Anne ‘Beth’ Edwards

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Anne Elizabeth Edwards, known to all as Beth, died at her Chesterfield County residence Tuesday, Jan. 19, following a brief illness. Her caregivers of many years were with her at the time of her death.

Beth was born in Arlington on July 29, 1969, the first child of Anne Reynolds and John Branch Edwards.

She grew up in the family’s Mill Swamp Road residence, where she enjoyed the outdoors and her pets, including a tame duck that followed her down the lane each day as she caught the school bus and was waiting for her by the dogwood tree each afternoon when she came home.

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Beth had a learning disability and when she was a teenager developed mental health issues. The two handicapped her throughout her adult life. She met those difficulties head on with grace and dignity, persistently overcame obstacles, and was one of the most generous people imaginable.

She lived for 23 years in a group home managed by the Chesterfield County Community Service Board with three other residents who had similar limitations. Three of them — Beth, Mike and Maria — were the first residents of the new home when it opened in 1998 and remained together until Beth’s death. They were in every important respect brothers and sisters who played together, struggled together and loved each other.

She was a member of Benn’s United Methodist Church, a member of its Youth Choir and Ladies’ Sunday School Class. She was a proud member of the Girl Scouts of America, the Isle of Wight 4-H Club and an active participant for many years in Special Olympics swimming competition, where she earned many medals.

Beth is survived by her parents; her brother, John B. Edwards Jr. (Rickie); sister, Sarah R. Edwards; and her beloved nieces and nephews, Parker, Bentley, Maddie, John Haakon and Ellie.

The family would like to express its profound appreciation to the dedicated staff of the Chesterfield County Community Services Board, some of whom cared for Beth for more than two decades. Annie Connor, Audrey Wood and Marilyn West as well as other immediate residential and extended Chesterfield County Staff were her protectors and champions.

A graveside service for immediate family only will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the old cemetery of Historic St. Luke’s Church with the Rev. Betsy Caudill officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to Benn’s United Methodist Church, 14571 Benn’s Church Blvd., Smithfield, VA 23430.