Uriel W Edde, Jr.
Rutledge - Uriel William Edde, Jr., 90, owner of Edde Chevrolet in Rutledge, Tn died on Tuesday November 17, 2020 at Tennova North Hospital in Powell, Tn. after a short illness. He was born in December 1929 to Uriel William and Laura Edde in Monroe County, Tn. He came from a farming family of 14 with only two siblings surviving his death, Jean Lee and Pete Edde. He married Lovenia Terry on December 30, 1950 and together they had three children: Cynthia Edde Humphries (David), Uriel William Edde III (Tammy), and Martha Edde. Edde and Lovenia enjoyed their years together—raising their children, developing their business, supporting their community, traveling and spending time with friends. Mrs. Edde proceeded him in death in August, 2015. They were the proud grandparents to six grandchildren: Tonya Gebhart (Tommy), Misti Goode, Kristina Rice (Adam), Jenna Bunch (Jonah) Tanner and Lizzi Adams; seven great-grandchildren: Zach Gebhart (Rachel), Ryan Gebhart (Taylor), Heather Goode, Marcus Robinson, Laykin Rice, Isabella Rice and Carson Edde; and four great-great grandchildren: Adi, Caroline, Harper and Thomas. Family meant everything to him especially his sister-in-laws Alma Mynatt, and Erica Edde; his nieces and nephews, Alan Mynatt (Peggy), Terry Roark (Mary Ann), Lisa Baggett (Ronnie), Beverly Hicks (Trebby), and Susan Overton (Anthony), Richard Pitcock (Lou). Friends he considered to be family were Don Nance, Popeye Tate, J.V. Doan, Ronnie Sharp and special friend Debbie Keck. We owe much gratitude to Debbie for the love, care and concern she shared with our father. We know we had him longer because she kept him moving forward.
Mr. Edde was known for being a people person and a hard worker. He began his career by selling automobiles and Frigidaire appliances in Roane County in the 1950s. This was just after he completed a stint in the Army and was at a time when dealerships offered both cars and household items. In selling, he found his niche. He did so well that within a few short years he was able to open his namesake dealership in Rutledge, which he and his son managed together. Mr. Edde continued working until three weeks before his death. Even though he had an office at the dealership, he preferred to sit at a desk he placed in the front corner of the showroom. From there he could wave to cars that passed on Rutledge Pike and talk to everyone that came onto the lot or into the building. He loved conversing and finding common ground with people. This served him well as a salesman but he also "meant it." He remembered the names and stories of the people he met over the years and he kept his promises to them.
Mr. Edde was also known for his kindness and generosity. He often forgave debts and marked off car loans to local customers who lost jobs or fell on hard times. From his younger years, he knew what it was like to face challenges and survive and he wanted to extend a helping hand to others who were struggling. He was a decades-long supporter of Rutledge Baptist Church and the good works organized both there and in countless other ways. He firmly believed that success also comes with a responsibility to help others.
Mr. Edde loved to support the community that he cherished in other ways, as well. He bought countless boxes of local produce, not for his own use, but to give to others. Tomato season in Grainger county always meant that Mr. Edde would be passing out boxes of the best tomatoes in Tennessee to his friends and family, and to people who may have just walked through the doors of his dealership. During the summer months his family never knew whether to smile or hide when he would proudly announce that he had bought 24 dozen ears of corn for them "put up." That will now be both a sweet memory and a perhaps an ongoing tradition— but maybe with fewer dozen. The same goes for peaches, strawberries, green beans, and all the other things he bought in bulk so that he could ultimately give the jams and canned goods they became (thanks to Tammy and Martha) to others.
Mr. Edde will be buried next to his wife of 65 years at the Ross cemetery in Winfield, Tn. The family wishes for everyone to remain safe and healthy and therefore no visitation will be held. In the future, when a vaccine allows, or when the pandemic subsides, a celebration of his life will be held at the dealership. At that time, we will welcome friends, community members, and loved ones to gather and share the love Edde so freely shared with you.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that those who wish to do so, may consider making a donation to Rutledge Baptist Church in his honor.
Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Nov. 18 to Nov. 19, 2020.