Mrs. Barbara Jean Edwards passed away peacefully at Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Florida on November 20, 2019. She was born September 27, 1924 in Warsaw, Indiana to Hobart and Esther (Robbins) Creighton and raised on the family chicken farm nearby in Atwood. She learned from them values of honesty, thrift, kindness, unconditional love of family, and gratitude in God which she sought to instill in her own children. While young, Barbara served as a page in the Indiana Legislature and later attended Indiana University School of Business where she also was a clarinet player in the IU Marching Band.
Barbara was married to Stanley L. Sowerwine on June 30, 1946 with whom she bore five children, Sue Lynn, William Ernest, James Edward, Nancy Lou, and Thomas Glenn. She was a great homemaker and substitute teacher who cared deeply for both her own and other children. Stan authored Lucky All Our Lives: The Saga of A Common Man which details their lives together for over forty-five years. Barbara “smiled again” marrying Arthur Richard (Dick) Edwards on January 21, 1995, a wonderful second marriage for both. As Barbara notes in her own book, Lest We Forget: The Rest of the Story, she truly was “sitting under the right tree.” She had a dream and together they built her beloved cottage on Crystal Lake, south of Atwood, which continues to be an ideal place for gatherings and tours of the family farm.
Barbara traveled extensively across the world with both Stan and Dick, often expressing delight over unexpected personal encounters with locals in other cultures and the awesome natural beauty of God’s handy work. She also loved playing bridge with friends, P.E.O., gardening, dancing, church fellowship, and especially hanging out with her greatest legacy; her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
Barbara was predeceased by her parents, her two husbands, and her two daughter-in-laws, Lyn and Hulya. She is survived by her sisters, Josephine Bodle and Martha Milton, her brother, Edward Creighton, her five children, fifteen grandchildren, and seventeen great-grandchildren. As she wrote in her autobiography to her children, “Keep close to your Heavenly Father. You’ll need him much more than you know.”
A memorial service will be held in Atwood, Indiana later during Summer 2020. In lieu of flowers, donations would be welcome in her name to The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Enterprise, Florida (fumch.org) or to Hope Hospice in Fort Myers, Florida (hopehcs.org).
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