John Thomas Edwards passed away at his home on Tuesday, August 27th a week shy of his 72nd birthday. Supported by devoted friends and family, he endured a long struggle with his health over the last 20 years of his life.
John was born on September 3rd 1947 in Sunbury to the late Walter and Clara Edwards. He was the fourth of five sons; Herb, Mark, Scott, and Gene.
After graduating in 1966, in the first high school class of the Shikellamy School District, John enlisted in the United States Air Force. While home on a leave, he met his future wife, Cherie. They maintained a long distance relationship while he was stationed at the Phu Cat airbase in Vietnam, where he worked in airplane maintenance. During another leave, they were married in Hawaii on September 30th 1970. After their honeymoon, John returned to Vietnam for six more months until his service was completed.
Upon returning to Pennsylvania, he found work at the Sunbury Generation power plant, the start of a 40 year career with PP&L, retiring in 2010. In 1992, John and Cherie also purchased a Dairy Queen franchise in Hummels Wharf and grew the business for over six years.
John supported his community in many ways throughout his life in the Susquehanna Valley. He was a member of Zion Lutheran in Sunbury, and served on the Property Committee. John was also a Freemason, and is a Past Master of Lodge 22. Over the years, he has also served as a Rockefeller Township supervisor, and was on the board of directors for A Community Clinic, Inc. in Sunbury from 2008 until 2018.
John pursued a variety of interests and hobbies. He was an avid reader, always curious and learning something new. He followed the stock market, investing frequently, and always had a hot tip to share. He also enjoyed building and flying model rockets and RC airplanes. These hobbies culminated in pilot lessons at the Selinsgrove airport and a solo flight. John was very handy. Anything broken would soon be in his hands as he would attempt to fix almost anything himself. John spent much time with his grandchildren, encouraging and supporting their varied interests.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Clara; his stepmother Evelyn; his brothers Herbert, Walter “Scott”, and Eugene.
John is survived by his wife of almost 49 years, Cheryl (Clayberger); his two daughters, Michelle (James) Thomas and Tammy (Doug) Lytle, both of Sunbury; five grandchildren, Andrea (Steve) Palmer, Jacob and Evan Thomas, and Brayden and Hayley Lytle; one great-grandson, Link Palmer, his brother and sister-in-law, Richard “Mark” and Sharon Edwards of Roseville, CA; his sister-in-law Ethel and Ed Cloughen of Reading, PA; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation beginning at 10am Saturday, August 31st at the Zion Lutheran Church, 15 S 5th St, Sunbury. A funeral service will follow at 11am, Pastor Richard Fangmann officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given in honor of John to Zion Lutheran Church, Sunbury, or Hospice of Evangelical, Lewisburg.
Funeral arrangements being made by the Zweier Funeral Home, 157 Chestnut Street, Sunbury.