September 4, 1934 - November 7, 2021
H. Marcus Edwards, 87, left this earth for his heavenly home on Sunday, November 7th, 2021, surrounded by his loving family at his residence in Southside Sawdust. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he will be deeply missed. Marcus was born September 4th, 1934 at his parents’ home on the Pewter Farm in Gadsden county, where his own father had been born in a log cabin in 1903. He graduated from Greensboro High School in 1952 after which he attended the University of Florida College of Agriculture, remaining a lifelong Florida Gator fan. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955, he was stationed for two years in occupied Berlin, behind the Iron Curtain, as a radio operator. He was honorably discharged in 1961 after four more years in the Army reserves. Upon his return home, he joined the family business growing shade tobacco, used for the outer wrapper of cigars. After the tobacco industry left Florida for Central America, he continued to farm for himself growing pole beans and then tomatoes. For several years during this time, he owned and ran the Gadsden County Home loan office, pioneering one of the earliest examples of microloan programs in the US. In 1995 Marcus went to work for the University of Florida IFAS, at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, FL. From there, he went on to work for the Florida A & M University (FAMU), participating in research on tomato viruses and nitrogen fertilization. While at FAMU, he transferred to the USDA, NRCS unit, where he assisted with research in the biological control of insects until his retirement in December 2020. He served on the Overall Advisory Committee for the Gadsden County Extension Service and presided as chairman for many years. He was an active director of Gadsden County Farm Bureau and instrumental in founding the Gadsden County Farm Bureau Scholarship Program. Marcus received the Outstanding Young Farmer recognition in 1964 for exceptional progress in agriculture and contributions to the community, sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1972 he and his family were honored with the distinction of Farm Family of the Year. A charter member of the Gadsden County Cattlemen’s Association, he was also a board member of the West Florida Livestock Association. In addition, he was an elected supervisor of Gadsden County Soil and Water Conservation District, serving in Area I of the Florida Association of Conservation Districts. In 1999, he received the Distinguished Service Award as chairman of the local Soil and Water Conservation District for his many years of work on local and state issues to conserve our natural resources. In 2012, he was inducted into the hall of fame for the National Association of Conservation Districts’ Southern Region. For over 35 years, he was the Head Clerk for Voting Precinct 7 of the Gadsden County Election Office. Marcus was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Quincy, serving as a deacon for many years, and a former member of the Providence Baptist Church in Sawdust. Marcus was preceded in death by his parents, Herschel and Ethel Edwards and his sister and brother-in-law, Miriam and Leon Sims. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean Perry Edwards, daughters Kay and Beth Edwards (Mike Tharp), sons Paul and Perry Edwards (Tina Merkison), granddaughter Hannah Edwards, grandsons Jackson Fowler and Henry Edwards, and a host of extended family and friends. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, November 13th, 2021, at 11 a.m. with visitation preceding at 10 a.m. in the chapel at the First Baptist Church in Quincy, FL. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gadsden County Farm Bureau Scholarship Fund at 2111 W. Jefferson St., Quincy, FL. Todd Wahlquist with Bevis Funeral Home (850-385-2193, www.bevisfh.com) is assisting the Edwards family with their arrangements. My father’s face is brown with sun, His body is tall and limber. His hands are gentle with beast or child And strong as hardwood timber. My father’s eyes are the colors of the sky, Clear blue or gray as rain: They change with the swinging change of days While he watches the weather vane. That galleon, golden upon our barn, Veers with the world’s four winds To fill our barley bins, To stack our wood and pile our mows With redtop and sweet tossed clover. He captains our farm that rides the winds, A keen-eyed brown earth-lover. -Frances Frost DEMOCRAT VERSION H. Marcus Edwards was born September 4th, 1934, in his parents’ “Florida Cracker” house, located on the Pewter Farm in Gadsden County, when doctors still made house calls. Known as “Dottie”, “Frog”, or “Dirt Road Sport” to various friends and relatives, he was the younger brother of Miriam Alice and the baby of the family. He carried the traits of a youngest child throughout his life, always managing to win people over with his Hambone charm. With dirt on his shoes and in his soul, he was a farmer all his days, whether it was for himself or for plant pathologist bigwigs with fancy titles, like Doctor. There was no plant, fruit, or vegetable that failed to flourish under his green thumb, much to the astonishment of strangers, but completely anticipated by all who knew him. The man outworked everyone he ever met, continuing to work a full-time job in Tallahassee and then working the farm after hours and on weekends until COVID forced his retirement at 86 years of age. When asked why he didn’t retire earlier, he replied it was because he liked to eat (as farming doesn’t provide a pension). Four children were born to Marcus and his wife Jean P., who were all used for free labor on the farm and to cut the grass in their football field-sized yard. Unfortunately for them, child-labor laws do not protect the offspring of the farm owner. His hobbies included growing vegetables to share with his neighbors, cultivating blueberries and blackberries to sell to the public and at the Davis Fruit Market (aka the Sawdust Mall), attempting to get a Senior Discount at every establishment he ever patronized, saving all good cardboard boxes from the trash (because you never know when you’re going to need a specific size), and eating Bluebell ice cream. Marcus was born on the farm and died on the farm, surrounded by his family. His passing this past Sunday, November 13, 2021, has left a massive hole in our hearts and lives, and we will miss him forever. We love you, Daddy Roe!
H. Marcus Edwards, 87, left this earth for his heavenly home on Sunday, November 7th, 2021, surrounded by his loving family at his residence in Southside Sawdust. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he will be deeply missed. Marcus... View Obituary & Service Information
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H. Marcus Edwards, 87, left this earth for his heavenly home...View More
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