Veteran of the Week – WWII Vet Jefferson Wiley Edmondson receives Quilt of Valor
Published 3:52 pm Monday, December 22, 2014
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
World War II veteran Jefferson Wiley Edmondson of Columbiana was presented a Quilt of Valor at a surprise ceremony at The Church of Columbiana, co-pastored by Leslie and Teresa Whiting.
Nominated by his two nieces, Dell Moody and Mary Gene Denney, Edmondson received his QOV from Sarah Atchison who made his personalized quilt.
“I am so honored to receive this quilt,” said Edmondson. “I want to thank everyone involved.”
Edmondson was born on Aug. 17, 1925, to P’lona and Jeff Edmondson, the youngest of four siblings: brother Eugene (Adell) Edmondson; sister Maurene (J.C.) Reinhardt; and sister Ruby Faye (Woodrow) Shirley.
He is the only surviving member of his birth family.
His parents owned the Edmondson Café located across the street from the Shelby County Courthouse.
He graduated from Shelby County High School where he played right guard on the football team.
In 1942 at age 18, Edmondson joined the U.S. Army where he was first sent to Texas and then to Camp Ellis, Ill., where his brother Eugene also served.
During WWII he served in England, France and drove an ambulance for the 115th General Hospital in Germany.
Upon returning from the war, Edmondson met Margaret Wilson who was a waitress at his parents’ café.
They fell in love and married on Feb. 2, 1951, and have been married for 63 years.
They have two daughters, Judy (James) Branch and Jane (Wray) Stainback, one granddaughter Christy Edmondson and four great-grandpuppies.
He retired from Elastic Corporation after 25 years as a maintenance technician.
“My grandfather had a shop behind his house where he had a side business painting cars to make extra money,” said granddaughter Christy. “He spent 25 years as part of the ministry program in the Shelby County Jail. He has always had a servant’s heart and a passion for sharing the word of God. He is known by many in Columbiana for passing out little red pocket versions of the New Testament. He is always finding a way to help and share God’s love. He spends his days reading the Bible, growing flowers, doing yard work, helping his neighbors and watching professional wrestling.