Judy Edwards

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Judy Edwards, age 64, of Cumming passed away Dec. 13, 2009, after a short illness. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Judy entered the medical field as a certified paramedic. She held an associate degree in nursing from Sinclair University in Dayton, Ohio, a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of South Florida, and a masters degree in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Judy was a certified emergency nurse as well as holding a certification in homeland security at Level V (CHS-V). She was a member of the Nursing Honor Society Sigma Theta Tau. Prior to becoming a nurse, Judy was a professional dog handler from 1966-1974, and in 1972, with a smooth coat Chihuahua she was showing, she took Best in Show at Westminster.
For eight years, Judy served as the commander for the GA-3 Disaster Medical Assistance Team under the Department of Health and Human Services, Medical Response Branch. She participated in numerous federal deployments including responses to the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and Hurricane Katrina. She also served as a consultant to the British governments to evaluate emergency services in the British Island of Tortula.
Judy joined the Hospital Corporation of American in 1988, working as the assistant director in the emergency department at Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center in Ft. Myers, Fla. In December 1993, she moved to Atlanta to become the director of emergency services at Emory Dunwoody Medical Center and in the following years also became the director of critical care and medical surgical services. In May 2003, she assumed the role of corporate director of emergency preparedness, for which she was responsible for emergency preparedness and emergency operations planning for 190 acute care facilities and 150 ambulatory surgery center. In 2003, Judy joined First Water Systems as business development director for healthcare.
As distinguished of a career that she had, Judy was greatly loved as a daughter, sister, mother, wife and grandmother.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Jacob Thomas Smith and Minnie Ethel Carpenter Smith.
Judy left behind her husband of 25 years, Bob Edwards of Cumming, whom she met when he was her paramedic instructor in Dayton, Ohio; daughter, Gretchen Carlson (Paul) of Clermont, Fla.; stepchildren, Todd Edwards (Kathy) of Lilburn, Chris Edwards (Becky) of Reston, Va., Shelly Budak (Paul) of Dayton, Ohio. Judy will be remembered as a wonderful grandmother by Sydney Grace Carlson, Jordan and Zachary Edwards, Gavin Edwards. She also leaves loving sister, Joyce Tuxhorn (Geno) of Naples, Fla.; and niece, Dr. Keri Mason of Pooler.
A celebration of life and visitation for family and friends will be Wednesday, Dec. 16, from 3-5 p.m. at Byars Funeral Home. A memorial service will follow at Grace Chapel in Cumming at 5:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made for the GA-3 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, payable to the World Water Relief, 3750 Crestwood Place, Cumming, GA 30041.
Byars Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.
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Byars Funeral Home
155 Professional Park Dr.
Cumming, GA 30040
(678) 455-5815
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Published in ForsythNews.com from Dec. 14 to Dec. 17, 2009