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Joe W.
Republican SC 2

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  • In Memory of Governor James Burrows Edwards

    by Representative Joe Wilson

    Posted on 2015-01-06

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    WILSON of south carolina in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 6, 2015 Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, during Christmas week the people of South Carolina lost a true patriot with the death of Doctor James B. Edwards of Mount Pleasant. The following obituary highlights his love and affection for his devoted family and community.



    James Burrows Edwards obituary James Burrows Edwards Mt. Pleasant--James Burrows Edwards, DMD, 87, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, died Friday, December 26, 2014. Jim was born June 24, 1927, in Hawthorne, Florida to the late O.M. and Bertie Ray Edwards. Both parents were school teachers, careers which led them to St. Andrews, South Carolina, in 1935 and Mt. Pleasant in 1937.

    As a boy in Mt. Pleasant, Jim spent his spare time at Ft. Moultrie, home of the 263rd Coast Artillery, and acquired a lifelong love of the military and life at sea. Jim graduated from Moultrie High School in June 1944, and took a job with the Army Transportation Corps as a deck hand on an L-78 tug boat. Though only 17 years old, he joined the Merchant Marines in December 1944. Jim was assigned to the Dogwood, a Liberty Ship converted to a hospital ship transporting wounded servicemen home from Europe. Eventually he also served on the U.S.A.T. Bridgeport, the George Washington, and the Larkspur. Jim worked his way through the ranks from ordinary seaman to an officer by age 19, licensed to pilot ships transporting ``any tonnage on any water in the world.'' In 1947, Jim began studies at the College of Charleston, while also working as a night officer on ships as a member of the Master, Mates and Pilots Association. During summers, he remained active in seafaring trade, delivering coal to France and England, granite for the Santee Cooper Dam, and general cargo to ports throughout the Caribbean and South America.

    Jim graduated from the College of Charleston in 1951, married Ann Darlington, his childhood sweetheart, and entered dental school at the University of Louisville. Upon graduation, he served two years on active duty with the U.S. Navy in Chincoteague, Virginia, as a general dentist. He would remain active in the United States Naval Reserve until 1967, retiring as a lieutenant commander.

    After completing graduate medical training at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and a residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, Jim pursued his dream to return to Charleston, establishing his practice in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery in 1960.

    While building a thriving practice, Jim entered the political arena, serving six years as the Charleston County Republican Party chairman. An unsuccessful bid for the United States Congress in 1971 was soon followed by his election to the South Carolina State Senate in 1972. Two years later, Jim was elected Governor of South Carolina--the state's first Republican Governor since reconstruction. Jim served as governor from 1975 to 1979, returning briefly to his oral surgery practice in Charleston.

    In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Jim as Secretary of the United States Department of Energy, a position he held until November 1982, when he was called as president of the Medical University of South Carolina. Jim served as president of MUSC for 17 years, retiring in 2000. As president emeritus, Jim actively continued fundraising for the MUSC Health Sciences Foundation until 2014.

    Among numerous civic and academic honors, Jim was granted the Order of the Palmetto for his public service to the State of South Carolina, and is an inductee into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. He served on the Board of Directors of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, SCANA, South Carolina National Bank, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Waste Management, Chemical Waste Management, J. P. Stevens, Brendles, IMO Delaval, Inc., Philips Petroleum, National Data Corporation, Burris Chemical Co., the W. M. Benton Foundation, the MUSC Health Sciences Foundation, and the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT).

    Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Ann; his son, James B. Edwards, Jr. and his wife, Jenny, of Columbia; his daughter, Catharine E. Wingate, and her husband, Ken, of Columbia; grandchildren, Miriam Wingate Ashworth, K. Bryan Wingate, Jr., Ansley Darlington Edwards, James B. Edwards, III, Catharine Paxson Wingate, and Hellen Tucker Edwards; one great-grandchild, Eliza Ann Wingate, and numerous nephews and nieces. In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Josephine E. Pinckney, his brother, Dr. Morton Thomas Edwards, his sisters, Ada Frances E. Melchers and Jane Ann E. Varn.

