Billy "Bill" Dale Edwards

Wednesday, May 9, 1928 - Monday, February 10, 2020

Devoted to Family, Church, and Community

Photo of Billy "Bill"  Dale Edwards  - 1928-2020

We give thanks for the life of my devoted and loving husband, our wonderful daddy, and our amazing granddaddy and great-granddaddy who passed away Monday, February 10, 2020. We are honored to share his story with those who knew him and those who proudly called him a friend. With the greatest of immeasurable love in each of our hearts,

-Barbara, Brenda, Boyd, Beth, Brad and also our beloved Bruce who was waiting for daddy at Heaven’s East Gate

Billy “Bill” Dale Edwards was blessed with 91 years of a wonderful and full life. His story begins on May 9, 1928. He was born in Albemarle, North Carolina to the late W.S. Edwards and the late Bessie  Landreth Edwards and when Bill was just a “little boy” the Edwards family made the decision to make their home in Canton, North Carolina.  Bill proudly called this paper mill town his hometown for the rest of his life. He was a most adventurous boy growing up and was curious about everything. Bill often reflected on these youthful years, and later kept his children spellbound with his endless childhood stories and happy memories. He was a graduate of Canton High School, where he played on the Canton High football team and often recalled the memory of running with his team from Canton to the Asheville courthouse by way of Newfound Gap while training under Coach C.C. Poindexter.  Bill made friends easily and his genuine and friendly personality remained all throughout his lifetime. He held a strong interest in engineering and continued his education at Mars Hill College and at Clemson University and later became employed with Champion International where he worked as a mechanical engineer for many dedicated years.  As a truly handsome man in his 20’s, Bill’s greatest journey in life began when he saw his beautiful Barbara McKinney for the very first time. She was a contestant in the Canton Miss Labor Day Pageant and Bill knew at that very moment that he had found the love of his life.  Bill and Barbara have shared a happy life, a true love story, and a wonderful marriage of 70 years and became parents to five amazing children. Bill’s children whom he loved with all his heart and soul each possess a special part of him- his love for the outdoors and the mountains and the beach,  going fishing every chance possible,  floating endless hours down the Pigeon River,  building and working with wood and designing amazing pieces to pass down to future generations.  As their Daddy, he showed them how to be creative and use their talents as they saw his designs of several private homes in the county and even a well-known motel in the Cherokee community. Being a licensed real estate agent and land surveyor he also taught his children the importance of taking care of one’s properties, respecting the land around us and the need to protect our environment.  As a Canton Little League Baseball Coach he instilled in his children the meaning of good sportsmanship and gave encouragement for them to always do their best.  Bill was indeed an example to his daughters and sons as he gave back to his community by volunteering for 22 years with the Canton Fire Department. His great passion and pride for his hometown brought forth his commitment to dedicate endless hours to his vision of the revitalization of Canton where he faithfully served the citizens of his town for 14 years as an elected Alderman for the Town of Canton.  One of Bill’s outstanding achievements was creating and designing The Town of Canton’s  River Walking Trail that is enjoyed every day by seniors, families, young adults, students, children, and even some happy pets!  Bill stood strong as a role model as he weighed his decisions carefully and calmly, always looking to make the best choice for his town.  Billy Dale Edwards was a man of great faith. He was a devoted member of Canton First United Methodist Church where he was willing to be a part of any committee or project that needed his assistance.  He was a member of the Methodist Men and played a vital role in helping with their morning breakfasts. Bill was always there at his church to greet members and visitors with his strong handshake and a kind smile.  Bill had a special way of making everyone feel welcome.  Barbara and Bill’s beautiful home was open to everyone and once you saw Bill’s immaculately mowed lawn, their cozy back porch, breathtaking native flowers and shade trees that reached to the skies, squirrels that scampered around Bill’s feet as he walked softly throughout the lawn – no one ever wanted to leave.   

Bill was a man who brought a peaceful calmness into the lives of those around him. In the words of his family, “He was a caring, giving, and modest man and was loved by everyone.”  We pray for peace in the hearts of his loved ones and those who will miss him each and every day.  In the sweet words of his beloved Barbara, “When I gently touched Bill’s face on that quiet and peaceful evening and lovingly told him goodbye, I knew peace would come.”

Quietly like the first star of the evening sky or as softly as the birds fly in the early morning, peace came and whispered, “Be still. I am here.” With that, we know Bill is well.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Bruce Edwards, a grandson, Clint Burress; a brother, Ed Metcalf and sister-in-law, Lois Metcalf. 

