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* Ed Vance; Movie and TV Set Craftsman

April 14, 1999

Ed Vance, a craftsman who spent nearly 25 years supervising construction of sets for movies and television shows, died Saturday at Simi Valley Hospital. He was 53.

"He had a terrific vision," said Ronnie Cunningham, an official with Local 44 of the International Assn. of Theatrical Stage Employees. "Before anything was built, he could see the finished sets, just from looking at the drawings. He was a wonderful person and a marvelous craftsman--from cabinetmaking to everything else we do in the business."

The Simi Valley resident started his career in 1975 as a prop maker for the TV miniseries "Roots." Over the years he worked as a foreman or construction coordinator on such films as "Indiana Jones' Last Crusade," "Back to the Future II," "Patriot Games" and "Basic Instincts," as well as TV projects such as "The Rockford Files" and "Battlestar Galactica."

For the past four years, he supervised construction for the TV series "J.A.G." Tuesday night's show was dedicated to his memory.

He also was active in his union, serving as a board member and trustee.

On location in Hawaii for the film "Crowfoot" in 1994, he met and married Ann Bishop. The couple maintained a home in Maui, and frequently visited Grace Church in Lahaina, where they were wed.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Vance's memory may be made to the Grace Church Building Fund, c/o Pastor Arza Brown, P.O. Box 1176, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 96767. Brown flew from Hawaii to Los Angeles this week to conduct a memorial service for Vance today.

"There was always a little joke that when Ed retired, he'd go back to build the church's new building for them," said Lorie Jocius, a family friend.

Vance was born April 30, 1945, in Duluth, Minn. His family moved to Van Nuys when he was 2 years old.

Vance is survived by his wife, Ann; daughters Kristy Taylor of Simi Valley and Jenna and Deanne Vance, both of Auburn; a son, Matthew Vance, who is stationed in Oregon with the Army, and a sister, Charlotte Mayer of Santa Rosa.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. today at the Church of the Hills at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Memorial Park. It will be followed by interment at Valhalla Memorial Park, 10621 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood.

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