It was confirmed Monday evening that longtime photojournalist Ed Blochowiak, 66, has died.

It was confirmed Monday evening that longtime photojournalist Ed Blochowiak, 66, has died.

For five decades Blochowiak gathered visual information, capturing the essence of the community where he was born and raised. For nearly all of those years he did it for the Shawnee News-Star.

On Nov. 19, 1973 –– just six days out of the air force –– Blochowiak entered into his role as a professional photographer in Shawnee, and after 43 years of service he put down his camera for the last time, retiring on Sept. 7.

During his career, his photographs earned him three Photo of the Year designations –– two from the Oklahoma Press Association and one from the Associated Press. He also was merited with more than two dozen first-place awards as well as a bunch of others –– more than 100 from various contests –– as well as being inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame in 2014. In September Blochowiak was awarded the designation of Honorary Firefighter by the Shawnee Fire Department.

Funeral arrangements are pending.