Surviving are his loving wife and his best friend, Barbara Ann McKinney Edwards of Canton; his children, Brenda Edwards Gaddis and her husband, Joe of Canton, Boyd Edwards and his wife, Susan of Canton, Beth Edwards Cragg and her husband, Jerry of Canton and Brad Edwards and his wife, Sherry of Leicester. Bill was also blessed with numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and, great-great-grandchildren who he loved dearly.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Bill Edwards will be held at 2:00 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in the chapel of Crawford / Ray Funeral Home in Canton. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 12:30 until 2:00 pm. Pastor Clay Morgan and Pastor Gordon Pike will be officiating.

Memorials may be made to Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation at 256 Industrial Park Dr. Ste. B, Waynesville, NC 28786, or to the Community Kitchen at 394 Champion Drive, Canton, NC 28716

Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Edwards family.

Condolences from family and friends

Barbara, so very sorry for your loss. Bill was a such a Godly man, he will be greatly missed.
Jacky Bell
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.
Pisgah High Class of 1975
Barbara, we were saddened to hear of Bill’s passing; We are so sorry for your loss. You folks were so great to us when we served at First UMC, Canton. We love you all dearly!
Tricia & Emmett Chaput
Mrs. Edwards, Sorry for your loss. It was always a pleasure to see you two out in the audience wherever I was playing. He will be missed. Freida and I will be thinking of you and your family.
David Teague
Barbara I love you bunches.My prayers are with you and your family.Im sorry
Kelly Heatherly Ammons
Sorry for the family's loss. Bill was a great guy and enjoyed working with him at Champion.
Sandy rector
Our hearts were broken when we heard of Bill’s passing. Please know that you have our deepest sympathy and are in our thoughts and prayers!
Nate and Delissa Washington
Brenda, I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss. I knew your Dad in the 90's and thought the world of him. I know you are hurting, and I'm praying for you.
Regenia Deaver
Beth, I was so sorry to hear about your Dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
freda russell morgan
My heart is broken as is yours. Bill has been part of my life for 20 years and I have loved Him as a father. Truly a wonderful, kind man who loved his family beyond words. His “Bobby” was his life. He will be missed. He is with Bruce.
Nancy Crawford
Barbara, Beth and family , so sorry to hear of Bill's passing. We pray God will comfort you during this difficult and sad time . We will miss Bill's sweet smile. Love, Bobby and Gayle Ammons
Gayle Ammons
Barbara, you all are in my prayers. I am so sorry to hear that Bill has left this earthly home. He will definitely be missed. I am so blessed to have known Bill and you also. Love and prayers..
Kathy Fouts
Barbara and family, My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your precious Bill. There are just no words to express my sorrow for all of you during this time of grief and sorrow. I truly love Bill and Barbara and want you all to know you are in my heart, thoughts and prayers. Beth thanks for keeping all of us updated and there are so many people praying for you and the family at this time. Love you.
Cindy Dixon-Owen
So sorry to hear of Bill's passing. He loved visiting the boys in scouting and helping with their community service requirements. He was able to take a bunch of rowdy boys and make things interesting enough that they quieted down and listened to what he was saying. Prayers for you all during this time.
Fred and Sandy Wright
With deepest sympathy and condolences.
Deb Williams
Barbara, I was so saddened to hear of Bill's passing. May God's arms wrap around you and your family and give you comfort and peace knowing that Bill was such a good person who cared about his family, friends and the town he was so devoted to.
Pam Ledford
Mrs. Edwards, Beth and family.... I'm so sorry for your loss. Mr. Edwards was always a very kind and gentle presence in my life as well as the lives of my family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Keitha Blalock
A true GENTLEMAN who left a wonderful trail behind. He will be missed by many. Sorry for your loss.
Sue Smith
Mrs. Edwards I'm so sorry for your loss. Mr. Edwards was such a dear friend to my mom Gertrude and dad Russell and the rest of our family. He was such a pillar to the Canton community and friends to so many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. May God Bless and comfort you and your family during this difficult time.
Leander Logan & Family
Barbara, Beth, and family - so sorry to hear of Bill's passing. He was such a classy gentleman who was so gracious and selfless in his engagement with friends and strangers alike. I will always remember the many times when I would see Barbara and Bill around town as we would remember and reminiscence about events going back over 50 years. He was a a community servant who contributed so much to the betterment of Canton and Haywood County. He will be missed. My condolences to his friends and family alike.
