- George Edmondson
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Memories of George Edmondson
GEORGE EDMONDSON CLASS OF 1961
Since our forty years celebration as a class the Lord has called home one of His faithful servants, George Henry Edmondson. He was 78, and died peacefully May 11, 2004 at St Elizabeth Hospice Unit, Covington, Kentucky. Mr. Edmondson was a veteran of World War II and a prominent local educator primarily within the Kenton County public school system from 1947 until his retirement in June 1978. He had enlisted in the US Army on his 18th birthday the year I was born in 1943. He served in the 33rd Armored Regiment of the 3rd Armored Division during the five major battle campaigns in the European Theater of Operations. Upon returning from the war, Mr. Edmondson enrolled in Georgetown College where he graduated with a B.A. degree in 1949. During this period, he also married his loving wife of 56 years, Lois Irene Jump, in 1948.
While teaching full time at the high school level, he continued his studies and completed a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Kentucky in 1958. He served as principal of Park Hills Elementary from 1956 – 1960; principal of Simon Kenton High School from 1960 – 1967; and Curriculum Director of the Kenton County Schools from 1967 to 1978.
Mr. Edmondson developed life threatening heart conditions in the mid 1980’s and subsequently received a heart transplant from Dr. David Melvin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in 1988. At the time, he was the oldest transplant recipient in the program. With his renewed health, he spent his remaining 16 years as an avid spokesman for the heart transplant program, a devoted member of Latonia Baptist Church in Covington and an active participant in the Third Armored Division Association.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lois Irene Edmondson; daughters, Kathleen Solter and her husband, Jim, of Flemingsburg, Ky. and Emily Gail Mills and her husband, Randy, of Frankfort, Ky.; son, Gary Lee Edmondson and his wife Marci of Bellaire, Texas; and brother, William Ray Edmondson and his wife Allyene of Independence. George is survived by eight grandchildren; Jennifer Lynn Hacker of Covington and her husband, Chris, their daughter, and George’s only great-grandchild, Avery Grace Hacker; Kerri Ann Metzger and her husband, Josh, of Ft. Thomas; Amanda Christeen Mills, Grant Thomas Mills and Tory Marquise Robertson of Frankfort, Ky.; Georgia Lee Edmondson, Nathan Henry Edmondson and Emily Elizabeth Edmondson of Bellaire, Texas.
His church family at Latonia Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and a Sunday school teacher for 23 years also survives Mr. Edmondson. He is also survived by his numerous fellow veterans of the 3rd Armored Division Association for which he served in numerous capacities, including honorary President and host of its 56th reunion in September 2003, which was held in Northern Kentucky. I can remember how disappointed he was when I invited him to the Pioneer Days Picnic in September of 2003 because he could not attend due to his role as host. He had attended several class reunions including the class of 61 our 40th Simon Kenton reunion. Our class was his first as principal of Simon Kenton. I remember him for his leadership and sensivitivity. Taking the reins after Rubin Hinsdale was a formidable task. He was a true educator always striving to bring out the best in people. We had a teacher, who was struggling with some illness and Mr. Edmondson had to step in and take over the production of our senior class play, “Papa Knows Best” I was Papa, Alonzo K Page and without Mr. Edmondson’s help we would not have been able to successfully complete what turned out to be a wonderful event. I never will forget how he professionally dealt with the ailing teacher while protecting the education process. He was a true gentleman and Christian. He never retired from learning and teaching others. We as the class of 1961 as he said, “you were my honeymoon class” will always cherish our memories of him. After leaving the school system he and his wonderful wife Lois, spent many years traveling the world as professional educational host for many tours with the citizens of America. He was the Lord’s servant in many ways. To all of his former students he was Mr. Edmondson, a friend with whom we could share our inner-most thoughts and from whom we would receive the Wisdom of Solomon. To him and the many other coaches, teachers, classified and unclassified workers in the Kenton County Schools System we will always be thankful that you made us a part of your lives. May God bless all of you forever?
Former Superintendent of Public Instruction Commonwealth of Kentucky
Class of 1961 Simon Kenton
June 11, 2011
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