The Port Arthur News
Mr. Billy Edwards passed away peacefully at his home in Stowell, Texas on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at the age of 90.
William Sanders Edwards was born November 12, 1922 in Beaumont, Texas. He was the only child of William Taylor Edwards and Anna White Edwards. A fifth generation Texan, he was the great great grandson of James Taylor White I and the grandson of Robert Monroe White, a graduate of the first graduating class of 1878 at the Agriculture & Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A & M University). Mr. Billy graduated from Beaumont High then continued his education at A & M College of Texas class of 1944. He enlisted in the U.S. Army with fellow Aggies on December 8, 1941 delaying his graduation until 1947 with a degree in Animal Husbandry. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Rose Yvonne “Evie” Fitzpatrick of Beaumont. They were married in 1943 and moved to Stowell in 1947. Together, they raised 13 children.
Mr. Billy was a descendent of the oldest continuously operating Anglo ranch in Texas, established in 1818 and today is still producing cattle, rice and hay in Stowell, Texas. As a member of St. Louis parish, he served on the parish finance committee, parish council and as a member of the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Billy also served on the East Chambers School Board 30+ years. In addition to his many civic contributions, his board service also included 55 years on the Trinity Bay Soil and Water Conservation District #434, Federal Land Bank and the Southeast Texas Resource Conservation Development (R C and D) as Director Emeritus. Additionally, he was a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Association and the Independent Cattleman’s Association.
As a WWII veteran, Mr. Billy served as a first lieutenant in 3457th Company, Patton’s 3rd Army landing in Normandy and advancing through Europe into Germany. He received a European Campaign Medal with 5 bronze service stars for Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe, and Normandy Campaigns. Other notable awards he received included the “Golden Aggie” Award for 50 years of dedication to Texas A & M University by the Beaumont A & M Club. For 30+ years, he graciously sponsored the Texas A & M fish fry in Beaumont, Texas. He received the ‘Agriculture Award’ from the Winnie Area Chamber of Commerce in 2003 for his agriculture contributions. Mr. Billy considered his greatest achievement was raising and educating his thirteen children. He was dearly loved by all of his family and friends.
William Sanders Edwards is survived by his 13 children, 18 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren and a dear friend, Jewel ‘Jubie’ McBride.
Mr. Billy’s children include: W.S. “Sandy” Edwards Jr., Robert “Bobby” Edwards, Susan E. Bollich and spouse Larry, Anne E. Johnson, Joan E. Harkins, James “Jamie” Edwards and spouse Nancy, Stephen “Stevie” Edwards and spouse Fran, Timothy “Timmy” Edwards, Mark Edwards, David Edwards, Mary Pat E. Schneider and spouse John, Thomas “Tommy” Edwards and spouse Allison, Christopher “Chris” Edwards. Grandchildren include: Will Edwards and spouse Sandra, Christie E. Kennemer and spouse Dean, Mayes Middleton and spouse Macy, Katie J. Sawhill and spouse Matt, Amy J. Richins and spouse Ryan, Kelly Anne Johnson, Haley Harkins Beemidi and spouse Victor, Ryall Edwards, Mattie Edwards, Charlie Edwards, Alice Schneider, Evie Schneider, John William Schneider, Elizabeth “Bitty” Schneider, Ben Schneider, Grace Edwards, Porter Edwards, and Thomas Cade “T. C.” Edwards. Great grandchildren include: Rebecca Thibodeaux, Brayden Edwards, Bryce and Emily Kennemer. Great great grandchildren include: Maeson and Weston Thibodeaux.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 26 at 4-6:30pm at Broussard’s Funeral Home, 134 Buccaneer Drive, Winnie, Texas, followed by a Rosary and Wake beginning at 7:00pm at St. Louis Church, 315 W. Buccaneer Drive, Winnie, Texas. A reception will follow at St. Louis Church Pastoral Center.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, February 27th at 2:00pm at St. Louis Church. Pallbearers include; Buck Hamilton, Scott Hamilton, Bobby Way, Bill White, Steven White and Skipper Hamilton. Honorary pallbearers are James Fitzpatrick and Taylor White. Military honors will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 4955 Pine Street, Beaumont, Texas.
The Edwards children would like to extend their sincere appreciation for the loving care and attention given to their father by New Century Hospice caregivers Olivia, Kelli, and Becky. Also they wish to express special gratitude to caregivers Patty Norris, Peggy Stanley, Myra Kahla, Kathy Drab, Brenda Evans, and Maria Grifaido.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in honor of W.S. Edwards to The Association of Former Students at Texas A & M University, 505 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840-2918 or call 979-845-7514; St. Louis Church or to the charity of your choice.
Please visit www.Broussards1889.com for more information.