Philip Fleetwood Edwards Jr.

Published 9:47 pm Sunday, August 26, 2018

Philip Fleetwood Edwards Jr., career farmer, lifelong outdoorsman, and beloved parent and grandparent, died Saturday, Aug. 25, surrounded by family and friends on the farm that had been his home since birth.

Philip was born on Aug. 1, 1941, the son of the late Philip Fleetwood and Maggie Elizabeth Baker Edwards.

When he was an infant, his father carried him into the field as he worked, riding in a box mounted on a tractor. From then until his death, the family farm and farming were among his greatest pleasures.

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His love of the outdoors and his skill as a hunter were legendary. He was expert at laying decoys and calling ducks and geese, and few things were more pleasing to him than a flight of birds winging over a duck blind in the early morning mist.

He loved sharing his hobby with others, inviting friends on annual fall dove shoots, game cookouts and oyster roasts.

But Philip understood the need to conserve wildlife and the habitat in which it thrives. He was a Life Member of Ducks Unlimited, an international organization devoted to the preservation of migratory waterfowl habit. As a founding member of the local DU chapter, he assisted in raising well over a half million dollars for the organization’s efforts.

He was a deeply devoted family man who, until his passing, doted on his grandchildren, encouraging them and applauding their successes.

Philip started out working for Smithfield Implement Company, Ferguson Manufacturing and Turner Farms Inc.  In 2000, he teamed up with his son to start Philip Edwards Farms LLC., where he continued to work as a farmer until his death.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved wife of 49 years, Connie Jacquelyn Acord Edwards, and his sister, Elizabeth Baker Edwards Ryder.

Left to cherish his memory are his son, Philip Fleetwood Edwards III of Smithfield; two daughters, Victoria Lynn Edwards Shea and husband Kevin of Hamilton and Jacqueline Elizabeth Edwards Myers and husband Gene of Chattanooga, Tenn.; his brother, John Branch Edwards and wife Anne of Smithfield; daughter-in-law Heather Gordon Edwards of Newport News; 10 grandchildren: Alanna, Kevin and Brendan Shea; Jessica, Gene and Jordan Myers; Tyler, Alec, Hunter and Abigail Edwards; long-time caregiver and friend, Arnetta Scott of Smithfield; and many other family members and friends.

Visitation will be held at Benn’s United Methodist Church Family Life Center on Tuesday, Aug. 28 from 5:30 – 8 p.m., located at 14571 Benns Church Blvd., Smithfield.

A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 11 a.m. in the historic section of St. Luke’s cemetery with the Rev. Bob Cofield and the Rev. Betsy Caudill officiating. A reception will follow at Benn’s United Methodist Church Family Life Center.

The family suggests memorial donations to Smithfield Ducks Unlimited in care of Barry Pulley at 30 Woodland St, Portsmouth, VA 23701.

Arrangements are in the care of Parr Funeral Home of Suffolk.  Condolences may be registered online at