In memory of

Delores "Dee" Marlene Edwards

May 7, 1935
Nov 19, 2023


Delores “Dee” Edwards, 88, died November 19, 2023, in Salem, Oregon from ovarian cancer. 

Dee was born May 7, 1935, the last of nine children, to John Ward and Sarah Elizabeth Graves in Kennewick, Washington.  She grew up in a loving Christian home in Kennewick where the family owned a successful car dealership. 

From a young age Dee had a natural talent for music.  She began singing solos and duets in church at 8 years old, and she learned to play the piano at a young age. 

Dee graduated in 1953 from Kennewick High School with a music scholarship then attended Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho to study music. 

In November 1955 Dee married her college beau, Don Edwards, also a music major.  The couple were ministers of music together in Nazarene churches in Nampa, Idaho; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Nyssa, Oregon; and in two Evangelical United Brethren churches in Salem, Oregon.  They had four children: Greg, Kim, Jeff, and Robyn.  Jeff died from an illness in 2019.

In 1970 Dee and her husband divorced and Dee and the three youngest children moved back to Kennewick to live with Dee’s mother.  The next year Dee took a position in Salem, Oregon as the director of the Salem Christian Day School at the First Church of the Nazarene, where she held that position for four years.

Dee taught private piano lessons for 10 years.  She also worked as a music teacher in several elementary schools; a salesperson in the children’s department of J.C. Penney’s; a referral coordinator at Eldred Realty; and she retired from State Employees Credit Union after serving there for 16 years.

Dee’s life purpose was “Born to Love,” and she looked for every opportunity to show love to others.  She had a heart for the homeless and was involved in Salem’s Union Gospel Mission for many years, providing ministry through music, spiritual counsel, and prayer.  She was a natural writer and wrote several books, two of which became published.  Dee enjoyed her involvement with Prime Timers, the senior citizens group of her church, Family Life Church, where she made many dear and lasting friends.  She loved her involvement in her church’s Royal Family Kids Camp where many summers she served at the camp’s registration desk.  Dee was an avid fan of the Portland Trailblazers, even keeping meticulous records of every game including player stats.

Dee is survived by three of her four children – Greg, Kim and Robyn – seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

Service Information

Memorial Service
December 9, 2023 2:00 pm
Family Life Church
1675 Wallace Rd NW Salem, OR 97304

Messages of Sympathy

  1. Staff of Johnson Funeral Home says:

    Thank you for trusting Johnson Funeral Home with her arrangements.

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