Funeral services for Thomas "Tom" James Edwards, 84, of Killdeer, will be at 11 a.m. MST, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Killdeer, with Pastor John Simonson officiating. Military Rites will be by the Ezra Barrows Post #46 of Killdeer following the funeral service. Burial will be on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m. CST, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan.
Visitation for Tom will be today, Nov. 27, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Stevenson Funeral Home, Killdeer, with a prayer service today at 7 p.m., also in the funeral home. Visitation will continue on Wednesday, one hour prior to the service.
Tom passed away Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, at the Hill Top Home of Comfort in Killdeer.
Tom was born the son of Clarence and Mathilda (Dahl) Edwards on July 10, 1928, in Killdeer. He grew up in Killdeer, graduating from Killdeer High School in 1946. He enlisted in the Army in 1951 and was stationed at Camp Mendel, Calif., and was honorably discharged in 1956 as a PFC-Specialist 1st Class.
Tom married Evelyn (Schueler) Lambert on Nov. 17, 1955, in Sidney, Mont. They made their home on a farm near Killdeer and later in Bismarck and Minot. Two children were born to this union, Joan and James, along with her children, Michael and Karen. Tom studied for his real estate license while living in Minot and upon successfully completing his realtor license testing, he held the highest score in the state of North Dakota. Tom and Evelyn later divorced in 1969. After working for Minot Reality, he moved back to Killdeer, where he purchased Sadie's Bar, later known as Tom's Bar.
In 1971, he married Gloria Fox in Manning. The family grew together with the addition of her children, Debbie, Arnie, Julie, Laura, and Eddie. They continued to make Killdeer their home and raised Gloria's children.
In 1980, Tom met Emma (Whiteowl) Finley. To this union was born: Allen, Mathilda, Thomas Jr., and Mindy, along with her children, Edward, Ricky, Jason, Nina, and Lana. Tom and Emma raised their children three miles north of Killdeer on the family farm. Through the years he worked in the oilfield as a roustabout and oil rig worker, as a heavy equipment operator with Bang Construction, as a carpenter with Wetsch Construction, along with custom fencing.
Tom was a lifelong member of the American Legion, NRA, former member of the Elks and the N.D. Realtor Association. Tom enjoyed driving around the countryside with his friends, hunting, fishing, shooting pool and gardening. But his favorite pastime was spending time with his family and cooking on the holidays.
Tom is survived by: his lifelong companion, Emma (Whiteowl) Finley; his children, Joan (Andrew) Kulish, of Anchorage, Alaska, James Edwards and his girlfriend, Linda, of Everett, Wash., Allen Edwards, of Mandaree, Thomas Jr., of New Town, Mathilda Edwards, of New Town, and Mindy, of New Town; stepchildren, Michael Lambert, of San Rafael, Calif., Karen Smalley, of Victor, Mont., Debbie Fox, of New Town, Arnie Strahs, of Mandaree, Laura Fox, of Mandaree, Julie (Doug) Tescher, Medora, Eddie Strahs, of New Town, Edward Finley, of New Town, Ricky Finley, of Mandaree, Jason (Toni) Whiteowl, of New Town, Nina Finley, of Mandaree, and Lana Finley, of Mandaree; sister-in-law, Phyllis Edwards, of St Clair Shores, Mich.; 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; 14 stepgrandchildren and six stepgreat-grandchildren, along with his nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; sisters and spouses, Florence (Joseph) Wetsch, Thelma (George) Fenton and Ione (Al) Ungerecht; a brother, David Edwards; wives, Evelyn Edwards and Gloria Fox Edwards; and a stepgrandson, Tanner.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at (www.stevensonfuneralhome.com).
(Stevenson Funeral Home, Killdeer)