James M. Edwards
Oct 8, 1941 – Nov 25, 2017
JAMES M. EDWARDS
James M. Edwards (“Johnny Lee”) of Bellevue, Washington, went unexpectedly to be with his Heavenly Father on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at his home in Bellevue. He was 76 years young.
James was born in Bunkie, Louisiana on October 8, 1941, to the union of Upton and Viola Edwards. When James was an infant the family moved to Seattle, Washington, where James grew up.
James was predeceased in death by his parents; his siblings Walter, Kathleen, Clarence, Upton, and Abraham. He is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Carolyn S. Borden-Edwards. Also surviving him is his daughter Trenton Mullen (George) of Moreno Valley, California, and grandchildren Markie, Markietta, Terrance, and Ashley, and a host of great-grandchildren; and by his daughter Traycie Jordan (Bruce) of Spanaway, Washington, and grandchildren, Katara, Alexis and Solomon-David. His nephew Alexander Ransom (Nikki) of Bellingham, Washington, was the son of his heart, and he considered their child Alexa Rose to be one of his grandchildren.
His surviving siblings are Earlene Bethea of Seattle, Washington, Velma Smith of Renton, Washington, George (Edmond) Edwards (Lagrima) of Bremerton, Washington, Viola Childress of Mesa, Arizona, Elvina Dailey (Guy) of Pomona, California, and Sam Edwards of Auburn, Washington.
James had a wonderful abundance of nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. He always greeted them by saying “It’s your favorite uncle!” or “It’s my “favorite niece or nephew!”
His family and many longstanding friends were very precious to him. Some of those friends he knew since early childhood! He had a warm, sweet smile and loving demeanor. He gave the gift of love to his family and friends. He was accepting of all those he came into contact with, regardless of how brief the encounter.
James loved being outdoors. He was one of the first black skiers in the area and skied at the local ski slopes as well as at all the great destination ski resorts. He introduced his children, grandchildren and nephews to the world of skiing. At the grand age of 60 he took up snowboarding! Skiing, hunting, long-distance motor cycle trips, hiking, camping, riding bikes locally as well as participating in 100+ mile rides all over the state were some of his passions.
At the time of his death, he owned Eastside Transmission, Inc. Eastside Transmission was established by the original owner, William (“Bill”) Calder, in 1962 and James worked for him from almost the beginning. In the 1970’s Mike Brown came to work for Bill and Ed was Mike’s mentor. In 1980 Ed and Mike purchased the shop from Bill. In 1990 Mike went on to open up his own business and Ed continued with Eastside Trans.
James (known to everyone in the industry as “Ed”) was the first black man to own any kind of shop in Bellevue! Ed was very proud of the shop and the fact that we provided automotive services to multiple-generations of the same families. Ed was “Eastside Ed” for a grand total of 55 years! Ed did not think of himself as a trail-blazer, but he truly was. He was the go-to-guy when anyone was in a quandary about how to fix a car. The shop repaired newer automobiles but Ed himself personally repaired vintage and foreign cars.
He was active for years with Kiwanis and their community oriented outreach. The shop was also active in the Auto Angels program through the Bellevue Presbyterian Church. There are many, many activities and programs Ed was involved with that will not be listed here, but please be aware that he served with pride and received a great many blessings.
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.