    Visitation will be from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 28, 2014 at St. Luke's Chapel, on the Campus of the Medical University of South Carolina. The funeral service will be conducted at St. Philip's Church at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, December 29, 2014 by The Rt. Rev'd. Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison. Interment will follow in the churchyard of Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant, after which the family will receive visitors in the parish hall of Christ Church.

    The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that memorials be made to the MUSC Foundation for the College of Nursing or for the College of Dental Medicine. (MUSC Foundation, 18 Bee Street, Charleston, SC 29425).

    Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr Inc., Mount Pleasant Chapel. A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston.

    The Lexington County Chronicle published an inspiring tribute which reflects the extraordinary impact of Lexington County voters in 1974 where the county's victory margin of 10,433 was a large majority of the statewide victory margin of 17,477.

    As an indication of the family's appreciation of Lexington County, its Member of Congress, Joe Wilson, was selected to be an Honorary Pall Bearer.

    Former S.C. Gov. James Edwards Succumbs to Stroke (By Hal Millard) James B. Edwards, the state's first GOP governor since Reconstruction, has died.

    He was 87.

    Edwards, a dentist by trade who in 1974 became the first Republican governor in South Carolina since 1876, died Dec. 26 at his Mount Pleasant home from complications caused by a stroke.

    Politicians throughout the state mourned his passing.

    Expressing her sympathy, Gov. Nikki Haley wrote on Facebook that Edwards ``appreciated the opportunities and challenges of this office.'' [[Page E15]] ``Governor Edwards always offered kind words of support and encouragement--and we are forever grateful for his friendship,'' Haley wrote. ``Michael and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Governor Edwards, whose love for South Carolina inspired him to serve until his last day . . .'' GOP Congressman Joe Wilson of Springdale echoed those sentiments and added, ``I am grateful to have had a lifetime of working with Dr. Jim Edwards, and the honor of knowing his wife Anne, daughter Cathy, and son Jim. Dr. Edwards was a tireless stalwart for conservative limited government to expand freedom.

    ``In high school, I would visit his dental office for Goldwater materials, in his capacity as Charleston County Republican Chairman,'' Wilson continued. ``In 1974, he courageously ran and was elected as South Carolina's first Republican governor. At that time, I worked with him on the State Development Board, where he recruited Michelin Tire Corporation to produce job opportunities for our citizens. I was honored to serve him in the visionary Reagan Administration as Deputy General Counsel as he achieved success in deregulation as Secretary of Energy.

    Wilson also hailed Edwards' 17-year tenure as president of the Medical University of South Carolina.

    ``His return to Charleston as president of the Medical University of South Carolina resulted in MUSC becoming recognized for world-class universities,'' Wilson said. ``South Carolina has lost a Southern Gentleman, devoted dad and grandfather, who has made a difference as a key architect for a political revolution.'' Wilson noted that Edwards' groundbreaking win in 1974 was a precursor to the current Republican dominance in the Deep South.

    ``Dr Edwards' vision of an inclusive Republican Party came to fulfillment [in December] with the U.S. Senate victory in Louisiana, from his start with no elected statewide Republican officials in the five-state Deep South, and now all statewide officials are Republicans,'' Wilson said.

    Edwards became governor amid the turmoil of the Watergate years and was one of the few GOP bright spots in an election year in which Democrats dominated. A long-shot candidate who had previously served two years as a state senator from Charleston County, Edwards defeated Gen. William Westmoreland in the GOP primary, then upset long-time Democratic Congressman William Jennings Bryan Dorn in the general election.

    Edwards served in an era when governors were prohibited from serving consecutive terms. Following his term as governor, Edwards was nominated as President Ronald Reagan's Energy Secretary; serving two years in that role before resigning to become president of MUSC.

    ____________________

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