Catherine Erline Edwards, 100, of Sedalia, passed away Thursday, November 19, 2020 at the Sylvia G. Thompson Residence Center.
Catherine recently celebrated her 100th birthday. She was born ten miles north of Sedalia, MO, to Earl and Alta Marie (Scott) Orr. Her claim to fame was winning the loving cup at the Missouri State Fair for being the healthiest girl baby in the State of Missouri in 1923.
Catherine attended Horace Mann School and graduated from Smith-Cotton High School in 1937 at the age of 16. She attended Central Business College from 1937 to 1938. She worked at Archias’ Seed Company for one year and then joined Metropolitan Life Insurance Company where she was promoted to Cashier and Office Supervisor, a position she held for 5 years until 1947.
In 1939 Catherine met Paul L. Edwards after a fun evening of bowling with friends. They were married Nov. 27, 1941, and a year later Paul enlisted in the U.S. Navy “Seabees”. He was sent to the South Pacific for over 2 years during which Catherine lived with her parents.
She was the reason for the book, Every Thought of You, A Sailor’s Love Letters from the Pacific World War II. This book was dedicated in her honor, since her husband wrote these 695 letters to her while he was serving in the Navy.
Paul returned home in 1945 and resumed his career at Missouri Pacific Railroad. He was transferred to De Soto, MO, in 1947, for his promotion to Foreman in the new car shop. From 1954 to 1959 Catherine worked at MoPac RR in the Payroll Department. They lived in De Soto for 15 years and then in 1962 returned to Sedalia.
Catherine was supportive and played a factor in her husband’s accomplishments in Sedalia as Superintendent of MoPac Shops, member of Kiwanis, President of “S” Club, and in De Soto as City Mayor and President of Methodist Men’s Club. Paul retired from MoPac RR in 1978. Through the years Catherine cared for the needs of her husband, her parents, older brother, other relatives, and friends by helping them through their senior years.
Catherine was an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church and Daughters of the American Revolution. She enjoyed playing bridge and collecting antiques. Her home was beautifully decorated with her “treasures”. She had a keen sense of humor and a talent for telling jokes and making people laugh.
Catherine is survived by one daughter, Paula Berryann, and one grandson, Bruce Berryann, both of Raleigh, NC. Catherine was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Paul L. Edwards (August 22, 1996), her older brother, Thomas LeRoy Orr
(April 26, 2010), and her younger brother, William Kenneth “Ken” Orr (March 2, 2014).
Special thanks go to the staff at Sylvia G. Thompson Residence Center for their excellent care of Catherine for over 10 years.
Contributions in memory of Catherine can be made to Wesley United Methodist Church, 1322 W. Broadway, Sedalia, MO 65301.
A private graveside service will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery, 3306 Greenridge Road, Sedalia, MO. Arrangements are under the direction of McLaughlin Funeral Chapel.