Willard “Ed” Edwards, born September 20, 1931, passed from this life on June 3, 2023, for his permanent heavenly home. He was the youngest of 11 children born to the late Alice Sue Hucks Edwards and William Everett Edwards.
Ed was born and raised in Madison County, AL. In 1948 at the age of 17, having received signed permission from his mother, he embarked on an adventure in the US Air Force, where he served in the Korean War as a B-29 mechanic while stationed on Guam and Okinawa.
After returning home from the war in 1953, and moving to Nashville, he was introduced to the love of his life, Catherine Sanders. After a “long” courtship of three months, they married. That year, Ed decided to get his radio operator’s license and television repair training from Devry Tech. Mr. Edwards opened Edwards Television Repair, where Catherine was the manager.
Shortly after that, the opportunity presented itself for them both to head back home to Madison County, AL where they pursued careers with NASA. Ed was a wind tunnel technician and was in demand at NASA facilities across the United States for his expertise.
In 1960, they purchased their first farm at Howell Hill in Lincoln County, TN where they raised their two children, Terri and Mark. Later, they purchased their second farm down the road at Corders Crossroads, where they lived together for 54 years. A fond memory of both Terri and Mark is the cattle drive from Howell Hill farm to the Crossroads farm. Mark was 10 years old driving their old Jeep down Price Lane with Terri in the back with feed leading the herd of cattle to their new home. Great times!
Ed retired from NASA in 1980 but that was not the end of his working career. He and Mark were an integral part of starting a pallet business known as Palatec, which spun off another business known as DECHE. To know Ed was to know that his mind was always busy inventing and solving new problems, even if you didn’t know they needed to be solved. Every situation was a teaching moment for Terri and Mark as they followed Ed around.
He was a kind, patient, soft spoken, loyal, and trustworthy, which suited well to serve as an elder in the Church of Christ at Park City for many years. To know him was to love him. He loved people and people loved him. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, great-grandfather, neighbor, and friend. Corders Crossroads and Lincoln County lost a wonderful patriarch with Ed’s passing.
Ed is preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Catherine Sanders Edwards; his siblings, Willie Vance Gravit (Herbert), Beatrice Hilliard (Colline), Velma Pitts (Bill), Douglas Edwards (Doris), Lawrence Edwards (Bonnie), Hammond Edwards, Tina Alice Widick (Larry), Elno Husky (Ray), and John Edwards (Bernice).
He is survived by his brother, Billy Edwards of Fayetteville, TN, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The legacy that he leaves is his daughter, Terri Bukar (Don), and his son, Mark Edwards (Lisa) of Kelso, TN; grandchildren, Will Elrod (Brittany) of Huntsville, AL, Lt. Jess Elrod of everywhere, Lucas Edwards (Erica), Hannah Edwards, and Spencer Edwards of Kelso, TN, Amanda Plitz (Nick) of Kit Carson, CO, Billy Bukar (Sirena) of Tullahoma, TN, and seven great-granddaughters, Macie, Shelby, Laney, Sadie, Isabelle, Chloe, and Ruby which were the love of his life and they loved him.
Visitation with the family will be from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at Higgins Funeral Home, followed by a graveside service at 1:30 PM on Tuesday at Campbell Cemetery. Bro. Paul Clayton will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Benevolence Fund at the Church of Christ at Park City, 42 McDougal Road, Fayetteville, TN 37334, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memorial Processing, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.
Higgins Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Willard “Ed” Edwards.