Thomas Edwards Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Thomas Whitfield Edwards

May 5, 1955 - September 24, 2013
Obituary

Thomas Whitfield Edwards died in hospice care in Oklahoma City, OK, on Tuesday, September 24, 2013; he was 58. Growing up in an Air Force Family, the son of Jay and Patricia Edwards, Whit was born May 5, 1955 at Lackland Air Force Base, TX. Whit's love for physical education began at Camp Yocomico, where he taught many the love of sport. Whit graduated from Crossland High School in Temple Hills, MD in 1973, completed a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville in 1977, and earned a Master's Degree in Education from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA in 1979. Whit played on...
Thomas Whitfield Edwards died in hospice care in Oklahoma City, OK, on Tuesday, September 24, 2013; he was 58. Growing up in an Air Force Family, the son of Jay and Patricia Edwards, Whit was born May 5, 1955 at Lackland Air Force Base, TX. Whit's love for physical education began at Camp Yocomico, where he taught many the love of sport. Whit graduated from Crossland High School in Temple Hills, MD in 1973, completed a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville in 1977, and earned a Master's Degree in Education from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA in 1979. Whit played on the Tennessee Rugby Team in college, and he later earned the prestigious honor of playing on the USA Rugby Team – "The Eagles" – during graduate school. In Williamsburg he also met his wife, Rosemary Driver, and they married on September 14, 1979. Whit and Rosie moved to Hahira, GA, where Whit taught and coached basketball at Hahira Middle School, began restoring historic homes, and fathered his three children. After moving to Oklahoma in 1983, Whit continued to coach basketball teams in Oklahoma City, fostering many scholarship recipients over the next 25 years.

Whit continued his childhood passion for history taking a job in 1983 with the Oklahoma Dept. of Tourism as Projects Coordinator, and later became Director of Special Projects with the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City, OK, where he worked for 25 years. He built an educational program that brought history to life for thousands of students and adults, and opened the door of history to many others. Whit became an avid re-enactor, involving his whole family in weekend re-enactments across OK and TX, and he quickly established a reputation as an expert horseman and battlefield tactical historian. In fact, Hollywood came calling several times, hiring Whit as an extra for seventeen movies. Whit also made a lasting contribution to the canon of Oklahoma literature with his historical book The Prairie Was On Fire: Eyewitness Accounts of the Civil War in the Indian Territory, a labor of love for his adopted home state. Following his retirement from the Oklahoma Historical Society, Whit took a job in Marshall, TX as the Site Manager of the Starr Family Home, part of the Texas Historical Commission.

Whit was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer on August 21, 2013, and he bravely fought the painful disease with the love and support of his family by his side. His family and friends will miss him greatly and will continue to treasure memories of his vibrant life and the multitude of people he inspired. In addition to his wife, Rosie, who lives in Oklahoma City, Whit is survived by his daughter Blair Kersenbrock who lives in Winter Park, FL with her husband Ben and their daughter Cameron, his daughter Haley Uthlaut , who lives in Fort Benning, GA with her husband Dave and their sons Jackson and Caleb, his son Jay who lives in Oklahoma City, his parents Major General (Ret.) Jay and Patricia Edwards from Oklahoma City, his sister Linda McNabb and family from Round Rock, TX, his sister Lisa Reynolds and family from Columbus, OH, his aunt Harriette McClendon from Memphis, TN, and a loving extended family and friends.

Services will be held Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 6:30pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church; 4400 North Shartel Avenue; Oklahoma City, OK 73118.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to:
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Or use this URL to make a donation online:
http://pancan.org/

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"So sorry to hear of Whit's passing - I'm a former teammate on the William and Mary Rugby Club. I'm so impressed to hear of his accomplishments, my deepest..." Bob Lambert (Powhatan, VA)

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May 5, 1955 - September 24, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY Thomas Whitfield Edwards died in hospice care in Oklahoma City, OK, on Tuesday, September 24,...

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