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Edwards, Richard - Joplin  
Richard Eugene Edwards, 84, of Joplin, Missouri passed away peacefully in his sleep Monday, April 25, 2016 with his loving wife, Lena Bertella Edwards, by his side. Richard was born in Lamar, Mo. on September 29, 1931 to Marion Francis Edwards and Gladys Adel (Hamilton) Edwards. At the age of 3 months his family moved to Pittsburg, Ks., where he attended school until he enlited in the U.S. Navy on his 17th birthday. He was immediately sent to San Diego, Ca. where he attended the Naval Training Academy. Throughout Richard's 21-year military career, he was stationed on the USS Marshal DD676 during the Korean Conflict, was named Navy League Sailor of the Year, completed training as an air crewman, completed officer's training and after being promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer, was assigned to the USS Enterprise serving two cruises during the Vietnam War and finally retired in December 1969, returning to Pittsburg, Ks. Throughout the next 30 years, Richard was employed as an insurance agent then an insurance adjuster for Farm Bureau Insurance in several counties in S.E. Kansas and Central Florida before retiring and settling in Joplin, Mo. Survivors include his wife, Lena Bertella Edwards, of the home; two sisters, Carolyn Campbell of Atchison, Ks. and Patricia Junk of Pittsburg; one brother, Danny Edwards and wife Jolene of Arma, Ks.; and four children, Pam Heenan, Teri Edwards-Hall and husband John of Pittsburg, Russell E. Edwards of Arma, and Sharon Westpfahl and husband Bill of Mt. Verson, Mo.; four step-children, Cheryl Barley and husband Dennis, Renee Pakitsos of Joplin, Mo., Pam Sirratt-Batley of Cherokee, Ks, and Katrina Deters and husband Grant of Wichita, Ks. Richard has a total of 50 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Richard was a loving, caring and sincere man who was very proud of his family and his military career. He will be greatly missed by all. There will be a private family Celebration of Life and burial at a future date but the children will be accepting friends on April 30, 2016 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 115 West Adams in Pittsburg, Ks. "I can imagine no more rewarding career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.'" - John F. Kennedy
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Published in Morning Sun on Apr. 29, 2016
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