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James "Jim Edwards

Death Notice
  • "I will miss you always. you where a good friend to me."
    - Lloyd Smith
  • "I took Mr. Edwards Photography class at WSU. It was..."
    - Mary Ann Ireland
  • "Jim was an honorable man. I didnt know him really well, but..."
    - Sherry Henderson
  • "Jim was a true "Friend of Youth" as a loyal member of the..."
    - Ron Terzian
  • "Saepe Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Fratres Aeterni. Often..."
    - Harry Simpson

SALINA - Edwards, James "Jim," 87, passed away Dec. 20, 2013. Jim was born and raised in Wichita. In the summers he enjoyed visiting his cousin Jim Hoskins in Oklahoma. There were plenty of farm chore and fishing stories. The last time he saw cousin Jim they enjoyed fishing and playing cards in Oklahoma all day. His best friend was Bob Wilson who grew up across the street. Their families were close and attended church together. After both joining the Marines, Bob was able to find Jim in Iwo Jima. Their friendship was rekindled again when Jim moved to Salina in 2004. They enjoyed watching Bob's grandson play football at Central High School. Jim's occupation was also his life long passion. He began to learn his craft in high school. Right out of high school he joined the United Sates Marine Corps where his assignment was the intelligence office and photography unit. After leaving the Marines he attended Houston School of Photography where he received a degree in professional photography. At the same time he co-owned a photo studio. After leaving Houston he moved back home to Wichita and worked as a freelance photographer. His clients included the Wichita Eagle, Wichita Beacon, Reed Studio, Kansas Investigation Service Photography, Wichita Photo and Camera Studio, and local sporting events. In 1950 Jim was asked to reenlist in the Marines and was assigned to the motion picture production unit as a still photographer and photo instructor. A highlight of the assignment was working with RCA and Columbia Pictures while filming the Flying Leather Necks with John Wayne. While filming, John Wayne asked Jim if he would like a picture taken with him. Jim asked instead if he could take a picture of his wife Doris, daughter Christina, and John Wayne. John Wayne said of course and his family had a great picture of the three. Jim said John Wayne was one of the nicest men he ever had the pleasure to meet. He also took pictures of Bob Hope, Gene Autry, and Jane Wyman to mention a few. Jim was asked to be a photographer/producer in Hollywood but declined, saying he would rather return to Wichita. He felt Hollywood was no place to raise a family. Jim again returned to Wichita after the Marines and started his own studio specializing in advertisement, portraits, slides, and freelance photography. Jim became an instructor at Wichita State in the journalism department. While doing these two jobs Jim also found time for some interesting projects including studying Kirlian "Aura" photography with Dr. Lester, Dr. Vogt, and Dr. Riordan. He began giving lectures on the subject and a book was written with his photos. Jim retired in 1990 due to heart trouble. He also loved taking photos of family, especially nieces and nephews which will be treasured forever. The love of his life was Doris Bernard who he was married to for 57 years. His father came home one day and said, "I meet the women you are going to marry today". Jim and Doris loved to dance at he Elk's Club and were always together. They had a daughter Christina Edwards Nelson. Jim's favorite pastimes included camping, fishing, and boating. The family started out camping in a tent and at the end of their camping days they had a motor home they cold live in comfortably with guests. When Jim retired he and Doris would winter in Tucson, AZ where their daughter Christina, husband Chuck, and grandchildren Jimmie and Robbie lived. They were happiest when spending time with their daughter and family. Jim also loved to barbecue. His brother in law Jon always said his barbecue hamburgers were the best ever. Jim had a "special sauce" he used on the hamburgers. Until recently only his grandson Jimmie had the privilege to know the ingredients. The heartbreak of Jim's life was losing his daughter Christina to pneumonia in 1990 and his wife in 2005. Jim moved to Salina in 2004. He was so loved by his wife and he loved her deeply. His family was worried about him when his wife passed, but he pulled up his bootstraps and tried his best to live without her. Jim made many new friends at church, the Marine Corps League, and retirement home. He tried to busy himself with any job he could do from painting the outside of the retirement home to driving a van to pick up men at the Rescue Mission for church. He also traveled with Emmanuel Foursquare Church on two out of the country mission trips. The pictures he took on these trips were shared with friends and will always be treasured. He was known for his great work ethic, his organization, and determination. Jim had health issues and beat cancer once. Three months ago he was diagnosed with a different incurable cancer. He handled pain more courageously than most. His last five weeks at Holiday Resort he was treated with dignity and patience. He once said he appreciated everything the nursing staff did for him. He will be remembered as an adoring husband, father, grandfather, uncle, Marine, and professional photographer. We will treasure all the stories you've shared and the legacy you've left. We will miss you terribly. Your family and friends are thankful you are at rest in heaven with your beautiful wife and daughter. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Kathryn Edwards; wife, Doris; daughter, Christina Nelson; sisters, Eleanor Mensor, Dollie Graham; niece, Shirley Forasieppi. He is survived by a brother in law, Jon Banard of Portland, OR; grandsons, Jim Nelson, Rob Nelson, and Chuck Nelson of Tucson, AZ; great grandsons, Kyle Nelson, Brandon Nelson, and countless cousins, nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am Friday, Dec. 27, at Emmanuel Foursquare Church. Burial will be at 3:00 pm Dec. 27 at White Chapel Memorial Gardens, 1806 N. Oliver, Wichita, KS. Visitation will be Thursday Dec. 26, from 4-8 with family receiving friends from 6-8 at Ryan Mortuary 137 N. 8th Salina, KS. Memorials may be made to the Salina Rescue Mission or Emmanuel Foursquare Church.

Published in The Wichita Eagle on Dec. 24, 2013
Funeral Home
Ryan Mortuary & Crematory Inc
137 North Eighth Street  Salina, KS 67401
(785) 825-4242
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