Saturday, June 17, 2023


Mr. Billy Leon Edwards, age 80, of Summerville, Georgia passed away Friday, June 16, 2023, peacefully at his home. He was born in Summerville, Georgia on February 5, 1943, to the late Duke Hamilton (Water Bill) Edwards and Ella Mae Padgett Edwards. Mr. Edwards was a Vietnam Veteran and was awarded two Bronze Star medals for meritorious service during conflict. He retired from ITT Automotive in Rome, Georgia where he worked for over 25 years.

Mr. Edwards was a devoted Christian who enjoyed reading his Bible and talking to others about his faith. As a Christ follower he believed that loving God, loving others, and loving his family were keys to an abundant life. He often gave his time, talents, and resources to help others in times of need. He was a member of South Summerville Baptist Church where he was ordained as a deacon. He sang in the church choir and enjoyed driving the church van and helping with the Awana program. He was a proud member of the Gideons International where one of his favorite ways to serve the Lord was passing out Gideon Bibles in schools and prisons. In his free time he enjoyed fishing, hunting for deals at Trade Day, and spending time with his family and his grandchildren. Mr. Edwards always had a bright smile and a kind word for everyone he met.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary Willingham Edwards and his children, daughter Jennifer Edwards; son and daughter-in-law Matthew and Angie Edwards; and daughter and son-in-law Mary Beth and Ben Housch; grandchildren Ella Claire Nicholson, Emmie Chambless, Reagan Edwards, Abigail Edwards, Josie Edwards, Noah Edwards, Mary Anna Bentley, Henry Housch and Lottie Housch; a brother and sister in law the late Johnny and Lynda Edwards, sister Dianne Gilliland, sister and brother-in-law Mary Frances and Richard White, sister Cindy Finster, and sister-in-law and brother-in-law Dewey and Martha Hughes. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 18th, 2023 from the South Summerville Baptist Church at 6PM with Dr. Gene Greer officiating.  The family will receive friends from 4PM until 6PM at the church. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gideons International or the Chattooga County Boys and Girls Club.

To make a gift by phone, call toll-free 1-866-382-4253

or send to the address below:

The Gideons International Processing Center

P.O. Box 97251

Washington, DC 20090-7251 (Select Chattooga County Kidstock) or mail checks to: 

Boys and Girls Club PO Box 636 Summerville, GA 30747

Earle Rainwater Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements.

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