Millard S. "Ed" Edwards
GUILDERLAND — Millard S. Edwards, known as Ed to family and friends and described as the “true patriarch” of his family, died on Monday, March 24, 2014, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Mr. Edwards was born in Albany, the son of the late Millard S. Edwards Sr. and Julia Kegel Hay.
Mr. Edwards’s past was deeply rooted in the Pine Bush, having been the third generation to make his home there, and it is where he and his wife chose to raise his family.
His great-grandfather owned a farm in the early 1900s, situated to the west of Route 155 near Route 20.
He was married to his childhood sweetheart, Eileen J. Osborn Edwards, for 64 years.
His daughters, Sharon Apholz, Virginia Davis, and Peggy Beadnell, said their father adored their mother the day he died as much as he had the day that he married her.
He called her his “Pine Bush beauty,” they said.
The couple loved making a home together and having family and friends to the house for gatherings.
They raised four children together.
“He was truly respected by the family,” said Mrs. Apholz. “All of the children and grandchildren looked to him for answers.”
They described him as knowledgeable about many things and very resourceful.
“He could fix anything,” Mrs. Davis said. “If he didn’t have the right tools for a job, he would come up with a solution; he had ingenuity.”
Many neighbors turned to him for home and auto repairs.
He was a carpenter by trade, and a fine craftsman. He built and remodeled many homes in the Capital Region, including his home, his children’s homes, and the homes of several other family members.
He was self-taught, and very skilled, his daughters said.
Mr. Edwards was also an outdoorsman, and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He especially loved spending time at a hunting camp in the Blue Mountain Lake Region with his son, Bill, and his uncles and cousins, and had a wealth of information about the Adirondacks.
Mr. Edwards had a great love for the land and its creatures, said his daughters. He derived much pleasure from working outdoors on his backhoe and tractor. Many days were spent in his garage repairing his equipment and preparing for another day’s work.
He had a close connection to nature and, throughout his life, always had one or more hunting dogs.
He was eager for knowledge and loved hearing about others’ lives as a means to learning about them.
Some of his favorite pastimes included reading nature magazines and watching the History Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic on television.
“He was the type of a person who could be coarse on the outside, but very kind and loving on the inside,” said Mrs. Apholz. “He was down to earth, and everyone liked him.”
“He was a man of simple pleasures who treasured time with his family and visiting over a cup of coffee with friends and neighbors,” wrote his family in a tribute.
Mr. Edwards is survived by his wife, Eileen J. Osborn Edwards; his children, William J. Edwards and his wife, Brenda, Sharon L. Apholz and her husband, Ronald, Virginia L. Davis and her husband, William, and Peggy Sue E. Beadnell and her husband, Gary; his brother-in-law, James J. Almy; 12 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and several others who honored him as a grandfather; and a niece, a nephew, and several cousins.
His sister, Dorothy L. Almy, died before him.
Funeral services were held at the New Comer Cannon Funeral Home in Colonie and interment was in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Schenectady.
Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or the Adirondack Museum, Post Office Box 99, Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812.
— Anne Hayden Harwood