John Clifford Edwards, 76 of Montello and formerly Milwaukee, passed away suddenly on Oct. 21, 2019 due to heart failure related to other medical conditions and recent successful, but grueling treatment for throat cancer. He passed peacefully at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Appleton, surrounded by family.
John was born Nov. 9, 1942 in Batavia, IL to Clifford James and Betty Elizabeth (Hines) Edwards. He graduated high school in Waterford, Wisconsin and entered the U.S. Navy in 1961 at the age of 17. He received training at the Great Lakes Naval Academy and served on one of our nation’s many aircraft carriers during his military career. He was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida for most, if not all, of his military service to our country. John was honorably discharged from the Navy on Oct. 2, 1966. Wishing to further serve his community, John applied to, was accepted into and trained in the Milwaukee Police Academy from March 23rd until June 12th of 1964. He then continuously served the City of Milwaukee until his retirement from the Milwaukee Police Department on May 29, 1995. During his time as a police officer, John helped save a woman who had attempted suicide by jumping from a Milwaukee bridge and, on Dec. 2, 1975, was awarded the Miller Brewing Company’s Civic Award for Heroism.
The year John retired from the department, his daughter, Tracy, followed in his footsteps and joined the Milwaukee Police Department. John’s badge number – 498 – was assigned to her. When she left to join another law enforcement agency, the badge number was officially retired.
On June 14, 1969 John married the first love of his life, the late Karen Phillips in Milwaukee and remained married until her passing on May 4, 2007. The couple had three children during their marriage: Tracy, Lori and John “Johnny”. The family attended Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Milwaukee. John and Karen also spent many years breeding and raising English Springer Spaniels.
Two years after Karen’s death, John met the second love of his life, Bonnie Carpenter, and the couple spent 10 happy years together enjoying going on casino trips and in recent years spending part of the winter in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Besides gambling, John was an avid golfer, boater and fisherman. He also enjoyed traveling; following sports, especially watching the Green Bay Packers; reading; doing crossword puzzles; and spending special times with family and friends.
John is survived by his children: Tracy (Cheryl Hentz) Edwards of Oshkosh, Lori (Kyle Gizelbach) Edwards of Milwaukee and John B. Edwards also of Milwaukee; and grandchildren: Matthew, Megan and Luke Grade; and Jonathan and Elizabeth Edwards. He is further survived by sister, Mary Ann (Greg) Neumann of San Diego, California and their daughter, Jessica; and sister, Donna Edwards of Champaign, Illinois. John is also survived by his fiancée, Bonnie Carpenter and her children: Daniel D. Ott, Tina (Randy) Glynn and their children Jacob and Joshua; brother-in-law, Michael Phillips; and several grand-dogs, relatives and dear friends.
John is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Karen; in-laws Edward and Marcella Phillips, granddaughter, Emily Grade and the family dog, Millie.
A Celebration of John’s life will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the Crawford Funeral Home in Montello with Rev. Michael Bober of Emmaus Ecumenical Catholic Community of Oshkosh officiating. Loved ones and friends will be received at the funeral home from 9:00 AM until the time of service. Inurnment with full military honors by American Legion Post #351 of Montello will follow the service at the Montello City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in John’s name to a charity of your choice or the Budda-Box Fight Against Cancer, PO Box 91, Westfield, WI 53964. Budda-Box was very dear to John.
The family wishes to thank all the medical staff at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center, Appleton, especially those in the Intensive Care Unit. Special gratitude goes to Beth, his primary nurse in ICU. Her compassion, thoughtfulness and tremendous bedside manner were of great comfort and are deeply appreciated.
Crawford Funeral and Cremation Service of Montello and Oxford is honored to be serving the family. www.CrawfordFH.com
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.
Budda-Box Against Cancer
P.O. Box 91, Westfield WI 53949