William Eugene “Gene” Edwards passed away on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Hock Family Pavilion surrounded by his family and friends. Gene was born March 15, 1948, in Durham, North Carolina to Joseph Tharpe and Julia Shadrach Edwards. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Tom (AKA Hugh’s brother); and his beloved son, Scotty Morris Edwards. He is survived by his daughter, Gayle Passmore (husband Frank); granddaughter, Jessica Price (husband Jeremy); grandsons, Grayson and Jayden Paynter; bonus grandson, Michael Passmore; bonus granddaughter, Juliette Passmore; great-grandson, Easton Price; great-granddaughter, Emmy Price; brother, Hugh Edwards (wife Linda); niece, Sherri Bumgarner (husband Keith); nephews, Joey and Jeremy Edwards; and his special friend Mary Lynn Massengill.
He graduated from Southern High School in June of 1968. He served as a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force from October 29, 1968, until he was honorably discharged on August 31, 1976. He received his Associates in Applied Science on June 20, 1979, from Durham Technical Institute.
He worked at IBM from 1978 until he retired in 2003. Subsequently he went to work at the Durham Public Schools in Transportation Services on September 13, 2004, until he retired on April 30, 2010.
He joined the Oak Grove Lodge #750 in February 1985, became a Master Mason in 1991 and proudly served as a mason for over 38 years. He was also a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason. He became of member of the Triangle Shrine Club in 1986 where he was a very active. He served as president for many years and dedicated most of his time to raising money to support the Shriners Hospital and the Masonic Home for Children. He was also a member of the Tobacco Road Hillbilly Clan #27 where he served as the director for many years. He supported the hillbillies by providing numerous old cars, tractors and trucks that were used for many years in a lot of parades.
He recently was awarded as the first recipient of the Masonic Home Children’s Organization Dan Rice Orphans’ Friend Award on April 26, 2023, in recognition of all he has done to help the children at the Masonic Home.
A visitation will be held from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Friday, May 5, 2023, at Hudson Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Olive Branch Baptist Church with Rev. Tim Wheeler officiating.
In lieu of flowers the family would like to have donations made to the Triangle Shrine Club to support the Gene Edwards Memorial Scholarship Fund. Donations can be sent to Triangle Shrine Club PO Box 11705 Durham, NC 27703.