Montevallo Citizen of the Year leaves legacy

James “Jim” Edwards, Montevallo’s 2010 Citizen of the Year, passed away Aug. 9, leaving a legacy of service in the community.

Edwards received one of the city’s top honors March 11 when he was named Citizen of the Year for his contributions to the community.

“We couldn’t have selected a better Citizen of the Year,” said Mayor Ben McCrory. “He will be truly missed. I would classify Jim, certainly, as one of our hometown heroes.”

After serving in World War II and completing a full career with Alabama Power Company, Edwards led an active retirement doing volunteer work around the city, said Mary Lou Williams, president of the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce.

“I think of him as the very best model of active retirement anyone could have,” Williams said. “He just stepped in to make Montevallo better in every way he could.”

Edwards volunteered with Meals on Wheels, delivering meals two to three times a week.

“Jim was kind of like the mailman,” McCrory said. “Sleet, snow, nothing could stop him from delivering those meals.”

He also volunteered at The American Village, where he often drove golf carts and the shuttle for handicapped visitors.

“He just did things for people,” Williams said. “You know, the rest of us might think of doing nice things for people, but Jim Edwards actually did those things.”

He and his wife Jean Crim Edwards were long supporters of the arts in Montevello and were members of the Montevallo Main Street Players, Williams said.

Edwards was also known as a good neighbor and a friend. He was a proud member of the Retired Old Men Eating Out (ROMEO) club.

“I’m going to miss him as a friend, I’m going to miss him as a neighbor, I’m going to miss him as someone to sit in front of at church,” McCrory said. “As Mayor, I realize the city’s also going to miss him.”

For more on Edwards winning Citizen of the Year 2010, visit Shelbycountyreporter.com/2010/03/11/montevallo-honors-best-of-the-city