Real Loss

While we are sports guys, we know that wins and losses on the playing field are quite trivial in the grand scheme of things. This is even at the highest levels of sport… losing on the playing field is trivial. Today, the PSPS family has experienced a real loss. Dr. Ed Kingston our friend and colleague passed away.

It is likely that you also heard that Al Davis passed away today as well… Ed could not be more different than the flamboyant man who also visited Saint Peter on this day. While a broad smile and a booming laugh was ever present when he was in a room, he was humble, truly ego-free, and gracious in every way in which he lived his life.

He had a great passion for soccer as a fan and a sport psycher. Neil Roberts (BU’s men’s coach) and coaches in the Seattle Sounders player development academy would certainly sing his praises. This may be important for some, but yesterday was a greater window on Ed Kingston. He was at soccer practice with his son. The sidelines of his son’s games were far more fulfilling and meaningful than those of a nationally ranked NCAA team. The humbleness of family sport trumped the glitz of the higher levels… just the way it should be.

I have many times muttered his thoughts on the journey towards excellence and why few succeed (in particular in the field of sport psychology), “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but few want to die.” He was truly excellent and there is not an ounce of doubt in my mind that he is in heaven at this moment.

Please take time to dig through the PSPS archives and read his posts. He offered much and they truly reflect his essence. We will continue post and write and hopefully will be blessed by his kind spirit and educational wisdom.

Today the world lost a father, husband, friend, sport psych coach, teacher, son, collaborator, colleague, and many more things. God bless.

10/12/2011 addition: If you would like to support the Kingston family in this time of loss, please visit: . Thank you.

Words shared by Adam Naylor at Dr. Kingston’s memorial service 10/21/2011:

Ed laughed at my jokes. My wife reminds me regularly that I’m not that funny. So I suspect that Ed laughed at all of your jokes as well… that big, booming, grandiose laugh.

He was a big man that brought his own form of grace to life. He was a doctor in the sport sciences, but preferred being known as “coach” to the Blue Thunder. When he could have adopted one of Boston’s title bound teams, he remained loyal to the Irish… and his friends worried. When you came over for burgers and franks, he lovingly prepared you a special Southwestern or blue ribbon All-American burger that he had been dreaming about creating all week. Humble, loyal, and passionate towards you and the simple things.

Simple things, but not trivial. While we all look toward the horizon and achievements that lie ahead, Ed never lost focus on the family in front of him. Jack and Reese: play with you at home, on the fields, and around the stadiums were your father’s World Cups. Laura: a romance that spanned from the Pacific to Atlantic and back again highlights the tie that binds. Sitting on a dock of Lake Padden he reminded you that life was about moving forward towards dreams, while fence sitting was hard on the butt and spirit. Play, adventure together, and love took center stage in the story of Ed Kingston.

Ed was a lot of things. Looking over the many memories and reflections of the past two weeks it was clear that Ed was much to many people. Friend, mentor, coach, student, teacher, son, father, husband. For a guy that never sought out the spotlight… our focus of attention shined bright on him. Once you met Ed, you wanted to hang on to him. Life just seemed a bit better when you understood the world according to Ed. We all can use a little Ed in our lives each day.

10/29/2011 addition: Some of Dr. Ed Kingston’s collected writings are now available at  All proceeds from sales go to the Ed Kingston Memorial Fund.


22 Responses to “Real Loss”

  1. 1 Andrew October 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Met Ed briefly but instantly realized what a great individual he was – from his ego-less demeanor to the amazing relationship he had with his family. To all the members of PSPS and Ed’s family, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  2. 2 Laura Kingston October 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you Adam.


  3. 4 William Fry October 9, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Our entire community is morning this loss. Thanks for providing us with a glimpse into the greatness of this man — and the model he lived out for each of us to follow. We will continue to lift the Kingston family up in our prayers. Please let us know tangible ways that we can support and serve them in the days and years ahead.

  4. 5 Katie October 9, 2011 at 3:57 am

    I am so sorry to the Kingston family for your loss.

  5. 6 Jason Walcott October 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    We’ll miss you, Ed. I’m very sorry. He was a great man.

  6. 7 juplimpton October 9, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    There are no words…..The Gardner Family has been and will continue to think about the Kingston’s. We are so, so sorry for your loss.

  7. 8 Christine Vitale October 10, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Ed, we will all miss you! This is such a terrible loss. Ed was in my life for only a couple of years while going through the same doctoral program at BU, but his thoughtfulness and wit along with his great personality left a lasting impression on me. I am the person I am today because I was blessed to have met Ed. He was a wonderful colleague and friend and his positive spirit will stay in my memory for years to come.

  8. 9 Jim Howland October 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

    This is a huge loss. Ed was truly a champion in everything that he did. A truly remarkable human being that I have been blessed to know. My thoughts are with his family, his sport family, and all who had the honor to know him.

