter and friendships shared. Try to look through the tears of today as memories are forever, and can be treasured throughout all the coming years.
We take comfort as we feel certain that Ed will live forever locked safely in your hearts.

From all the Hill family in the United Kingdom

Jefferson Crain

May 8, 2018

My lifelong friend died this morning. Ed was a remarkable man who led a remarkable life. He was a child of the depression, a renaissance man of our age. Even when confronted with life crushing tragedy he found great joy in living, and continues to bring joy to many. Always wanting to learn, always willing to try something new, never concerned with appearances or perfection, friend to all, and unafraid to reveal himself for exactly who he intellectual, an artist, a working man. A man more comfortable being thought of as a communist hillbilly from Los Angeles than a jeweler's son from Beverly Hills. He sang hillbilly songs, hosted Woody Guthrie in Los Angeles, united in philosophy and played the banjo with Pete Seeger, knew all about politics and current events, was beyond progressive in his outlook, and was a working man.
I saw the world with Ed though we never left Los Angeles. We rode bikes together a lot. Over the 60 years we were friends, Ed and I rode for 30 of those years off and on. 40 times a year, about 2,400 times, over 48,000 miles. It started when I was a kid. We visited all parts of the city we both loved and talked a bit.
At every opportunity, Ed proved he could connect with anyone and make them feel comfortable. He was the best man at my wedding and he loved my wife and would always throw her a complement, melting her heart. That was his way. He suggested we all, “go along to get along,” “give three hugs a day,” heed that “a happy wife leads to a happy life,” and “everyone should have a trade.” I am sure you were exhausted about hearing this little piece of advice, but he always told a young person to acquire a trade, something, not to fall back on, but to always be able to depend on.
It is an honor to have been a neighbor of Ed, grown up near Ed, been nurtured by Ed, learned from Ed. He is one of the chief’s of the village that raised this child. His influence will continue forever.