EDWARDS, ARTHUR WILLIAM
2/17/35 - 5/23/12
Arthur William Edwards, 77, who with his partner, Fred Case, founded a company providing housing in rural areas of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, died at his home in Annapolis on May 23, 2012.
He had esophageal cancer said his wife Patricia Edwards.
The Case-Edwards company was one of the first companies to construct housing under the Department of Agriculture's rural rental housing program, which was created and subsidized for people of moderate or limited means who lived in rural areas. The Case Edwards communities were recognized in these rural areas as the premier provider of affordable housing in Maryland and Delaware.
He served on the Key School Board of Trustees from 1976 - 1986 as a trustee member, vice-president and president. His leadership during the early 80's had a direct impact on the school's future at the time. In addition, he was a founding member of the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, and a charter member of the Sailing Hall of Fame. He also served as board member and former treasurer of Project Liberty Ship-SS John Brown historic naval ship and was a docent at the Naval Academy Museum. He was a legacy member of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and created the executive director chair to commemorate his wife's ten years in that position. He was a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club for 35 years.
His interest in the history of World War II led to the creation of the Normandy Planning Group, which was formed with four of his closest friends. Their first trip to Normandy to commemorate the D Day invasion was the start of years of study and travel. Many sessions were held at Lewnes Restaurant in Eastport where they booked Booth Seven. A picture of the group is seen there today.
A love of the water and sailing attracted him to Annapolis, and he acquired a Beneteau 42, one of the first of its type, from the well-known racing sailor and yachtsman Arnie Gay. He raced in the Chesapeake Bay, and then took her north many times for cruising to Newport and Martha's Vineyard with family and friends.
Having soloed his first airplane at the age of 16, he had a lifelong love of flying. He bought his first plane, a Seneca II in 1995. Soon he was traveling around the country flying other vintage airplanes such as the de Haviland Beaver, a Piper Cub, a B-17, and a P-51. While vacationing in Saint Barth's in 1982 he made two landings in a Cherokee on the island's notorious landing strip.
Mr. Edwards was born in Trenton, N.J., lived in Yardley PA with his parents Arthur Isaac Edwards and Marian Gross Edwards. He attended local public schools, then Pennsylvania State University for a year and a half. Leaving college, he entered the U.S. Navy and served four years as a quartermaster, learning celestial navigation and flag signaling. He resumed his studies at Tulane University acquiring a BA degree in economics, and then completed a master's degree in city planning at Georgia Institute of Technology.
He was married to Patricia Van Over Edwards in 1963. Survivors include his wife Patricia, his sons and grandchildren of Annapolis, and five siblings.
A memorial service will take place at the Annapolis Yacht Club on Thursday, May 31st, at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Arthur's name to the Hospice of the Chesapeake, 445 Defense Highway, Annapolis 21401 or to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, 801 Chase Street, Annapolis 21401.