Jeffrey C. Edwards
Jeffrey “Jeff” Edwards passed away unexpectedly of natural causes Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at his home in Richmond, Vermont. He was 67 years old. Jeff was born on August 8, 1952 to Perlie and Marian (Rennells Havens) Edwards in Niagara Falls, New York. He spent his youth in Niagara Falls exploring the city and occasionally going to Canada with his friends on their bicycles to smuggle back fireworks hidden in the handlebars. The family moved to Rutland, VT during Jeff's high school years. Jeff graduated from the University of Vermont in 1974 where he majored in Dairy Science. At college, he met the love of his life, Karen Gillam and they married on October 11, 1975 in West Addison, VT.
Jeff worked in the dairy manufacturing industry, first in Vermont for the State and Yankee Milk which later became Agri-Mark. Later he worked for Crowley Foods in Binghamton NY and Bison Foods in Buffalo NY. The family returned to Vermont in 1996 where Jeff continued his career at Suputo Cheese, Ben & Jerry's and Lake Champlain Chocolates. He retired in 2015 but continued to work part time for Priority Express.
Jeff will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed by his wife of 44 years, Karen Gillam and their three children: Tyler Edwards of Chicago, IL, Kim Edwards and her partner, Kenyon Hayes of Washington DC and Jeremy Edwards, his wife Danielle and their two children, Ikey and Nate of Underhill, VT.
He is survived by three siblings: Linda Mills (husband Thomas) of State College, PA, Wendie McLaughlin (husband Chaz) and Gary (wife Andrea Edwards), both of Rutland, VT. Extended family includes many nieces and nephews throughout the World. He was predeceased by his parents, and his brother, John Edwards.
He was a life-long learner who always had an inquisitive mind. He would spend many hours researching an issue online. He loved the outdoors, hiking, bicycling, camping, and was active as a Boy Scout leader for his sons' troop in Richmond. He loved to travel and was always excited to explore new places. But first and foremost, he was a dedicated family man who was always there for his wife, children, and grandchildren. Jeff cheered his children on at the many soccer or lacrosse games or swim meets in which they competed. He volunteered to coach youth soccer, even though he knew very little about the game, so that kids could have an opportunity to play. Jeff found opportunities to teach his children practical skills for self-sufficiency and thoughtful problem solving. He was proud that all his children could build or repair things or figure out how to do it. A life lesson that he passed on is “It is not a mistake if you learn from it.”
Jeff was a quiet, contemplative, private person who enjoyed reading a good book or tackling a do it yourself project. But he enjoyed socializing with close friends and family and would often display his dry sense of humor. He believed in caring for the planet and other people and acted on those beliefs with gentleness and kindness.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on February 19, 2020 at the Richmond Free Library Mezzanine starting at 3:00pm with a reception following. In Jeff's memory, donations can be made to the Green Mountain Club, or Vermont Public Radio
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