James Douglas Edwards

On the morning of September 14th, 2016, Douglas passed away at St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City following a sudden brain aneurysm and ensuing stroke. Douglas was born in Warrensburg, MO, on April 7, 1946. He was the second and youngest child of Lorraine Maurice and Dr. Walter Ross Edwards.

Douglas attended Southeast High School in Kansas City, graduating in 1964. At the request of his parents, he studied at Baylor University for a year before deciding to pursue his passion of filmmaking at NYU, graduating with a B.Sc. in Film & Motion Picture in 1968. After graduating college, Douglas worked a variety of jobs, ranging from catalog copywriter to television continuity director. This was his start in what would become a long career of creative work. In this time, Douglas lived in Columbia, MO, and refined his craft as a photographer, and built friendships that would last the rest of his life.

Through his long career in advertising and marketing, he founded multiple technology companies. Most notably, he co-founded Handmark, where he served as CMO for 8 years. Douglas was an author, CEO, CMO, and market strategist, but at his core, he was a serial entrepreneur and visionary. His love for technology gained him positions at Apple, Andrews McMeel Universal, Handmark, Nuze Media, Foresight, Softdesk, Autodesk, Innovative Software, Cinévid Multimedia, and ERA.

Published in 2001, his book, Cowboy Religion: Practicing Habits of Happiness, serves as a lasting chronicle of Douglas's wisdom. It also captures his unique philosophy, as well as his lifelong personal identity as a cowboy.

Douglas cared deeply about more things and people than any one person ought to be able to fit in their life, but chief among them was his family. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Shari, his three children, Lindsay, Lauren, and Dylan, and his beloved dog, Zoey. Douglas was a dog-lover, referring to himself as “always Douglas, seldom dog-less.” He also loved the outdoors, partaking in activities such as hiking, camping, skiing, and scuba diving throughout his life.

Douglas was filled with kindness, warmth, and infinite wisdom. He was a true friend, mentor, spiritual guide, and a second father to countless people. He has helped a number of individuals, institutions, and new enterprises understand their place in the universe and discover new paths to health, wealth, and happiness. Douglas will continue to impact lives through his gift of organ and tissue donation.

The family requests that any donations be made to the Great Plains SPCA.

A celebration of life will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 from 1-3 PM in the Jarvis Hunt Room at Union Station in Kansas City.

“Acting to help others attain their potential is the way to actually fulfill your potential and purpose.” —Douglas Edwards, Cowboy Religion