  9. 10 Sara Newman October 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Thank you for writing this thoughtful piece about Ed. He’s clearly touched many in giant ways.

    Laura’s spoken of Ed at work as we talked about cool things he was doing. I wish I had met him.

    Reading the outpouring love for Ed, Laura and their children in Facebook is both gut-wrenching and wonderful. Thank you everyone for sharing your bits and pieces about Ed and Laura.

    Broken-hearted and sending love to Ed, his beloved wife Laura, children, family and enormous group of co-workers and friends.
    Sara Newman

  10. 11 Tayler October 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Ed was my teacher and Advisor….I wanted to get into sports psych but almost everywhere I looked I could not find any information on it. I went to EDCC and heard about Ed so I met up with him and I left feeling great about my future. To his family – I am sorry for your loss…if there is anything I can do let me know…He will be missed by EVERYONE at my school

  11. 12 Tarah October 11, 2011 at 1:46 am

    I am another student of Ed’s at CWU. He was a great instructor and a genuinely kind and helpful advisor. He is the reason I chose the IDS program at CWU.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. His love for you was clearly demonstrated in his lectures and anecdotes.

  12. 13 Kathy M October 11, 2011 at 9:11 am


    We just learned of your loss. Although we haven’t seen the two of you for years, we have so many happy memories of our times together (“Ripped from the headlines” on Law & Order). Please know that our thoughts are with you.

    Kathy and Tony Mason

  13. 14 Leila Foard October 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    To me Ed was a teacher, an advisor, an inspiration, and encouragement. I am a student at CWU, and I just want to say that when we heard this news in class yesterday it became obvious that Ed had touched MANY lives. Classmates shared stories of just how much Ed had touched their lives, all with tears in our eyes. This is heartbreaking news, and I just want to tell his family that our thoughts and prayers are with you all. He loved his family SO much and shared many stories in class, a lot of them making us laugh. I think I speak for all of his students when I say, if there is anything we… as a group can do, please let us know.

  14. 15 Nicole October 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Ed was my Psych instructor as well as my adviser at CWU. He was patient, kind, generous with his time, and cared so much about his family, colleagues, and students. He loved teaching and that was apparent. He was one of a kind. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will be missed by many.

  15. 16 scorpio mathis October 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Ed was my soccer coach at washington high school. this is a man that made a big impression in my life that continues today. i came from a broken family single mom. i had a very bad attitude and was not a team player. i remember Mr.Kingston as a motivator and someone i could count on to talk to about personal issues. he always gave me solid advice. he was someone that taught me what a team was supposed to be. he will be missed.

  16. 17 Kristine Becker October 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Very sad to learn of Dr. Kingston’s passing. He had such passion for teaching but his biggest love was for his children. God Bless.

  17. 18 Jen Garnett October 12, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Ed was my advisor and teacher at Central. I have never met a teacher that was so willing to help and so encouraging. When I told him that I didn’t think I could handle the thesis that was required for a Master’s Degree he pulled his thesis out of his back pack, assured me that he didn’t always keep it on him, and told me that I could do it. I looked forward to each one of his classes and was thinking just last week that I hoped he was teaching a psychology class I could take this next quarter. I will remember Ed for the rest of my life, his love for sports, his big laugh and smile and most importantly the love he had for his family. You are all in my prayers.

  18. 19 Ian C October 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Ed was my favorite teacher at CWU, the head of my department, and my adviser. I always looked forward to his classes; it was clearly evident that he loved teaching, helping, and his family. I could always count on Ed to lift my spirits and give me practical friendly advice on psychology and my future career. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Laura, and his family and friends!

  19. 20 Red Lynn October 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I am also a student of Ed’s. My sister and myself are/were IDS majors and adored Dr. Kingston. He spoke every single time I ever heard him about his love for his wife and his children. Every teaching moment available to him included his family. I was, as I know everyone else was also, devastated by the news of his passing. I will be at the Lynnwood memorial this Wednesday.

    Mrs. Kingston, you were a very blessed woman and I am so sorry for your loss.


  20. 21 Anonymous January 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I just found out about this tragic death of a great, great man. I knew Ed in high school, and he was one of the few students who was friendly to me, even though he was one of the most popular students in the school. Many of the other popular students did not pay attention to me or were not nice to me. I saw Ed about 10 years later at a party where I was a tag-along with another friend, and everyone in the room except for Ed pretty much ignored me and wondered why I was there. Ed was the only friendly, jovial face there (except for my friend who brought me along), and I am positive he is in heaven with the other angels. He is a good man, and the world suffered a huge loss last October.

  1. 1 West Seattle soccer community stunned at sudden loss of coach | Trackback on October 12, 2011 at 8:46 am

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