Louise Odom Edwards

From ClemsonWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Louise Odom Edwards, 92, former first lady of Clemson University, died July 29, 2008 at Sterling House, an assisted living residence in Central where she and President Emeritus Robert Cook Edwards have lived since December 2007. Dr. and Mrs. Edwards served the university during a time of phenomenal growth and monumental events that shaped the future of the institution, such as the graduation of Clemson’s first female students and the enrollment of its first black students. “Louise Edwards is the role model for all of us at Clemson University in her affection for students and her care for the Clemson family,” said President Jim Barker, who graduated from Clemson in 1970, during Dr. Edwards’ presidency. “She was a tremendous help to Marcia and me in our service to Clemson. She will be greatly missed.”

A native of Red Springs, N.C, she attended Flora McDonald College in North Carolina. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Nancy Edwards Reid and her husband, Bill; daughter-in-law Sandra Edwards Waggoner; brother, Joseph Thomas Odom Jr. and wife Martha Ann; sister, Josie Odom Galloway and husband Herbert; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son, Robert Cook Edwards Jr. Following a private committal service at Woodland Cemetery on the Clemson campus, there will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, at Clemson United Methodist Church, 300 Frontage Road in Clemson. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home in Central. A proud and gracious Southern lady Louise Odom met R.C. Edwards when he moved to her hometown in 1934 to accept a position with a textile manufacturing plant. They were married May 30, 1935. She came to Clemson in 1956 when her husband was named Clemson’s first vice president for development and stood by his side when he became Clemson’s eighth president in 1959. He had served as acting president following the death of President Robert F. Poole in June 1958. She was a strong presence in the community and on campus, welcoming new students at an annual Freshman Picnic on the lawn of the President’s Home — a tradition she started — and hosting events for new faculty and their spouses. She was a long-time member of the Clemson United Methodist Church, the Clemson Garden Club and the Clemson University Woman’s Club. After Dr. Edwards’ retirement in 1979, they moved to their home on Wyatt Avenue in Clemson and continued to participate in university activities and to support student-athletes in competition. When they were no longer able to attend games, they never missed watching the Tigers on TV. Mrs. Edwards was affectionately known as “Moon Pie” by students and alumni, a reference to the popular Southern snack cake said to be the perfect compliment to “RC Cola.” Citing “unselfish service to Clemson and outstanding contributions to student life,” Tiger Brotherhood honored Mrs. Edwards as Mother of the Year during the Clemson-North Carolina football game in 1978. She was honored with a surprise celebration March 13, 1996, to mark her 80th birthday (March 28) by the Clemson University Woman’s Club. In addition to receiving a Clemson letter jacket from George Bennett, then executive director of IPTAY, Mrs. Edwards was congratulated in proclamations by S.C. Gov. David Beasley and the General Assembly, City of Clemson Mayor Larry Abernathy, and Clemson University President Deno Curris. The Pickens County legislative delegation honored her at a luncheon March 29, 1996. Memorial requests - In addition to flowers, memorials may be made to the following:
Hospice of the Foothills
390 Keowee School Road
Seneca, SC 29672
Clemson United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 590
Clemson, SC 29633
Alzheimer’s Association
521 N. McDuffie Street
Anderson, SC 29621
Clemson University Foundation
P.O. Box 1889
Clemson, SC 29633-1889
Condolences may be expressed online or in person at the Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, :Central-Clemson Commons.

This is the Clemson Wiki project's 1,212th article.