Obituary: James Joseph Edwards


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James Joseph (Joe) Edwards, loving and devoted husband, proud father, grandfather, and great grandfather, faithful friend, and humble public servant entered his eternal heavenly home on Friday, September 8, 2023. Born on August 26, 1940 to James and Betty Edwards, he was the oldest of seven children. Joe cherished his growing up years filled with many adventures around his beloved Westfield. He graduated from Westfield High School in 1958 and was inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011. He attended Butler University where he earned a B.S. in Business Management in 1963.

Joe is known for his commitment to serve Westfield, his strong faith, and his deep love of family. He married Jo Ann in 1961 and they have celebrated almost 62 years of marriage. Together they built a life in Westfield and raised their family. Among his favorite things were cheering on the Shamrocks, enjoying a good laugh, and his family gathering for Sunday dinner. He developed a love of agriculture during his childhood on the farm south of Westfield, so it was in working at Indiana Farm Bureau from 1963-1998 that Joe felt at home. His initial position was that of a field representative, but he retired as Treasurer and CFO. He spent much of his life traveling the state of Indiana and developing friendships with the farmers he served. He was also a member of the Steering Committee for the formation of Farm Bureau Bank. Edwards later became a partner/owner of Edwards/Steele Financial Services. He has served on the Hospital Authority of Hamilton County; Hamilton County Economic Development Commission; Westfield Town Council 1980-1991, president 6 years; Washington Township Advisory Board; Westfield City Council 2015 to present, president 3 years; Board of Directors and Treasurer of Quaker Hill Foundation. Joe was a 50-year member of the Westfield Lions Club, and a lifelong member of Westfield Friends Church. He will be remembered as loyal, dependable, steady, and a man of his word by those who knew him.

Joe is survived by his adoring family: His wife, Jo Ann (King) Edwards and daughter, Jackie Hiatt (husband, Dale), and Meg Edwards; his 6 grandchildren, Ben Hiatt (wife, Anne), Ryan Hiatt (wife, Kellie), Michael Hiatt (wife, Katy), Levi Hiatt (wife, Allison), Kayla (Edwards) Cross (husband, Seth), and Aaron Heinzman; 13 great grandchildren, James, Elizabeth, George and Caroline Hiatt; Dale, Duke, and Joseph Hiatt; Ella and Sophia Hiatt; Isaac and Wade Hiatt; and Millie and Edie Cross; and siblings, Tom Edwards, Walter Edwards (wife, Olga), Elaine Hinshaw, Diane Garrett (husband, Don), Les Edwards, and Susannah Santangini (husband, Greg).

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, James Isaac Edwards and Betty Louise (Furnas) Edwards, as well as his son, Joseph Wade (Joey) Edwards.

Visitation for Mr. Edwards will be Friday, September 15 at Westfield Friends Church, 324 S. Union St., Westfield, from 4:00-8:00pm. His funeral will be held Saturday, September 16 at Westfield Friends Church at 10:00am.

Donations in honor of Joe may be made to Westfield Friends Church, 324 S. Union St., Westfield, In 46074; or Heart and Soul Free Clinic, 17338 Westfield Park Rd, Westfield, In 46074.