Assistant Chief Michael James Edwards lost his life while responding to an automobile accident with fatalities on March 24, 2018, when the fire engine in which he was a passenger went off the road and hit a rock cliff.
Michael joined the Pratt Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 16 as a junior fireman, sponsored by Charlie Veazey, who was fire chief and someone that Michael valued greatly. Michael was a member of the department for 25 years. He took time away when becoming a member of the Air National Guard for basic training and during the time that he lived in North Carolina. While he was away, his heart remained with the brothers of Pratt Fire Department. Michael was very active during his 25 years there. He was very serious concerning safety when on the job. The junior firemen said that he was constantly lecturing them on being safe and not clowning around during training. He expected them to do their best. One brother from the department said that he wore a different hat when doing his job as assistant chief.
Michael graduated from East Bank High School in May of 1991. He enjoyed both hunting and fishing. His favorite place to fish was Williams River, and he went to his friend Shawn’s farm to hunt or a place close to home called Lower Creek Hollow.
Michael and his fiancée traveled to Tennessee and were married on March 17, 2018, one week before the tragic accident happened. They sent pictures home to let everyone know that they had gotten married. They both said that they were each other’s saving grace.
March 24 was a cool, somewhat rainy and overcast day. Michael and his wife were at the station for a meeting when the call came in. He gave his wife the keys, kissed her, and told her he loved her and would see her later at home. His mom, dad, and special younger brother were waiting for them for dinner that evening. Sadly, Michael did not make it home.
Michael is survived by his wife, Juanita (ReRe) Edwards; his three sons, Hunter, Logan, and Joshua; his two daughters, Brittaney (Matt) and Meredith (Dustin); two granddaughters, Jannah and Lyla; his parents, Robert and Julia Edwards; his sisters, Melissa Thomas (Tim) and Sarai Thompson (Alan); his special brother, Jonathan; his granny, Alice; a special great-aunt, Dorothy; and his mother-in-law, Shirley Snodgrass. He also leaves to cherish his memories many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Michael will be missed by many who valued him as family and friend. He is whole again. He is our special angel.