Carlton "Lewis" Edwards
Known by family and friends as Lewis, Carlton Lewis Edwards passed away January 28, 2014, in the fine care of Palmetto Richland Hospital, two weeks after his 90th birthday.
Lewis was born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, on January 6, 1924, to William Thomas Edwards, and Hattie Slade Edwards. His mother was a dedicated housewife; his father rode with Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War, worked as an advance man for Barnum & Bailey's Circus, and hauled timber out of the Pee Dee Basin before settling down in Roanoke Rapids.
After graduating from Roanoke Rapids High School, one of two twelve-year high schools in NC, Lewis attended NC State pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering. Answering Uncle Sam's call to duty during WW2, Lewis left school and joined the Army, where he was selected to participate in their Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at Yale University. In the spring of 1944, after only nine months of schooling, they became known as "scholars in the foxholes," because General Eisenhower needed more boots on the ground than bodies in the classroom! Following a memorable second round of basic training, Lewis and the scholars became outstanding combat soldiers, but suffered heavy losses in killed, wounded and captured, because of the intensity of the fight they joined. Private First Class Carlton Lewis Edwards joined with the 78th Infantry Division, 311th Infantry Regiment, just in time for the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge, the battle for the bridge at Remagen, and the cleanup of the Ruhr Pocket.
Back from the "adventure of his life," Lewis continued his education, receiving a BS in Civil Engineering from NC State. After working for the North Carolina Highway Department and for the South Carolina Highway Department as district maintenance engineer in Greenville, he was promoted to assistant state maintenance engineer at the central office in Columbia, in 1970, a position from which he retired in 1977.
Lewis was preceded in death by his brothers, Thomas and Robert (Radio), and his sister, Evelyn Edwards Lynch. He is survived by his nieces, Janet Edwards Marshburn (and her husband Robert) of Cary, North Carolina, Jean Lynch Boykin of Midlothian, Virginia, and Coy Lynch Zimmerman, of Richmond, Virginia; many great-nieces, great-nephews, and great friends; his dear friend and caregiver Mary Ann Goff and his dear friend Joseph Wider, of Columbia, South Carolina.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Lewis be remembered in your hearts.
Funeral service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, January 30, 2014, at Thompson Funeral Home of West Columbia, 200 State Street, West Columbia, SC 29169. Reverend Ed Lynch will officiate. Burial will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, January 31, 2014, in Cedarwood Cemetery, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. The family will greet friends from 2-4 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be sent to: www.thompsonsfuneral.com.
Published in The Greenville News on Jan. 30, 2014