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Bethany United Methodist Church
Saturday March 6th, 2021

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Gwaltney Lee Edwards, Jr.

Gwaltney Lee Edwards, Jr. passed Tuesday, February 16, 2021. He was the son of the late Gwaltney L. Edwards, Sr. and Mary T. Edwards.

Lee, known as “Pop,” to all his grandchildren and great grandchildren, loved to spend time with his family and wife. He enjoyed being outdoors in his garden and loved to take the grandchildren riding on the four-wheeler. He was an active member of Bethany UMC and a lifetime honorary member of the Moonlight Hunt Club. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, NASCAR and cooking on the grill. He served in the Army during the Vietnam conflict. Lee was also known as the Smithfield Genuine Ham Man of Smithfield Foods.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Anne J. Edwards and his children; G. Lee Edwards III (Shelley), Michael J. Edwards (Susan), and Laura E. Smith (Michael); grandchildren, Nicole Edwards (R.J), Maggie Forristall, Kayla Martin (Caleb), Sabrina Edwards, Madison Edwards, Xavier Smith and Aspen Smith; great grandchildren, William Shreves IV, Braden Edwards, Harley Edwards; brother, Wayne T. Edwards (Linda); sister, Joan E. Ragland (Gene) and aunt, Evelyn Munford.

A graveside service with military honors will be held on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 2 PM in the Bethany United Methodist Church Cemetery, 13717 Bethany Church Rd, Smithfield, VA 23430 . R.W Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory in Suffolk, VA is serving the family. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to be made to Bethany UMC, c/o Raymond Edwards, 13088 Mill Swamp Rd, Smithfield, VA 23430.Condolences may be registered online at rwbakerfh.com.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gwaltney Edwards, Jr., please visit our flower store.


So sorry to hear of Lee's passing. I always enjoyed taking customers to the country ham plant and Lee always conducted the tour. He was so interesting with his anecdotal stories. Such a personable man. Always had to laugh at the same old story he would tell of the tour he was giving one time and a lady who was wearing high heels caught one of her heels on something in the plant and was fussing at her husband that she couldn't walk like that so Lee asked her for her other shoe, broke the heel off, handed it back to her and said now you have a matching pair. May fond memories bring you peace and comfort through this difficult time. Rest In Peace Lee!

Mark Dean May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Need to correct myself. Was the ladys husband that asked for the other shoe, not Lee.

Mark Dean May 13 2021 12:00 AM

So sorry to hear of Mr. Lees passing. Prayers to the family during this difficult time.

Tina Wallner May 13 2021 12:00 AM

My condolences to the Edwards family in their time of grieving. I knew Lee and work in the maintenance department same as his son Michael did at the packing plant.

James Brown May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Living near lee we have lost a very special friend. When we visited we often joked 'you'd best take a grocery bag cause lee will try to give you half of everything in his freezer '; or any old time be standing at the back door to share a grocery bag packed full of his love and his kindness !

carolyn m gale May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Lee was a wonderful neighbor and a good friend to me. He taught us a lesson at pons on how to care for and help our neighbors. I will miss him

Jerry Delk May 13 2021 12:00 AM

I am very sorry for your loss. I remember the old days when my parents would visit your family and the good times we all had. Lee was a good man and will be truly missed.

Jimmy Warren May 13 2021 12:00 AM

We both worked with Lee and always thought of him as a friend and true gentleman. He was one of the best. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this sad time. He will be greatly missed. Art & Linda Moore

Art & Linda Moore May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Lee was just the best friend anyone could imagine. It was like he never quit thinking of ways to help you and guide you along. We worked together alot and talked even more. When he spoke of his wife and kids you were best served to find a comfortable seat. He adored them! Lee had deep faith in God and was man enough to speak openly about it. Kept on saying how much he was blessed. When trouble came he trusted even more!

Mike Delk May 13 2021 12:00 AM

My condolence go out to the Edwards family leave with a wonderful man and a good friend I worked with Lee for many years at the meat packing plant. He sure knew what to do with them hams. Rip my friend

Jeff whisenant May 13 2021 12:00 AM