Mr. William Donald “Don” Edwards, age 79, of Marion, passed away at his home, Monday, March 16, 2020. He was born in McDowell County April 6, 1940, to the late Carl Edwards and Mamie Hollifield Edwards, preceded in death by infant brother, Harold Dean. Following graduation from Marion High School (class of 1958), he entered the U. S. Army and served 20 years, attaining the rank of Chief Warrant Officer III. He served a tour in Vietnam and was a Bronze Star recipient. He earned a Masters of Arts in Administration and served 7 years with Department of Defense. Returning to Marion, he served as Chief Deputy under Sheriffs Bobby R. Haynes and Jackie Turner. In 2003, he retired as Director of the Criminal Justice Program, Mayland Community College. Don brought a level of professionalism to law enforcement in Western North Carolina and was a beloved instructor to a generation of law enforcement officers. He loved his grandchildren and enjoyed farming, history, golf, music, upholstering furniture, a good western, and a cold beverage on a sunny day. He was a member of East Marion Baptist Church. He was a Shriner, member and Past Master of the Mystic Tie Lodge #237 A.F.& A.M., and member of The American Legion.
Surviving are his wife of 20 years, Wilma Vallina Edwards; three daughters: Donna Edwards, Allyson Greene and husband Dudley, and Heather Edwards; two stepsons: Wayne “Allen” Moore, Jr. and wife Brett, and Michael Moore and husband Robert; two sisters: Carolyn Ledford and Joyce Gurley and husband Bobby; six grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A service of remembrance and celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Westmoreland Funeral Home in Marion with Pastor Andrew Walker officiating. The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. At the conclusion of the service, Masonic Rites will be conducted, followed by full military honors. Burial will be in the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, at a later date. Flowers are acceptable and appreciated; however, those desiring to make a contribution in his memory are encouraged to consider Hospice of the Carolina Foothills at https://hocf.org/donate, or to his church at http://embc.church/give-online.
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