OBITUARY: David L. Edwards Sr.


David L. Edwards, Sr., died Friday, January 20, 2023, surrounded by his family at his home in the Southern Oaks Senior Living Community in Henderson, TN. He was 91 years old.

David was born on August 7, 1931, to the late Charles Hannah Edwards and the late Mary Jane Locke Edwards in their home on South High Street in Columbia, TN. David was the youngest of eleven children.

David married Rachel Hubbell Edwards in 1953, and they made their home in Columbia, TN and were blessed with four children. David began working for the United States Postal service in 1954. He was also a part-time Allstate Insurance agent for many years, and Rachel was the bookkeeper for his insurance business. David retired from the United States Postal Service in 1984 after 30 years as a rural letter carrier. He was a member of Highland Church of Christ and later Graymere Church of Christ, both in Columbia, TN where he taught Bible classes for many years.

After Rachel’s passing in 1978, David was blessed to marry Helen Hodges Edwards, who supported him in continuing to raise his family. Following retirement, David and Helen owned Rent-a-Tent in Columbia, TN and supplied many party tents for events in Maury County and beyond. In 1989, David and Helen officially retired and moved to Georgia and then later to Kentucky to provide leadership for small church families who could not afford a minister. They made many precious friends in Russellville, Guthrie, and Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.

After Helen’s death in 2000, David was blessed to meet and marry another precious Christian lady, Hazel Nale Edwards. David and Hazel made their home in Clarksville, Tennessee and enjoyed their golden years together. Following Hazel’s passing in 2020, David moved to west Tennessee to make his home close to his daughters.

After moving to west Tennessee, David became a member of the Stantonville Church of Christ and enjoyed the daily activities at the Selmer Senior Center where he secured precious and fun friendships. After deciding to make his home at Southern Oaks Senior Living Community, his ability to make friends and influence others at age 90 was still going strong. David loved playing Bingo on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and found a strong purpose by leading the daily devotionals for the other residents at 10:00 every morning. He enjoyed the holiday parties and outings and was loved deeply by his Southern Oaks family.

David had a strong affection for reading and teaching the Bible and was also an avid lover of ice cream, both traits learned from his beloved mother. He loved to grocery shop and cook, and family mealtime was of the utmost importance to him as he shared his culinary creations and interesting conversations with many family members and friends throughout his life.

David loved and served his country for seven and half years in the United States Army and the United States Air Force. While serving in Japan, he learned to speak Japanese and also was taught how to cook many delicious dishes with Sukiyaki being his family’s favorite. In the summer of 2022, a ceremony was held to award David the Ambassador for Peace Medal by the Republic of Korea for his service during the Korean War. He was especially honored by the handmade quilt gifted to him by the Veterans Administration in Selmer, TN and was thankful for the opportunities to share his military stories and experiences in programs at Southern Oaks.

Survivors include his daughters: Mary Ruth (Ed) Campbell, Martha (Bradley) Kelley, Sarah (Lee) Hibbett, and Lisa Fry Edwards (widow of David Edwards, Jr.) Granddaughters: Anne (Josh) Love, Jessica Edwards, Elisabeth (Tucker) Campbell, and Rachel Grace Hibbett. Great-grandson: Mack Love. David had a deep pride in and enjoyed his visits with his numerous nieces and nephews. He also treasured the special relationships he shared with members of Helen Hodges Edwards’ family.

In addition to his three wives, he was also preceded in death by his parents, his son: David L. Edwards, Jr., a grandson: Brandon Kelley, and his siblings: Henry Edwards, Maxie Edwards, Floy Edwards Troope, Rebecca Edwards Fraser, Shadden Edwards, Ralph Edwards, Carl Edwards, Gertrude Edwards Marshock, Kenneth Edwards, and Charles Edwards.

The service for David L. Edwards, Sr. will be conducted Friday, January 27, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home in Columbia, Tennessee, with burial to follow in Polk Memorial Gardens. Military honors will be provided by Herbert Griffin American Legion Post 19. The family will receive friends beginning at noon.

Pallbearers will be Ernie Allen, Jr., Ed Campbell, Tucker Campbell, Doug Edwards, Tony Edwards, Lee Hibbett, Bradley Kelley, Josh Love, and Paul Love.

A true southern gentleman, a servant of the Lord, a loving family man, a loyal worker, a man above men, and a member of the greatest generation, the world was a better place for 91 years because of the life of David Lee Edwards, Sr.

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