Beatrice  Edwards

Obituary of Beatrice Kelley Edwards

Tribute to Beatrice Kelley Edwards


Beatrice Marie Kelley Edwards lived a full and happy life, passing peacefully in her sleep in her apartment with her beloved cat at her side, on March 4, 2021.

Beatrice was born on December 8, 1921 in Fowler, New York, to Martin Lee Kelley and Lucy Jane Thompson Kelley.  Her siblings all preceded her in death:  older sister Grace Metzgar; and, younger brothers, Howard Kelley and Ross Kelley.  Bea was a long-time member of Fowler Baptist Church, and a graduate of Gouverneur High School and Potsdam State Teachers’ College.  After graduation, she taught at the Balmat School. She later worked for the United States Government in Washington, D.C. beginning when the U.S. entered World War II.  This is where she met her future husband Jack.  They were married at the Fowler Baptist Church on March 3, 1951.

Beatrice was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Clark Edwards, (July, 2018), and their son, Clark Sumner Edwards, (October, 2016). She is survived by daughter Emily E, Derrough, son-in-law Richard A. Derrough, and granddaughters Anna Lea Derrough Duhame (Shawn Duhame) and Jean Marie Derrough Wilker (Greg Wilker) and, four great grandchildren.  And, many cherished nieces and nephews.

Bea’s strength enabled her to continue her favorite activities in her independent living apartment following a diagnosis last December of an inoperable esophageal stricture. Increased use of CNAs and companion care enabled her to enjoy her cat’s companionship and receive all of the help she needed.  The hospice team kept her comfortable through her days from early December through her hour of passing.  She kept in touch with phone calls and visits from her daughter and niece Kathy Smith.

After their wedding, Bea and Jack began a long, happy marriage, first at the direction of the Marine Corps in which Jack served for twenty years.  All of the assignments were stateside which took them across the country.  Jack retired from USMC and moved the family to Tallahassee, finishing requirements for his first college degree at FSU, and taking his first teaching assignment at Manatee High School, Bradenton, Florida.  Bea went from being a helpful Marine Corps wife to being a helpful teacher’s wife.  They joined the West Bradenton Baptist Church and both served the church in many capacities.  Bea also joined a sorority and served with the Girl Scouts.  She most enjoyed her considerable homemaking skills and helping Jack grade the papers of his math students.  After seven years in Bradenton during the 1960s, they moved to a new home in Pasadena Golf Club Estates, off of Gulfport Blvd., not far from Boca Ciega High School, where Jack later became head of their math department.  They joined the Azalea Baptist Church, their church for more than four decades, and both served in many capacities and enjoyed the fellowship of many longtime members. They lived for 44 years in their home before moving to their independent living apartment, bringing along their cat.

For many years, Bea and her sister Grace enjoyed activities in Gulfport at the library and community center, taking part in crafting activities, quilting, and line dancing.  Bea and Grace also enjoyed antiquing together in Florida and in New York.  Bea’s favorite pastimes were gardening and canning, sewing and quilting, beachcombing and camping, and, antiquing and refinishing furniture.  Throughout their marriage, Bea and Jack traveled annually each summer back to Fowler and to the family camp on Sylvia Lake, where all of her siblings and their children would gather for porch dinners and times to swim and to play games and to remember favorite stories. Often visits included Grandma Kelley and at her Fowler home, Great Grandma Thompson was happy to see her extended family members.  After her move to Florida, Bea’s sister Grace made many of the road trip’s north with them. These road trips continued for Bea and Jack until they reached their early nineties and moved to their apartment.  Bea appreciated hearing all of the news from all family members and enjoyed hearing about the Fowler activities from those who continue to live or visit there.  Bea enjoyed her life fully. She will be missed.

A family graveside service at Bay Pines will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations made to Suncoast Hospice Foundation Pinellas County Florida are appreciated.

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