Helen Raper Edwards

Published 3:35 pm Monday, February 25, 2019

Helen Raper Edwards died on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 at the age of 96 as a result of the complications from a recent fall.  She made her home at the Warwick Forest Retirement Community in Newport News for the past nine years since moving from Smithfield.

Helen loved people and in turn was loved by all who called her a friend.  She enjoyed entertaining, playing bridge, playing golf and traveling.  She was active in the Trinity United Methodist Church and never forgot her friends who were ill or living in the nearby nursing centers.  She was the “Cookie Lady” at Warwick Forest for years.

Helen was born in Norfolk to Helen Lee and Daniel Webster Raper.  She received her college education in Washington, DC before she met and married an Army airman, James Travers Edwards of Smithfield.  They raised a daughter and three sons all of whom made her very proud.  She was affectionately known to family and friends as “Mamie.”

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She was predeceased by her husband, Travers in 1982, and leaves behind her children, James Travers Jr. (Carter), Brian Lee (Connie), Stephen Totty (Sharon) and Helen Totty Shelly (Thaddeus) to cherish her memory. In addition, she has 10 grandchildren, James Travers III, Totty Anna, Virginia Eileen, Andrea Lee, Amy Elizabeth, Mary Paige, Charles Edwards, James Thaddeus, Robert Willis and Beverly Lee. She also has 10 great-grandchildren.  Our special thanks go to her wonderful companions from Visiting Angels who helped with her daily care.  We also would like to thank the professional staff of the Warwick Forest Evergreen Unit who helped to make her stay safe and comfortable.

Our  mother will be interred at the Ivy Hill cemetery beside her husband in a memorial family graveside service at a future time.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to the Trinity United Methodist Church in Smithfield.