Rotary Club Of Bishop's Stortford
Registered Number 274178
Brian Edwards – Obituary
Brian Alfred Edwards passed away in his sleep on January 9, 2021 due to COVID-19. He was preceded in death by his father Ebenezer, mother Winifred (Roberts) Edwards, and brother Raymond. During his 84 years he lived a full life, successful both in business and retirement, leaving a legacy to be proud of. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, godfather, and friend to many until the very end.
He is survived by his sons Robert (Patricia) and Christopher (Elizabeth), grandchildren Alice, Cereys, James, and Zoe. He also leaves behind countless lifelong friends and colleagues who were touched by his spirit and generosity.
He was born in the London Borough of Barnet in 1936 and grew up in Southgate where his brother Ray was born. Despite a seven-and-a-half-year age gap they remained close throughout their lives. Through his early years he enjoyed close-knit relationships with his extended family in London. After school he served his apprenticeship at Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) and was selected to go to the USA in 1959 (the only “young person” on the team). Brian worked at ICS in New Jersey. He married Judith (Braun) in 1962. After a brief stop in the Washington DC area the family returned to England. They settled in Green Tye a small village near Harlow where Brian worked at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL).
In 1971 Brian was given the opportunity to head up a multinational team working on common protocols for telephones and switching (prior to Britain joining the EU in 1973) at Laboratoire Central de Telecommunications (LCT) in Paris, France. The family then moved to France for 2 years. They returned to England in 1974 and Brian returned to STL where he continued to progress in senior management of the research facility. The family moved to Bishop’s Stortford, home to Brian for the next forty-two years.
Sadly, Judy died in 1986, and to this day she remains the love of his life. Shortly afterwards Brian retired and used his skills and contacts to continue to consult on European telecommunications topics. Following the acquisition of STC by Northern Telecom (which later became Nortel) and the subsequent financial collapse of Nortel, Brian was instrumental in negotiating a settlement for the employee pension fund. He became President of the Quarter Century Club in 1987 (a group of former employees who had worked for the original STC for 25 years or more). The annual dinners that Brian and Vi Maile planned were a highlight each year.
Brian was passionate about helping others through his work with the Bishop’s Stortford Civic Federation and the Rotary Club of Bishop’s Stortford. He channeled the same drive, passion, and caring to these ventures that made him successful in his working life. He joined the Rotary Club in 1996, serving as President in 2008/2009, and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship in 2013. He was especially passionate about Rotary’s Purple Pinky Project to work to eradicate polio worldwide. Through the Civic Federation he was an active campaigner for a more considered approach to the development of Bishop’s Stortford to retain the character of the town.
Brian was an active walker, taking two coast-to-coast walks for charity, ascending Kilimanjaro at age 60, and trekking to Machu Picchu at age 70. He continued to push himself to walk daily until November of 2020 when he fell and broke his hip.
Brian remained in Bishop’s Stortford until late 2016 after which he resided at Mountfitchet House in Stansted for his last four years. Brian’s children would like to give special thanks to the care givers at Mountfitchet House and to Pauline Phillips and family for their support over the last years of Brian’s life.
Brian found special enjoyment in his work with the students at Bishop’s Stortford High School through the Interact Club. In lieu of flowers the family would prefer donations in his name to the Rotary Club of Bishop’s Stortford’s Charity Fund.
Rotary Members are enthusiastic, fun loving and active volunteers, who give their time and talents to serve communities both home and abroad. They are dedicated men and women who share a common interest in helping others. Established nearly 70 years ago The Rotary Club of Bishop's Stortford is an integral part of Rotary International who have clubs in almost every country in the world.
Registered Number 274178
With fond memories of Brian who was a wonderful and welcoming neighbour to us after we moved into Field House in 2004, always keen to help with cutting the hedge or taking the dog for a walk if we were out all day. We have missed stopping for a chat with him on the drive since he moved from Field End and Westfield Road hasn’t been the same without him. He has left a great legacy through his community spirit and in particular encouraging the tradition of the Westfield Road New Year get-togethers which have been a great way to get to know new neighbours. I’m sure they will continue long into the future and we will certainly raise a glass to Brian when we meet. He would like that. Andrew and Robyn Brown
Mr Andrew Brown
Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers Keith and Mary Beck
Mr & Mrs Keith Beck
With our love and deepest sympathy.
Mr & Mrs Lesley Buckland
I was grateful to Brian for the warm welcome he extended to me when I joined the Rotary Club of Bishop's Stortford. An inspirational gentleman who will be fondly remembered. My thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
Mrs Wendy-Jo Atter
Brian and I have been friends since working together in the 1980s. Always an excellent companion with a wide range of interests, sense of humour and personal empathy. His was the epitome of a life well lived; from his professional activities, through his life with his family, to a retirement energetically involved in many aspects of the community, and a good friend to so many. We will all miss him.
