John Wesley Edwards of Dunnellon, FL formerly of Arcadia, FL., passed away August 9, 2018 at Citrus Memorial Hospital with complications from a surgery. Born to the late Carl and Catherine Edwards in Portland, Indiana, on November 1, 1940, John was 77yrs. Old.
He is survived by his wife Patricia Porter Edwards; his two daughters, Valerie Hanchar, Sybil Owens, and one daughter from a previous marriage, Belynda Williams; his five grandchildren; his sister, Fran Gunn ; his many nieces, nephews, life long friends and Wilson his chocolate lab and constant companion. He is preceded in death by his sister, Anne Mullendore brother, Richard Edwards.
John Edwards was a man who accomplished his dreams no matter how big and found an abundance of unconditional love from family and friends that few achieve. Among John’s life long achievements were his service to our country, at the age of 18, in the United States Air Force as an E-4 fuel specialist. Serving in Spain for 2 years and Bangor, Maine for 2 years. He left the Air Force and obtained a position with the State of Florida as a Highway Patrol State Trooper serving in Bradenton for 8 years. After leaving the Florida State Troopers he became a US Deputy Marshall with the United States Justice Dept. John was active in local politics and ran for the office of judge in Hardee County. John Edwards left the US Marshalls office to pursue a career in his various inventions, manufacturing, and entrepreneurships. John Wesley Edwards held over 140 US Patents and believed that his inventions were a gift from above. He was a man of faith and a member of the Dunnellon Presbyterian Church. His roots in his religious beliefs began in a small church (Somoset Baptist Church) in Bradenton, FL. His devotion to conserving the land stemmed from his youth. As a young man in rural Indiana, at the age of 9, he worked the fields, borrowing tractors from neighbors and friends. He stated that they would loan him their tractors as long as he kept them in good working condition which is where his love for heavy equipment and many of his ideas and conceptions for his inventions came from. John was an avid gun enthusiast, conservationist, hunter, inventor, entrepreneur who loved to mentor the youth in the history and preservation of our state, not to mention the never ending practical joker. Purchasing 800 undeveloped wooded acres in Arcadia, John spent 15 plus years sculpting and cultivating vast prairies, ponds, and wildlife habitats. Ponds filled with wild iris’, orchids in canopy’s of grandfather oaks, palm hammocks so tall they blocked the sun, were all creatively carved and made into a wildlife paradise. John loved to share his ranch with family and friends for the aesthetic beauty as well as the wildlife management and hunting excursions. Stories of these adventures and excursions with John Wesley Edwards will be repeated for generations to come. A true southern gentleman.