Edwina Kent Chapman
Published 11:19 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023
There will only be one “Eddie K,” yet her spirit and candor lives on in the hearts, minds, and spirits of the family she created. Edwina Kent Chapman was born on December 10, 1928. She spent her formative years in downtown Smithfield and her Aunt Sally’s farm, and participated in community events and activity in 1930’s-40’s Smithfield. She was a proud graduate of the Smithfield High School Class of 1947 and always shared fond memories and lessons during the World War II era in small town America. After graduating from Mary Washington College during the 1950’s, Eddie K pursued a teaching career here in Tidewater before reuniting with her high school sweetheart that would become the love of her life and father of her children: Bert “B.D.” Downing Willard. Together they had two boys and raised them during the 1960’s space era Hampton and Newport News area on Gumwood Drive. There they had a third son, Bert Joseph, and moved back to their roots in Smithfield. There Eddie K participated in numerous aspects of Smithfield life such as: being a consummate community theater actress when called upon (numerous roles), being a local historian with first hand experience (Smithfield tour guide), but most of all: being a kind word to the people who needed it and being the best Mom and “Memaw” for her grandchildren. We love you Eddie K, Memaw, Mom.