Obituary of Eileen Anne Edwards
EILEEN ANNE (WIDDING) EDWARDS
January 31, 1944- January 14, 2023
After many years of declining health, Eileen Anne (Widding) Edwards, nicknamed “Bunni” to her family, died Saturday January 14, 2023. She is survived by her brother, Robert Keith Widding (Mary). Also surviving are numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul DeCalvin Edwards and her parents, Ralph Robert Widding, Anna Marie Widding, and most recently Dalton Widding, her great nephew.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Eileen also spent part of her childhood and teen years in Houston, Texas and in Arkansas, including Pine Bluff, Little Rock, and Fayetteville. She attended Annunciation Academy at Pine Bluff, graduating high school at Mount St. Mary’s Academy in Little Rock in 1962. She attended college at Sacred Heart Dominican College in Houston, where she was editor of the school newspaper, The Lumen. She then attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where she met her future husband, Paul DeCalvin Edwards. After marriage, they moved to New Jersey where Eileen was a Manager of Data Processing at Royal Worcester Spode.
After some 20 years, Paul and Eileen retired in the countryside near Gatewood, Missouri where they resided for many years, and where Eileen loved and cared for her four aging Basset Hounds: Becky, Fannie, Farkle, and Phoebe. They also had a bowling alley at nearby Doniphan. Eileen remained in Doniphan after Paul’s death. Severe declining health later necessitated a move to The Manor in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where she received excellent care for many years.
Eileen was known for her dry wit and sense of humor. When the high school graduation ceremony concluded, the long-forbidden ringing of the Angelus bell was just too tempting for Eileen. She ran in her long white formal graduation gown to the bell and began tolling it. Her best friend, Jean Armstrong (nee Bishop), said that she looked like a mushroom, being pulled up, and then squished by the rope. Jean said that while the nuns did not find it funny, the Bishop performing the ceremony observed a lesson of lifes ups and downs. Jean and Eileen remained life-long friends.
Eileen cherished the memories of her friends. In later life, even though Eileen was incapable of corresponding back to those cherished friends, they still wrote to her, letting her know that she was not forgotten, and was cared for. This included her friends from Mount St. Mary’s, and Marylyn, her friend from Froug’s in Pine Bluff. Eileen was also very close to her dear friend Pat. It was because of Pat’s persistence, that Eileen was able to remain in her home so long, even while her health continued to decline.
The family is grateful to Missouri (Ripley Co.) Adult Protective Services, to the Sheriff’s Office/Doniphan Police Department, and to the Ripley County Public Administrator.
While Eileen’s health continued to worsen, she never complained about her own discomforts, and would always ask, “How are you?” May she rest in peace.
Eileen will be interred with her parents at Pine Bluff Cemetery in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in a private ceremony.
In Loving Memory
1944 - 2023
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Edwards Funeral Home, Inc.
Doniphan, Missouri 63935