Mrs. Edwards was born in Mountain City, Tennessee and was a daughter of the late Charles and Kate Nave Thomas. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Willis Edwin Edwards, on October 3, 2005, and a sister, Hilda Collins on January 17, 2017.
Mrs. Edwards was a graduate of Science Hill High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from East Tennessee State University. She was a high school teacher in the Unicoi County School System. During her time as a teacher, she mentored many students and continued to communicate with several even after their graduation from high school, especially with the students who served the United States during the Vietnam War. Her concern for these veterans led her to a commitment to veteran’s issues throughout the reminder of her life. She also coached tennis at the Unicoi County High School and drove the activity bus. She was generous and compassionate and will be remembered as a friend to many.
She and her husband, Willis, were the original owners of the Plant Palace in Erwin. After they retired, they enjoyed traveling all over the United States. They had a home in Tucson, AZ for several years before Alta returned to Johnson City to live closer to her family following the death of her husband. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Elizabethton.
Those left to cherish her memory include three daughters, Catherine-Edwards-Bunton, (Scotty), of Elizabethton; Ellen Van Dyke (Thomas), of Damascus, VA; Julie Vanover, (Vic), of Concord, NC; an “adopted” son, Harold Rice (Margaret), of Erwin; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
A service to honor the life of Mrs. Edwards will be conducted on Sunday, July 15, 2018, at 4:00 PM at First United Methodist Church, Elizabethton, with Rev. Raymond W. Amos, Sr. officiating. Music will be under the direction of Mr. David Arney, organist and Mr. Tom Tull, pianist. The family will receive friends in the church sanctuary from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on Sunday, July 15, prior to the service.
An inurnment service will be conducted on Monday, July 16, 2018, at 10:00 AM in Roselawn Memory Gardens, Johnson City. Those wishing to attend are invited to meet the family at the cemetery at 9:50 AM.
Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers may make donations to First United Methodist Church, 325 East E Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643.
The family would like to express their most sincere and heartfelt appreciation to the wonderful staff and all the employees of Sycamore Springs Senior Living Community for the love, care and concern shown to Alta and the family during her short time there.
Online condolences may be shared with the family on our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com
Mrs. Edwards and her family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, office 423-542-2232, service information line, 423-543-4917.