Jones Funeral Home
204 S Ottawa Ave
Dixon, IL 61021
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Donald Wayne Edwards

1925 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Donald Wayne Edwards Obituary
Dr. Donald Wayne Edwards

Dr. Donald Wayne Edwards died peacefully on Thursday night, September 27, 2018 at his home in Heritage Square in Dixon, IL. He was 93. The world has lost a gentle and compassionate soul, a country doctor, a mentor, a friend, and beloved Dad, Uncle, and Grandpa. We are indeed lucky that he walked and lived in our lifetimes. He loved well and was loved in return and will be missed by many.

Dr. Don, or "Doc", as he was known by many, was born on June 11, 1925 in Rochelle, Illinois, the second of two sons of Howard M. Edwards, M.D., and Ila Olson Edwards, both from Lee, Illinois. After graduating from Dixon High School, where he was an athlete, a thespian, and a journalist, he attended Dartmouth College from 1943 to 1945. His college career was interrupted in 1945 when he was inducted into the U.S. Army, ultimately scheduled in August for deployment to fight in the battle for Japan. A few days before he shipped out, atom bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and by the time Don arrived in Japan, the war was over. Doc served in Japan with the occupation forces on Okinawa. After completing his service, he returned stateside, resumed college, and was graduated with the Dartmouth College class of 1947. He received a Masters in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois and worked in farm seed sales and dairy calf production in Lee County. Donald married the love of his life, Rosanne Deutsch, R.N., in 1951 at St. Patrick's Church in Dixon. They raised three children and were together until Rosanne's death in 2010.

Don studied medicine at Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, completing his residence in pediatrics at St. Peter's Hospital, Albany, NY, and St. Vincent's Hospital, New York City, NY. Dr. Don Edwards joined the Edwards Clinic with his father and brother, Howard M. Edwards, Jr. M.D. in 1962. He was the first pediatrician in Dixon and cared for generations of children and parents. His job was to inspire young parents who were often very insecure of their abilities. His mission was to create in parents a sense of calm, of blessed reassurance that everything will be all right. Dr. Don always took all the time you needed. He also cared for patients at Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital in Dixon and the Dixon State School until his retirement in 2002. He truly loved and respected the family of doctors, nurses, and staff that he worked with throughout his career.

Dr. Don, with his wife, Rosanne, helped to found the Sinnissippi Mental Health Center, serving on its board of directors for many years. He worked as the local representative for the American Medical Association, and the Downstate Illinois Pediatrics Society, advocating for better health policies in Illinois and the U.S. After retirement, Doc was proud to serve with the American Legion in Dixon, honoring veterans at their funerals as part of the Honor Guard. He reveled in the comradeship of the Forty-and Eight-Veterans and the Friday night dinner crew at the Legion. He appreciated the friendships and trips that they provided for him and Rosanne.

Doc was a curious and inventive soul. He was interested in the world and making it a better place. He had a sketch book of ideas to improve everything from farming techniques that were more environmentally friendly, to protective football helmets, to sailboat sails for river travel. He loved to sail! His plan was always to take off for Bimini and end his life like a Viking, on board ship. Instead he died in his beloved hometown of Dixon, IL. His family will be forever grateful for the loving care he received from Heritage Square and the friendships he developed there throughout the years. They also thank Serenity Hospice Care and Castor Nursing for their beautiful and passionate care during the last couple of months. All three organizations made it possible for Dr. Don to die as he lived his life: on his own terms and with dignity.

Dr. Don is survived by his children, Theresa Allen (Mark) of Batavia, IL, Catherine Hill (Bruce) of Dove Creek, CO, James Edwards (Sandra) of Chicago, IL; grandchildren, Esther Allen (m .to Chris Barclay), Julie Allen, Nancy E. Allen, and Hilary Allen (m. to Marcelo Manzo). Family and friends also include Stephani and Will Revilla; Mark and Jean Zinnen; Thomas Zinnen and Kristen Velyvis Zinnen; David and Tammy Zinnen; Elizabeth and Scott Albert; Dan and Cheryl Zinnen; Nancy and Phil Mercer; Ray and Angela Zinnen, Mary Hahn, Jody Albrecht; Chip and Linda Bareis; and Geoff and Barb Rigabar.

The wake will be held at the Holloway Center at St. Patrick's Church in Dixon on Friday night, October 5, from 4:00 until 8:00 PM with a scripture service at 7:30 PM. The funeral Mass will take place Saturday at 10:30 AM at St. Pat's followed by internment with Military Honors at Oakwood Cemetery. The repast luncheon will be at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 506 W. 3rd Street in Dixon.

Arrangements are through Jones Funeral Home.

Memorials may be sent to St Patrick's Church, the American Legion, and Sinnissippi Mental Health Center, all in Dixon, IL. Condolences may be sent online at www.thejonesfh.com.
Published in Kane County Chronicle on Oct. 4, 2018
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