Cover photo for James Anderson Edwards's Obituary
1937 James 2024

James Anderson Edwards

September 22, 1937 — January 23, 2024

Appleton


James Anderson Edwards (Jim) passed away peacefully at Prairie Home on January 23, 2024, at age 86. He was born Sept. 22, 1937 to Walter Anderson Edwards and Agnes Nettie (Newman) Edwards and grew up with his brother Bob in Los Gatos, California, where he spent summers in the redwoods and Yosemite, worked the orange groves, and became an Eagle Scout. Jim earned his BA at San Jose State and served in the Navy as a navigator aboard the USS Estes carrying the admiral of the Pacific fleet. 

A dance to ‘Moon River’ started a courtship that bloomed into a joyous 62 year marriage of Jim and the love of his life, Rachel Ellyn DeMoss Edwards. Jim’s MBA at UCLA was the foundation for his career in finance. Jim was a doting husband and a steadfast, loving father. He loved nature photography and traveling on voyages of discovery sailing and exploring with Rachel, with their children, and later with their dear friends, embarking on adventures filled with camping, biking, and history. 

Beethoven and Mozart filled Jim’s office, where he welcomed visitors to see his latest nature  photography or writing project. The family fostered and raised a baby raccoon that fell down the chimney, who when older would follow Jim on his nature walks down the creek behind the house, where he took his children, and later his grandchildren. Jim was a voracious reader of history, science, the arts, and Horatio Hornblower. He loved sharing books like ‘Andy and the Lion’ to his grandchildren, playing Scrabble with them, helping them with homework, cheering them on in their efforts, attending their plays, and distributing his captivating sports photos to his children’s teammates’ families.

Jim was a gregarious host and a born lecturer. He loved giving arts, history and science presentations to his senior living neighbors, to his friends, and to his grandchildren’s schools. A highlight presentation was a Yosemite journey he and Rachel hosted for the extended family. Jim retired and his nature photography flourished and was awarded in art contests, displayed in community exhibitions, and is now featured on a permanent eagle photo plaque on the Appeton Nature Trail.  

Jim is survived by his loving wife Rachel, their children John Edwards (Jill), Steve Boyer-Edwards (Kathi), and Erin Dial (John); grandchildren Max, Elise, Abby, Asher, Linnea, Ian (Rachael), Mia, Noah, Larry, James, Alex and Katherine; brother Bob (Pam), nephew Jeff DeMoss (Heidi) grand nephews Andrew and David, niece Jen VanDerPloeg (Dan) and grand niece Delaney.

Jim and Rachel have been active members of First United Congregational Church of Christ in Appleton, Wisconsin, and of the Seekers family of friends at Spring Valley United Methodist Church in Dallas.

We are grateful for the love and support Jim received from so many wonderful caregivers at Prairie Home in Menasha and Eagle Point in Appleton. We miss Jim, we celebrate him with you, and we carry his legacy forward together. We are grateful to Jim’s family of faith, and we are thankful to be part of God’s loving family.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to consider a donation in Jim’s memory to Wisconsin Parkinson’s Association, the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust, Covenant Point Bible Camp (Iron River MI), or First Congregational Church of Christ.


Celebration of Life to be held at First Congregational Church of Christ, 724 E South River Street, Appleton, WI 54915 on January 27th at 2024 at 11 am.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Anderson Edwards, please visit our flower store.

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