By creator to www.mlive.com
FLINT, MI – Joey Edwards didn’t quit simply.
He met Bridget Brown in 1979 after they had been members of Antioch Baptist Church in Flint.
Edwards was a musician, whereas Brown sang within the choir.
The pair briefly dated and went their separate methods, operating into one another now and again.
It was an opportunity encounter years later and tons of of miles away that led to their future collectively.
Joey Edwards died April 17 from issues of COVID-19, three days earlier than the couple’s 26th marriage ceremony anniversary.
He was 57 years previous.
Edwards served as a member of The Shepherds — a gospel quartet based by his late father Oliver Edwards Sr. underneath the identify The Mighty Gospel Shepherds — performing in New York within the early 1990s.
After becoming a member of the group at 10 years previous, Joey Edwards served as lead vocalist, bass participant, band chief, group supervisor, and stylist because the group traveled throughout the nation.
“A mutual good friend was in attendance on the live performance and had talked about to Joey that she had a good friend whom he used up to now,” she stated. “He requested her what was the good friend’s identify and she or he stated Bridget Brown.”
Joey Edwards requested how she was doing and requested for her quantity, which the good friend wouldn’t give him.
When he bought again to Flint, he began calling the place Brown labored, leaving messages.
“I by no means returned the calls, however one time he caught me at my desk,” she recalled, with Joey Edwards inviting her to return hear him sing. “We talked and he invited me to return hear them sing. I went and we’ve been collectively ever since.”
Practically 30 of his 57 years had been spent working at Flint Neighborhood Colleges, together with Scott Elementary, Durant Tuuri Mott and Brownell Elementary College with Rainbow Studying packages and Title I.
Joey Edwards, a Flint Central Excessive graduate, additionally labored as a habits specialist at Brownell Elementary and, most lately, Neithercut Elementary.
“Working with youngsters was his ardour. He cherished them and so they cherished Mr. Edwards. Mr. Edwards was identified to be agency however truthful and at all times sort. His college students would typically method him as adults to inform him what a constructive affect he made of their lives,” stated Bridget Edwards. “I bear in mind after we first bought our residence, we had been strolling across the neighborhood and a little bit woman hollered from throughout the road, ‘Mr. Edwards!!’ and she or he took off operating towards us. She tripped in the course of the road, bought up and stored operating till she bought to him. He left an indelible footprint within the Flint neighborhood.”
Anita Steward, interim superintendent of Flint Neighborhood Colleges, stated the district is “deeply saddened by the lack of Mr. Edwards to COVID-19.”
“His affect on the hearts of our college students, educators and neighborhood won’t ever be forgotten,” Steward added. “Our ideas and prayers are along with his household.”
Whereas working for the district and performing, Joey Edwards had been coping with well being points.
He underwent a kidney transplant a little bit greater than 10 years in the past, inserting his autoimmune system in a weakened state, Bridget Edwards stated.
She famous her husband labored out 5 days every week at The Rock fitness center alongside South Saginaw Road on Flint’s south aspect to maintain in form.
His ordeal with the virus got here on abruptly.
Joey Edwards visited his major care doctor after falling in poor health for a couple of days.
A COVID-19 take a look at was requested, however the physician stated he had abdomen flu and prescribed some treatment.
The transfer was simply the beginning of a winding journey, from Joey Edwards requested by a specialist to watch his blood strain and temperature to being advised he didn’t have sufficient of the signs to get examined for the virus.
After a number of days, Joey Edwards was capable of get a take a look at in Brighton.
“I drove him there and after they took his (blood strain), they known as an ambulance to move him to the hospital,” stated Bridget Edwards, together with her husband moved to College of Michigan Well being System in Ann Arbor.
He was examined March 25 for COVID-19. The next day the consequence got here again constructive.
Bridget Edwards known as on folks to “bind collectively and present empathy” on this attempting time.
“You or somebody you’re keen on might be a service and never understand it. We’re all struggling by means of this time in a technique or one other, however the lack of life is irreversible,” she stated. “I’d not want the ache I really feel on anybody. Please comply with the manager order and keep residence.”
The restoration course of for her husband felt “like a curler coaster trip,” Bridget Edwards stated.
“His kidney was failing and he needed to be positioned on dialysis,” she stated. “He was placed on a ventilator and fought for one more 23 days, then I bought the decision that his physique was shutting down.”
Donning a masks, hair web, full physique robe with lengthy sleeves and rubber gloves, Bridget Edwards was given the possibility to say hey and goodbye one final time as her husband started to slide away.
“I’m grateful as a result of though he was within the hospital alone all that point, he was not alone when he took his final breath,” stated Bridget Edwards. “Our anniversary was developing in a couple of days so I advised him we might rejoice early. I talked to him about our favourite getaway spot, the meals we’d eat and the issues we’d do.
“I advised him that he put up a great battle and I used to be so very happy with him. I advised him that I’d be OK and he didn’t must undergo anymore. I advised him that I really like him.”
She’d like folks to recollect her husband as a humorous, loving and type man who served the Lord all alongside the best way.
“He was at all times keen to lend a serving to hand when wanted,” stated Bridget Edwards. “He cherished life and he lived it nicely. His smile would gentle up a room. He left an imprint that may by no means be erased. He’s my angel now.”
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