1912 - December 8, 2007
Long-time Craig resident Joseph "Joe" Edwards died in his home Dec. 8, 2007, after a long and fulfilling life. He was 95 years old.
Joe was the only child born to Richard and Augusta (Johnson) Edwards on April 25,1912, in Chappell, Neb. He was raised on a farm in Chappell until the age 4, when his family moved, traveling by train, to Craig. Joe attended local schools and played football, basketball and baseball at Craig High School. He graduated in 1932.
Joe married Mildred Weber in Vernal, Utah, in 1932. They later divorced.
On July 2, 1935, Joe married Vonda Powell (deceased) from Meeker. They began their life together in Craig and had three daughters: Jolene and her husband Walter Watson (deceased); Linda and her husband Gene Shy of Sacramento, Calif.; and Debra and her husband Jeffrey Harwood of Chevy Chase, Md.
Joe is survived by five grandchildren: Vonda Ann and her husband William Stom of Sacramento, Calif.; William and his wife Faith Watson of Utah; Jennifer and her husband Christopher Thornton of Eagle, Idaho; Genia and her husband Daniel Spencer of Smithfield, Utah; Debbie and her husband Timothy Sherman-Hurst of Craig; and Christine and her husband Lester Welch of Craig. Joe's daughter Debra recently adopted a child from China near the time of Joe's death.
In July 1968, Joe married Genevieve Hayes, of Craig, thereby gaining three stepchildren: Charles Hayes (deceased) of Grand Junction, Darlene Sherman (deceased) of Craig, and Larry Hayes of Evergreen. He also gained a number of step grandchildren. Joe and Genevieve both worked and traveled together until Genevieve's death in 1994.
In September 2002, Joe married Theda Miner, of Craig, thereby gaining five more stepchildren: Dallas "Zane" and his wife Rena Olsen, Sandra Olsen and her husband Reed, Stana Olsen and partner Kathleen, Jacob "Jake" Olsen and his fiancee Amanda, and George and wife Kristy Miner. He also gained more step grandchildren.
During high school, Joe helped his family by farming and doing oil rig construction work with a team of horses. He was part of the crew that built sections of Highway 40 between Craig and Vernal. Majority of the time he spent working on the highway was between Skull Creek and Elk Springs. In his adult life, he ran a Texaco gas station in Craig, owned a bulk fuel distributorship and had a heavy equipment trucking business, where he hauled equipment to oil drilling rigs. In later years, he worked as a contractor in and surrounding Craig, primarily as a roofer and as a South Western Petroleum Company, more commonly known as SWEPCO, distributor.
Joe was involved in many civic activities in Craig, including a long-time membership in the Elks Club and Kiwanis Club International. Joe was one of the original members of the Craig Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service.
During Joe's last year of life, he required around-the-clock care, which was provided in his home by family and a dedicated team of nursing staff.
A memorial service to celebrate Joe's life will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007, at Grant Mortuary. Interment will follow in the Craig Cemetery.
Friends may call Friday, Dec. 14, in evening and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 15, at Grant Mortuary.
Memorial donations may be made to the Craig Kiwanis Club and the Craig Rural Fire Department in care of Grant Mortuary.