She was born on May 4, 1950 in LaFollette, Tennessee, the daughter of Martha Dew Childress of Maryville, Tennessee and the late Kenneth William Childress. She graduated from LaFollette High School and Hiwassee College, and was crowned the first Miss Civitan International where she appeared in the Orange Bowl Parade in Miami, Florida. She had the gift of floral design and interior decorating having designed arrangements for Presidential families, as well as a flare for fashion. She was President of the Native American Consulting Group, LLC. More importantly, she had the gift for being a loving wife, caring mother and exceptional grandmother.
In addition to being survived by her mother, and her mother-in-law Kathleen Gray Edwards of Jonesborough, Tennessee, she is survived by her college sweetheart and husband of 47 years Gary L. Edwards, President of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, CEO of the National Native American Law Enforcement Association, and Retired Deputy Assistant Director of the United States Secret Service. In addition she is survived by her four children, Mary Dawn Verdery and her husband Chris Verdery of North Augusta, South Carolina; her son Gary L. Edwards, II, and his wife Laura Fakes Edwards of Johnson City, Tennessee; her daughter Heather Leah Rowland of Blountville, Tennessee; and her daughter Ali Ellis and her husband Scott Ellis of Knoxville, Tennessee. She is also survived by nine grandchildren which she dearly adored, Phoebe Natalia Rowland, Cole Jag Verdery, Allen Scott Ellis, Estee Lauren Verdery, Sophie Belle Ellis, Anna Leah Verdery, Hoover G.L.-Solomon Edwards, Dubya Sunday G.L.-Ray Edwards, and Ike Bowman G.L. Edwards. She is also survived by her beloved sisters, Martha Rutter (her twin) of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Anne Young and her husband Rocky Young of Maryville, Tennessee; Madelon Lycans and her husband Stroud Lycans of Hendersonville, Tennessee; her sister-in-law Kathy Childress Tourney of LaFayette, Tennessee; and her sister-in law Sandra Edwards Woodruff and her husband Daniel Woodruff of Jonesborough, Tennessee; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Kenneth "Kenny" William Childress, II.
She was fondly referred to by loved ones as "Mimi," a one-of-a-kind treasure whose faith in God was strong. Her spirit and legacy live on, and the love, humor and joy she so freely shared will be cherished by all who knew her.
Visitation will be held on September 1, 2019 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. with a service to follow at 5:00 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2343 Knob Creek Rd., Johnson City, TN 37604. Interment will follow at a later date.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com . Tetrick Funeral Services 3001 Peoples Street Johnson City, TN 37604 (423-610-7171) is honored to serve the Edwards family.
This obituary was lovingly written by the Edwards Family.