Firefighter, father, son and friend laid to rest

Hundreds attend funeral
Mar. 05, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

As far as the eye could see private vehicles, rescue vehicles and fire trucks were lined up for the funeral procession of Kenny Edwards, Jr. on Sunday.

Edwards, a 25-year-veteran of the Ellenboro Fire Dept., died last Wednesday as the result of a tree cutting accident while on his job in Valdese. 

Following the church services at Glenwood Baptist Church, the funeral procession passed along US 74B to Main Street in Ellenboro in front of crowds of people waiting to pay respects. 

The Firefighters Honor Guard, members of the Rescue Unit and Ellenboro firefighters were a part of the procession, along with family members and friends.

Edwards died last week in a tree cutting accident while on his job in Valdese.  Among those in the procession were rescue personnel from Valdese, who were the first on the scene of the accident.

As approximately 80 vehicles passed along the street, an elderly gentleman was seen standing at attention, holding his hat over his heart for the long procession,

Firefighters from other departments in Rutherford County stood in formation, saluting as a flag-draped coffin passed by them. 

An honor guard stood beside the coffin as it was transported on an Ellenboro fire truck. 

Edwards was laid to rest at Bethel Baptist Church cemetery beside another fallen Ellenboro firefighter, Jimmy Johnson, who died a few years ago after a long illness. 

The final bell, a final call and a bagpiper's music  concluded the traditional fireman's ceremony.

The hundreds of mourners left the cemetery at about 7 p.m. to conclude the weekend of ceremonies and remembrances.

"It's Monday . . .we've got to get back," said Assistant Fire Chief Robbie Downey at the fire department. 

On Saturday and Sunday, firefighters from other departments manned the Ellenboro Fire Department, allowing Ellenboro's firefighters time to remember and honor their friend. 

"He will be missed," Downey said.