Kathleen Crenshaw Edwards died peacefully at her home on May 1, 2020 after an extended illness. Born in Salem, Kentucky on July 12, 1927, Kathleen was the daughter of Ira Patterson Crenshaw, a Methodist minister, and Alma McFarland Crenshaw, an accomplished musician and piano teacher. She attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, where she met her future husband, William Russell Edwards, Jr., of Fort Valley, Georgia. They were married on June 2, 1951.
Like her mother, Kathy was an accomplished musician, and her love of music was one of her great joys and gift to others. Until illness made sitting at the piano difficult, she played the piano nearly every day, filling her home with the beautiful music that she loved. That love of music influenced her career as an educator, and over the course of her 30 year career she was a band teacher, kindergarten teacher, 3rd grade teacher, special education teacher and hospital homebound teacher of students of various ages. Because of her awareness of the healing power of music, in 1971 she completed a Master’s of Education degree, and was one of the first graduates of the University of Georgia’s Music Therapy program. Kathy was actively involved in her profession, and served in leadership roles in education at both the local and state levels. In her retirement she continued to serve the community, and volunteered at the State Botanical Gardens and St. Mary’s Hospital. She and her husband were active members of Athens First United Methodist Church.
Friends consistently described Kathy as a gracious, kind, and deeply compassionate woman. Her home was a source of delight, and was the site of 50 years of happy gatherings of friends, her “walking buddies” and their annual St. Patrick’s Day brunch, dinners with other members of the gourmet supper club, of which she and her husband, Russell, were members for over 30 years, and many years of Memorial and Labor Day barbeques. Her happiest times, however, were family gatherings around a table that was always ready to be expanded to include whomever showed up for a meal, for candles to be lit, and meals shared. Hers was a life well lived, and she was deeply loved by many.
Kathy is survived by her husband, William Russell Edwards, Jr., two daughters and their spouses, Marianne Edwards and E. Glenn Newsome of Tennille, GA, Patricia Edwards Jordan and James M. Jordan of Statham, GA, and grandchildren Kelsey Kathleen Jordan of Atlanta, James Russell (Jace) Jordan of Charlotte, NC, and Megan Elizabeth Gillis of New York City. Her family were truly the lights of her life.
The family is deeply indebted to care provided by the professional and compassionate staff from Christopher’s Bridge and Inspiring Hospice. A private celebration of Kathy’s life will be held at a later time. Any memorials may be made in her name to the NE Georgia Food Bank, 861 Newton Bridge Road, Athens, GA 30607, the Methodist Home for Children and Youth, 304 Pierce Avenue, Macon, GA, 31204, or to the philanthropy of the giver’s choosing.
Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, 1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677 is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com