Mr. W. Henry Edwards, 94, of Rutherfordton, died Saturday, November 17, 2018, at the Charles George VA Medical Center hospice. He was born in Cliffside where his parents and extended family lived, worked, and thrived. He graduated from Cliffside High School and entered Brevard College. World War 2 interrupted his formal education when he joined the United States Coast Guard in 1942, being stationed at Ocean City, MD, for coastal patrol on foot and horseback. Later he served as signalman on the patrol frigate USS Grand Island in Pacific Ocean operations. After honorable discharge in 1946, he joined his uncle's business of securing automobile tags and titles in Washington, D.C.
His marriage of 70 years began on June 4, 1948, to 1Edith Lee Roby, who survives him. He is also survived by son Duncan and wife Mary, daughter Caroline and husband Greg, grandsons Stuart Beam and wife Natalie plus Will Beam and wife Hannah. His parents Clyde and Maude, brother Alton, and sister Doris predeceased him.
Henry was a farmer. He spent childhood summers on his grandfather Will Duncan's farm during the 1920s and 1930s, and moved there with his family in 1960. Dairy farming, fence building, silage cutting, hay making, vegetable growing, timber harvesting were regular activities. He initiated pasture grazing and eliminated silage for his dairy cows. He and Edith learned and taught uses of kudzu for livestock, crafts, and food. For years he enjoyed producing many sweet corn crops eaten by eager friends. He participated in community activities as member of the Methodist Church, American Legion, Farm Bureau, Soil & Water Conservation, Cliffside Masonic Lodge, and neighborhood ice cream socials with abundant chocolate. He was longtime employee of Washburn Funeral Home and later Washburn & Dorsey Funeral Home.
The Funeral will be conducted at 2:00 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church in Rutherfordton. Burial will follow in the Wesley Chapel UMC Cemetery.
The Visitation will be 12:30 pm until 1:45 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018, in the church fellowship hall.
Henry and his family suggest that in lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to Cliffside Masonic Lodge #460, PO Box 164, Cliffside, NC 28024.