Theoplis Edwards was the fourth child born to Odell and Irene Edwards in Augusta, Arkansas. His mother passed away suddenly while working in Medina, Ohio. Her children were in Arkansas for the summer visiting her sister, Nettie Bridges. After the death of his mother, Theoplis and his siblings remained with Aunt Nettie (as she was then known). Theoplis was baptized as a child at the Augusta Baptist Church in Arkansas.
During his early teenage years, he refused to pick cotton and had to leave Arkansas to reside with Uncle Joe Caesar Howard (his mother’s brother) who lived in Los Angeles. If he hadn’t moved, his refusal would have caused his aunt to be thrown off the farm. A year prior to his graduation, he missed Aunt Nettie so much until he returned to Arkansas to complete his high school education at Carver High School in Augusta, Arkansas.
After graduating from high school, Theoplis moved to Medina, Ohio, and resided with his cousin Charles Henry Howard. He gained employment at the local Dolly Madison Pickle Company. He worked a short while at Tinnerman Products, then was hired at the General Motors Plant in Cleveland, Ohio. After two years, he transferred to the General Motors Plant in Lordstown, Ohio, where he worked for 32 years as a welder and relief man. He retired with 34 years’ service.
Theoplis met the love of his life, Marianne, in Barberton, Ohio. In April 2022, they celebrated 57 years of marriage. Kimberly, their only child, passed away suddenly on April 17, 2009. Kimberly had one son, Jermaine. He and his wife, Phyllicia, had twins—Judah and Jayden. They also have a sister, McKenna. Grandpa loved his grandchildren.
Theoplis was baptized in 2010 at Church of God M.P.G.T., Eld. Henry Brunson, pastor, where he received Jesus as his Lord and Savior. In September of 2010, he was ordained as a deacon at a National Assembly Meeting in Springfield, Ohio.
Affectionately known as “Unk,” Theoplis enjoyed hunting, fishing, and being a V.I.P. with Carnival Cruises. Most of all he loved going to the twins’ choir, band, and sports events. He also aided many in purchasing vehicles from Vandevere (formerly Burt Greenwald) where he was a customer since 1973. He is known for his generosity, willingness to always help, and for his stylish trucks.
He was preceded in death by; parents, Odell and Irene Edwards; sister, Ethel B. Neal (Alvin); brothers, Cornell Edwards, and Ardenia) Roddy; brother-in-law, Rev. Harvey E. Slayton, and daughter, Kimberly Edwards.
Left to celebrate Theoplis’ life are his wife, Marianne Edwards; sister, Lula Bea Slayton; grandson, Jermaine Jordan; great grandsons, Judah and Jayden Jordan and their sister McKenna Davis; sister-in-law, Virginia Edwards, nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends.
Burial will be at Mt. Peace Cemetery immediately following the funeral. A repast dinner for family and out-of-town guests will be held at the Church of God M.P.G.T. Fellowship Hall.