Born December 6, 1926 in Magnolia, Alabama of James Marvin and Alma Shaddix Anders. Moved to Jacksonville, Alabama at age four. Attended Jacksonville Elementary, Junior High and High School. Received her college degree at University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa where she pledged Pi Mu all four years. Met her husband-to-be in 1950, on a blind date arranged by her friends. They married in 1951, then moved to Anniston, Alabama. In 1954 they moved to Knoxville, Tenn., where Mr. Edwards was employed as Assistant Probation Officer with the Knox County Court System and built their first home. Had her first son, Jonathan in 1956. While in Knoxville she was involved with Sierra Ridge Garden Club. She loved arranging flowers and received many blue ribbons for her unique designs. She, her husband and son moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1960 so her husband could fill the position of Senior Family Court Probation Officer. While in Atlanta she was a member of Dixie Bells Garden Club and was much involved with her church, 7th St. Baptist. In 1962 she and her family were on the move again, this time to Baton Rouge where her husband took the position of Professor of Social Welfare at LSU. In 1963 her second child, James was born. For four years she was a volunteer tutor with the Head Start Reading Program at Highland Elementary, Magnolia Woods Elementary and Walnut Hills Elementary helping children improve their reading skills. Always a lover of flowers she was a charter member of Round the Clock Garden Club and was voted President twice. Mrs. Edwards was also a member of Campus Club, Bridge Club, Supper Club, Faculty Wives Club and P.E.O. Gwen was an accomplished cook and delighted in entertaining. She enjoyed nothing more than filling her lovely Georgian home in College Town with fresh flowers, good food, and her much loved friends. A lifelong devotee of Southern History she became a Docent Guide at Magnolia Mound Plantation and in a few short years was offered the position of Director which she held for many years. While employed at Magnolia Mound she applied for and obtained many historical grants which got much needed funds for the Plantation Complex and its many programs. It was during this time she co-authored a book about early plantation life with two friends. A member of University Methodist Church for over fifty years she was much involved in church activities, Bell Choir being her favorite. She particularly enjoyed the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service where she and the Bell Choir performed. Mrs. Edwards memorial service was held in Tuscaloosa and she was interred in Tuscaloosa Memorial Cemetery with her parents and extended family. Preceded in death by her late husband Professor Lawrence Edwards. Survived by her sons, James and Jonathan Edwards and cousins David Ramsey, Katherine Hamric, Cindy Baily and Jean and Maxine Anders. In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to Magnolia Mound Plantation. Every inch a "Bama Girl" she has returned home.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from May 4 to May 7, 2013