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Brown Funeral Home

2704 Commerce Cir, Pine Bluff, AR

Phone: 870-534-3210

Jimmie Lee Edwards

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Published: February 17, 2013

Mrs. Jimmie Lee Martin Edwards began her life journey Feb. 7, 1936 in Grady, Ark. An extraordinary journey, that touched the lives of many.

She confessed her life to Christ at an early age. She attended Mt. Nebo, before later joining New Hope A.M.E. Church where she remained a faithful member until her death on Feb. 12, 2013. She was very active in every aspect of her church and loved her church family. Jimmie attended schools at Yorktown (Lincoln County), the Pine Bluff and Dollarway districts and J.C. Corbin High School. She graduated from Merrill High School in 1954. She continued her education by receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree from AM&N College and a Master's Degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She married Jasper Edwards on Oct. 6, 1955 and God blessed this union with one daughter and three sons.

Upon graduation from AM&N, Jimmie started working there as the supervisor of the laboratory school in the Home Economics Department and taught classes in child development. After receiving her master's degree, she returned to UAPB and was in charge of the nursery school and again, taught child development classes. She joined the 1890 Cooperative Extension Program in 1976 and immediately launched a home improvement program in five rural counties in southeast Arkansas. By 1977 her job was expanded to include 14 counties. With high demand for her assistance, the program was expanded statewide in 1983. She also organized Master Upholsters in different counties and they extended her teachings by reaching a large number of clients each year.

Before joining the Extension, Jimmie served as an Extension volunteer for more than 15 years. She continued her volunteerism by sponsoring the Pastoria 4-H club and the AgriKids. Her philosophy was "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". Jimmie retired in 1996, but for a while continued to conduct workshops across the state in home improvement.

Any one that had the pleasure of knowing Jimmie, knew that the New Hope Scholarship was her pride and joy. Since the inception of the Scholarship program, more than a half million dollars (with an endowment of over $140,000) has been raised assisting over 400 needy students attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. What is so significant is that there are only 10 active members in the entire church. The scholarship has assisted students from the United States, Haiti, Honduras, Bulgaria, Thailand, and Jamaica. She even established a partnership with B.R.A.V.E., a local black firefighters association, and they provide three $500 scholarships yearly. Additionally, Jimmie also supported the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's Rural Life Conference and has been a long standing chair of the Dedication Committee.

Jimmie was preceded in death by her father, James Martin; her mother, Louise Trouser; and her only daughter Jacquelyn Edwards Driver.

Her legacy of love and memories will be cherished by Jasper Edwards, three sons – Jeffrey Edwards (LaTunda) and Jerial Edwards of Sherrill, Ark.; and Jimmy (Patricia) Edwards of Fayetteville, Ark.; one son-in-law Tony Driver of Waco, Texas; and seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She also leaves love and cherished memories with Artemeze Edwards, whom she called her sister; and Beverly Edwards, whom she called her daughter; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be 10 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at New St. Hurricane MBC by Rev. Clark Thomas. Burial will be in New Hope Cemetery in Pastoria by Brown Funeral Home of Pine Bluff.

Visitation will be Monday from 3-5:30 p.m. with a Family Hour/Visitation from 5:30-7 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make contributions to the New Hope Scholarship Endowment Fund. Contributions can be mailed to 1711 South Pack Road, Sherrill, Ark. 72152 or made during Monday night's visitation and after funeral services.

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