March 31, 2015
SPARTANBURG, SC-- Thomas Walter Edwards Jr., 85, husband of Dorothy Ballew Edwards, died Tuesday, March 31, 2015.
T.W. was born in Nashville, TN, to the late Thomas Walter and Mary Elizabeth Hill Edwards.
An Eagle Scout, T.W. attended Presbyterian College and was a charter member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. T.W. honorably served his country in the U.S. Navy. Following the Navy, T.W. had a short career playing professional football with the Los Angeles Rams. He returned home to Spartanburg where he joined the family business, EDWARDS INSURANCE CO. T.W. maintained his love for football as a college referee for the Southern Conference. He also served as vice president of the Jaycees, chairman of the March of Dimes, a scoutmaster and advisory board member for the Boy Scouts of American, and as alumni advisor for Sigma Nu Fraternity at Wofford College.
T.W.’s passion was being a public servant. He was elected to the SC House of Representatives District No. 33, where he served for 23 years on state and national committees. He proved his devotion to the people of South Carolina through his work in the General Assembly, his service as first vice chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, his chairmanship of the Joint Legislative Committee on Energy and the Textile Apparel Industry Study Committee, his chairmanship of the Southern Legislative Fiscal Affairs Committee, his vice chairmanship of the Southern States Energy Board, his membership on the Executive Board of the Southern Legislative Conference of the National Conference of State Legislatures, serving as chairman in 1983, and his service as delegate to the Southern Governors Conference. For his service to Spartanburg County and the state, he was honored with The Order of the Palmetto.
He retired from legislative duties in 1988 and remained hard at work as President of The Edwards Company, a real estate and investment firm. T.W. was also known as a consultant in the coal industry. He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Spartanburg.
In addition to his wife of 51 years, T.W. is survived by a son, T.W. (Tommy) Edwards and his wife, Laura of Spartanburg, SC, and a daughter, Anita Dawn Edwards Baker of Mount Pleasant, SC. He leaves behind a sister, Donna E. Loyd (Dick) of Sunset Beach, NC. T.W. will be missed by his grandchildren, Mary Hall Edwards, Thomas Ballew Wilson Baker, and three nieces. He was predeceased by a sister, Anita Edwards.
A Memorial service will be conducted on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 2:00 PM at Trinity United Methodist Church, officiated by Reverend Neal Woods and Reverend A. Mickey Fisher.
The family will be at the home.
In remembrance of T.W., memorials may be made to the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, 355 Cedar Lane Road, Spartanburg, SC 29302, or to the Charity of One’s Choice.