Enid News and Eagle 24/June/2009
Death of Warren Edds has an impact on community
By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Warren Edds never held a public office. He never was successful in business, and there are no statues of him in town.
But everybody knew Edds, and everyone was used to seeing him ride his three-wheeled cycle around town.
His death at age 59 has had an impact in Enid on people who knew him or even just knew who he was.
Edds was supposed to wear oxygen at all times since becoming ill with pneumonia in May. He had not been seen for two or three days when his body was found by a neighbor inside his apartment about 8 p.m. Monday. Enid Police Department is investigating it as an unattended death and said there is nothing suspicious.
His funeral will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Davis Park Christian Church with the Rev. Alan Seibel officiating. Burial will follow at Enid State School under the direction of Brown-Cummings Funeral Home. An account has been set up at Central National Bank for funeral expenses. The funeral home has asked friends for anecdotes to use in his obituary.
Those stories may be sent to familyfirst@brown-cum mings.com.
Edds was born Aug. 19, 1949, to Thomas R. and Cheryl Holland Edds. He lived at Enid State School until earning his statute of independent living. He was a member of Davis Park Christian Church since 1975.
He is survived by his father, who lives in Florida; brother Steve Smith, of Broken Arrow; sister Sandy Brown, of Ohio; and aunt, Gina Crotty, of Stillwater.
Edds volunteered at PEGASYS, Enid’s public-access television station, for 26 years, regularly assisting with camera work. He also was known for his support for Oklahoma State University athletics.
“He always had something positive to say about everyone,” said Wendy Quarles, PEGASYS executive director and a friend of Edds.
Edds could be seen frequently around town riding an adult tricycle donated to him by local business and groups, or at McDonald’s at Maine and Van Buren engaging people in a spirited conversation about OSU athletics.
Edds was a charter member and first president of the Yes We Can Civitan Club, which consisted largely of people with special needs. He originated the name of the club and was nominated as regional director of Civitans for Oklahoma and Arkansas. He also was the club’s highest point producer, earning the name “Mr. 400.” Edds scheduled regular programs on PEGASYS, and the club established the “Chiller Challenge” competition, in which people jump into freezing water to raise money for the Special Olympics program. Edds was 1981 Special Olympian of the Year.
“It’s people with special needs saying, ‘We can do that,’” said Kathy Eck, a sponsor of the club.
“He was an icon in this town. Even if people didn’t know his name, they knew him because of him riding all over the community on his tricycle with the orange safety flag. They knew of him. He had an infectious smile and was always concerned about people. He was just a kind person,” Eck said.
The Enid News & Eagle Web site received a number of postings Tuesday after word of Edds’ death became known.
“Enid has lost a great man, a faithful friend and a dedicated volunteer. Warren will truly be missed,” said Lindy Chambers, executive director of Main Street Enid.
Another stated, “Warren will be missed. He always said hello to anyone that would listen. OSU has lost a fan.”
People who saw him casually said it was a pleasure to know him, that he always put a smile on their face.
Mayor John Criner said Edds was a good resident and encouraged him and the city commission. He went to the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County daily to remain informed on city matters. When the city dedicated a new bridge on West Randolph in 2007, Edds was the first to ride across on his bicycle.
Molly Helm, director of communications and marketing for Autry Technology Center, recalled being a camp counselor at Campfire Camp in high school when some of the clients at Sunnyside Nursing Home came for the day. Warren’s nickname was Jabber as was Helm’s, and she said they immediately struck up a friendship.
“Years later, it has been especially heart-warming to see him working the cameras for PEGASYS, doing something he loved,” Helm said. “His cheery smile and his kind heart will be missed.”