US Navy


Jere Stetson Edwards

March 24, 1927 ~ December 25, 2018 (age 91)
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Jere Stetson Edwards

High Point


Jere Stetson Edwards, 91, of High Point, passed away December 25, 2018, in his home at Pennybyrn at Maryfield.

Jere was born March 24, 1927, in Akron, OH, to the late Gerald and Bernice (Schweitzer) Edwards from Harrison Valley, PA.  His father worked at Goodrich Tire and his mother was a Physical Education teacher.  Jere’s siblings include Jane Clay of Seattle, WA, and Hugh Edwards (deceased), of Akron, OH.

Jere enlisted in the Navy five days before his 18th birthday. He served as a Pharmacist Mate at the Newport, RI, Naval Hospital. He entered Kent State in 1946 where he received a BA and a ME in Education.

Jere married Helena McCoy on December 24, 1950, and they raised their family in Akron, OH. After Helena’s death, Jere met Jean Tillman in a Hospice recovery group and they became fast friends. They married on November 28, 1997, and enjoyed extensive travel.

Jere had a long and productive career. He served the Akron Public Schools as a Math teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal. He served as a HS principal for 24 years. After retiring in Ohio, Jere taught Math in Atlanta, GA. He later served as a Regional Manager for Knights Inn Hotels where he received multiple awards for his management and landscaping expertise.

Jere was generous with his time and always looked for opportunities to support and encourage others. He and Helena were active at First Presbyterian Church and were Marriage Encounter program leaders. They had rewarding experiences working on the Chinle, AZ, Navajo reservation with their daughters Becky and Cindy. Jere completed two volunteer missions at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, AK, where his work included being first mate on the college’s research boat. Playing Dr. Seuss for the NEA’s Read Across America was another of his many volunteer experiences. He also served as a Greensboro Hospice volunteer.

Music was an important part of Jere’s life. He was an accomplished pianist.  He loved Big Band, Blues, Ragtime, and especially Boogie Woogie. Jere played saxophone and sang in the Glenn Faust Band. His daughters remember dancing wildly to his joyous music. An example of Jere’s endless patience was his piano playing to cue everyone that they were running late for church, again. Later in life, Jere picked up the guitar and entertained family and friends with a variety of songs.  He shared his love of music by teaching his many family members to play the guitar. Family gatherings often included sing-alongs with guitars, harmonicas, nose whistles, shakers, bells and penny whistles.

Jere’s life-long love of games began in childhood. He excelled in basketball, table tennis, swimming, tennis, skiing, boating, biking, hiking, cards, and board games. Jere and Jean loved square dancing two nights a week. Jere loved a challenge and built two family homes. The first was in Ohio for his young family and, later, a log home in Oak Ridge, NC.

Family was an integral part of Jere’s life.  He was a young adventurous father who was committed to strengthening family bonds through camping, playing, and service to others.   A long-standing family tradition included spending a month each summer at the family’s secluded cottage on Canada’s Georgian Bay. The absence of TV, phone and running water for many years made lots of time for swimming, boating, skiing, fishing and all kinds of games.  All of this instilled the importance of family values, mutual respect, honesty, trust in one another, and genuine unconditional love.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Helena McCoy Edwards; daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Jerry Derry.

Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Jean Tillman; daughters, Gail (Frank) McFadden of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Kathy (Richard) Scott of Clinton, CT, Becky (Joe) Platz of Union, OR, Cindy (Brant Brantman) Edwards of Sitka, AK; stepsons, Ray (Jill) Lambert of Lexington, NC and Scott Tillman of Atlanta, GA; grandchildren, Jere, Brian and Jessica McFadden; Matt (Kristen) and Dan Derry; Kim (Ben) Umpenhour and Andrew Brenner; Noah, Joy and Sam Platz; great-grandchildren, Audrey and Jere McFadden; Abigail, Joanna and Gideon Umpenhour.

A celebration of life will be held at Ebenezer Lutheran Church at 4:00 PM on January 12, 2019. Visitation will precede the service. Memorials may be made to the Ebenezer Lutheran’s Music Scholarship Fund, 310 S Tremont Dr., Greensboro, NC 27403. Burial will be in Akron, OH.

Condolences may be expressed online at

Wright Funerals-Cremations is in charge of arrangements.

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