COMER - Howard Donald Edwards, 79, passed away Saturday, October 5, 2013, in Comer, surrounded by his two children, Elaine and Scott, and their spouses, Don VanCleave and Ginni Beeland Edwards and granddaughter, Isabel Edwards
He was a woodworker, runner, history buff, faithful servant, and ladies' man.
Born on January 17, 1934, in Rockwood, Tenn., he was the son of Leck and Lucy Edwards. He was also affectionately known as G. Daddy, Don Don, Don Burger, and Dandy Don. Don grew up as a "lint head", living in mill towns throughout the south. It was often told that Don's grandmother said, "That Donnie Boy, he's a caution!" In his early teens, Don held the honor of being the yo-yo champion of Boaz, Ala. In high school in Uniontown, Ala., Don played basketball and baseball, and quarterbacked for the Uniontown Yellow Jackets.
After high school, Don worked in Oak Ridge, Tenn. before moving to Macon and enrolling in Mercer University, where he received a degree in history and won Mercer's "Ugliest Man 1958" contest. It was at Mercer that he met the love of his life, Algy Carbonell Edwards, who preceded him in death during their 49th year of marriage. After graduation from Mercer, Don served as platoon leader in the US Army Military Police Corps. He also went on to earn graduate degrees in education from both Georgia Southern and the University of Georgia.
Don served the students of Bibb County for decades as teacher, guidance counselor, and principal. During those years, Don also served as president of the Rutland Lions Club and the Macon Tracks Club. Don, who was running around the block in Converse basketball shoes long before anyone had heard of "jogging" as a sport, ran the Boston Marathon in 1980. Don was able to retire in the prime of life and went on to pursue his many passions, most especially, woodworking. He loved his shop and loved to help others with projects. He volunteered for years with Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Macon. Never one to go on "traditional summer vacations", Don volunteered with the American Hiking Society and built and repaired trails in Vermont, Colorado, and Washington.
A Presbyterian since birth, Don was a founding member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, where he wore many hats. Don loved his church family.
Don spent his life surrounded by women and one son!
In addition to his two children, Don is survived by his devoted sister, Patty Sitten, and four granddaughters, Rachel VanCleave Cory (Bobby), Allison VanCleave, Hannah Grace VanCleave, and Isabel Edwards.
It is an understatement to say that Don was a charming man. If you were ever kissed on the hand by Don and he told you that you were a "jewel", you were truly blessed by his sincere affection. He was humble to a fault, quick with a compliment, and never failed to say thank you.
Later in life, Don spent more time watching TV. He loved 60 minutes, Antiques Roadshow, American Pickers, CBS Sunday Morning, and anything on the History Channel. He also loved a good college football game; he declared allegiance to both Georgia and Alabama, but professed hatred for Auburn. Before moving in with his son Scott in Comer, Don always enjoyed drinking a cup of senior's coffee and talking politics on Friday mornings at the Riverside Drive McDonald's with other retired principals. Don truly loved his Mercer Bears! He loved going to Mercer basketball and baseball games and was looking forward to attending his first ever Mercer football game this fall. Most of all, Don loved a cold beer and a bowl of ice cream, sometimes even together.
Don loved his wife, children and grandchildren, his big sister, his in-laws, his many nieces and nephews, his neighbors in the 'Stone, his church family, his caregivers at Peachtree Village and ALL of his many friends! He said he was looking forward to seeing his mother again, saying, "I loved the ol' heifer." Don Edwards was a well-loved man and you surely knew it when he loved you.
A memorial service will be held at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 501 Bass Rd., Macon, on Thursday, October 10, at 2 p.m. Visitation will immediately follow the service in the church's fellowship hall.
If you wish to remember Don with memorial gifts, please consider making donations to Rebuilding Macon, Jubilee Partners, or St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. http://www.rebuildingmacon.org/; http://www.jubilee-partners.org/; http://www.standrewsmacon.org/
Lord & Stephens, Danielsville, is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com