Mr Peter Selway
Dear Rob and Chris, Please accept our sincere condolences for your very sad loss. I felt privileged to be able to join you and celebrate your Dad's life today and learn about his life and experiences. We first moved into Westfield Road in 1999 and met Brian very early on when we were warmly welcomed into the community. Brian was a wonderful man and someone we had a lot of affection for. He always showed a friendly interest in us as a family and in particular as to how our [then young] daughter Maya was doing at school. I remember your Dad always smiling, no matter what was going on. Your Dad's tireless efforts to keep the community together, champion important causes for the betterment of all and also act as the unofficial host of ceremonies at the annual Westfield Road New Year parties was very well regarded. Brian was always keen to hear people's news and was considerate to his neighbours. He was always in good humour and had a joke to share. It will not surprise you that your Dad was warmly well respected by us all. His passing is very sad and will leave a hole in this community that will not be filled. His memory though will live on. Our very best wishes in this difficult time. Michael and Maggi Hoddy
Mr michael hoddy
With many happy memories of a remarkable and kind gentleman
Mr & Mrs Richard & Jenny Price
Brian, a perfect gentleman, loving,caring, kind and thoughtful. So many memories, many concerts, walks and daily conversations. The hugs given and recieved when needed by both having a bad day. Nearly 40 years of sharing our families ups and downs. Best and closest of special friend always loved and sadly missed always . Pauline
Mrs Pauline Phillips
To Brian, thank you for being such an inspiration and someone to look up to for my self and Sarah. Thank you for always asking how we are and saying if there is anything you could do to help and meaning it! Thank you for your hugs. Always remembered, forever in our hearts. Wendy and Sarah
Mrs Wendy Lavender
With fondest memories of Brian and of our many and always interesting conversations. Our sincere condolences to the family. Roger and Jackie Hill
Mr & Mrs Roger and Jackie Hill
Sending our love and deepest sympathy, Kate, David, Ed and Liv Smail
Mrs Kate Smail
Please accept the heartfelt condolences of the Weber-Boustani Family. When I was growing up, Brian was like a member of our family, very close to my parents, and known affectionately to me as my "English godfather". I have known him all my life and he has been an iconic, inspirational figure to me, which is something I am sure I share with many others, because he touched the lives of everyone he met. I have such wonderful memories of all his trips to Paris, including a few unforgettable Thanksgivings and other dinners (one with Rob, Patti and the girls). I once had the pleasure of accompanying him on a lovely Rotary outing to Giverny. My too-infrequent trips to England always included a visit to see him while he was living at Field End; our daughter discovered the musical The Lion King on the West End with him... I loved Judy very much too, and when I was a student in Paris was lucky enough to spend some of my school vacations with the Edwards family. My heart goes out to Rob, Patti, Chris and Liz; I celebrate his life and my wonderful good fortune to know your Dad.
Mr & Mrs Barbara and Christian Weber-Boustani
Thinking of you all at this very sad time. Brian will live on in our hearts and happy memories forever. “And there is sweetness in the laughter of all the stars........... And in the memories of those you love.” Our love Sandra and Roy
Mr & Mrs Sandra and Roy Childs
In fond memories of Brian
Mr & Mrs Frank Bengtsen
We have lived in Westfield Rd for 20 years and Brian has been a very good friend and a great support to us all ,He was a gentleman and he lived life to the full until he had to go into the Care Home . He spent those last years in a very brave manner and when visiting he was always very interesting to talk to and enjoyed our gifts of bottle of wine .We will miss him and our thoughts are with the family at this sad time so far away Les and Maureen Clark
Thanks for your kindness and patience when teaching me to ring church bells. The world has lost a true gentleman
Mr & Mrs Doug Wendy Wyatt
With fond memories of Brian. He was such a caring friend and neighbour and did so much ‘good work’ in Bishop’s Stortford. Caroline and Ian Paskins
Mrs Caroline Paskins
Such happy memories Brian, sleep well.
Mrs Carole Higgins
We moved into Westfield Road seven years ago, and Brian was so friendly and welcoming. He was the heart and soul of the community on the street, and it was a pleasure to have known him.
Mr Chris Cousins
We greatly appreciated the contribution which Brian made in helping to establish the Civic Federation and the support which he gave to it. We were only sorry that declining health meant that he could no longer attend our meetings but we knew that he continued to maintain a keen interest in local affairs on line. We send our condolences to his sons.
Mr & Mrs Marie and John Rhodes