Richard Hurley
My deepest sympathies to your dear family.
Lisa Devlin Patten
Family, He was a very precious man to us at AC and will be greatly missed. I knew him some b4 he came to us because of Clint. I’m sure his with him strolling over heaven. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Missed but never forgotten..
Christy King
Bobbie, I am so sorry about sweet Bill. He truly was a loved man and a true gentleman. We will be thinking of you and all of the family during the days and months ahead. Love you, Linda and E.M.
Linda and E.M. Rogers
Barbara sorry for your loss I worked for Bill he was a true friend and mentor he will truly be missed
Jackson Moody
Ms. Barbara, My prayers are for you and your family. I enjoyed the relationship with Bill at Champion. We worked together in several different aspects of the mill. I considered him a dear friend and enjoyed talking with him. May God bless your family.
Don Bryson
Dear Precious Edward's Clan, Bill has been a part of childhood memories, a dance partner, the father to my friends, and a warm hello when we crossed paths. Always a smile as he had such a beautiful outlook on life. It will take time to adjust to him not being around at Canton gatherings. My love and prayers to all of you that loved this sweet man. Always in All Ways in my heart!❤️ Lee Ann
Lee Ann Hardin
Brenda, I am so sorry for your loss my prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time, you are a very strong woman just know that he will always be looking down on you and watching over you and your family love you always.
Steve Gaddis
To all the family, we extend our deepest sympathy on the passing of Mr. Edwards. During my school years, I had gotten acquainted with Boyd and Beth, but I had never met their father. That changed in the summer of 1974. A couple of friends and I had taken a trip for graduation celebration, and we pulled into one of the south Myrtle Beach campgrounds. At the site next to ours was Mr. and Mrs. Edwards. We got acquainted, and had several nice visits with them during our camping trip. I had made a friend in Bill, and enjoyed seeing him and Barbara around our hometown for many years.
Kenneth Johnson
To all the family, we extend our deepest sympathy on the passing of Mr. Edwards. During my school years, I had gotten acquainted with Boyd and Beth, but I had never met their father. That changed in the summer of 1974. A couple of friends and I had taken a trip for graduation celebration, and we pulled into one of the south Myrtle Beach campgrounds. At the site next to ours was Mr. and Mrs. Edwards. We got acquainted, and had several nice visits with them during our camping trip. I had made a friend in Bill, and enjoyed seeing him and Barbara around our hometown for many years.
Kenneth Johnson
So sorry for your loss , But you have the comfort of knowing he is still living, But now in his forever home.
Tyma Jane pressley
To Barbara, Brenda, Boyd. Beth, and Brad, I am thinking of each of you during this difficult time. What a wonderful life Bill lived! Talented and hardworking, yet humble and kind, he devoted many of his gifts to helping others...at work. at church and in our little paper mill hometown. He will always be remembered as a family man whose greatest pride was his precious children and dear wife. Seldom would you see one without the other, as Barbara and Bill were always out and about participating in town activities. Take comfort in knowing he is with Bruce and Clint now, and we will see him again one day. Love and prayers to each of you now and in the days ahead... With much love, Annette Reno
Annette Reno
Barbara and family so sorry for your loss God bless each of you,love you
Barbara Rhinehart
My deepest sympathy to all of the family. I will miss Bill at Bingo at Arrowhead Cove. He loved to play and I have been privileged to do bingo there for a long time. Bill's place at the table will be taken by another resident, but no one can fill Bill's place in the hearts and souls of us who enjoyed him so much. So, we yell BINGO Bill. You've won the greatest prize of all---Eternity in Heaven
Juanita Dixon
My thoughts and prayers are with you Barbara.
Kelly Heatherly Ammons
Barbara, so sorry for the loss of Bill , and hope you will be comforted by the many words of your dear friends. My prayers are with you and your family.
judy norman
So sorry for your loss, Barbara. You are surely in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you love from Hillsborough, NC.
Liz Boone
Beth and family, so sorry for your loss. The write up was beautiful and shows how very special he was to all of you and his friends. You are in my prayers.
Irene Anderson
Barbara, Beth, Boyd, and Edwards Family, Bill was a great influence to me in youth baseball as a coach and great man. Very sorry for your loss.
Kermit B. Wells, PHS Class of 1974.