John Edwards

Celebration of life

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Sunday, January 14, 2024
First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan
178 Oenoke Ridge Road
New Canaan, Connecticut, United States

Obituary of John Alexander Edwards

It is with heavy hearts but fond memories that we remember John Alexander Edwards, Jr. of New Canaan, CT. John passed away on December 2, 2023 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. He was 81. 

John was born November 8, 1942 in Greenwich, CT to John Alexander Edwards and Reid Grandy Edwards. He attended Greenwich Country Day School, followed by Taft and then Boston University. He went on to earn Master’s of Industrial Engineering and Master’s of Business Administration degrees from Columbia University. It was here that in 1971 he met the love of his life, Katherine Bette Coe. They were married August 26, 1972; the first chapter in a 51 year love story.

John worked as a Comptroller in the reinsurance industry, but beneath the suit and tie beat the heart of an architect. Thus upon his retirement in 1990 he embraced this passion, embarking on a second career designing and renovating homes–both his own and a number of others around New Canaan. The home he passed away in was his favorite canvas, one that he poured his heart into over the years. It was a family joke that their “downsizing” house grew over the years to be larger than any other they’d owned as John continued adding to it. 

Family was of utmost importance to John. He believed in showing up, most especially for his wife, children and grandchildren. Over the years you could count on one hand the number of children’s events or important moments he missed. And that devotion extended to all those he loved–aunts, uncles, a stunning number of cousins and a dear collection of friends. Whatever the need, you could count on John to be there–a quiet but steady presence–who always, and always quietly, found a way to help (with a sly grin and subtle wit). 

John was a lifelong athlete. He played varsity soccer at Boston University and was an avid golfer, but his most enduring love was for hockey, which he played from childhood into his seventies. He played with a series of teams including the Maryland Old Crabs, the New York Commuters and for many summers in Charles Schultz’s annual Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament held in Santa Rosa, CA. 

While John loved home, he was also an avid traveler. Over the years the family summer trips to Europe, Africa, China etc. became the stuff of lore. John wanted his children to know the greater world beyond their somewhat sheltered upbringing, and crowded these trips with a manic and determined intensity. In later life, John and Kathy continued their explorations - at a more relaxed pace! - in the company of dear friends and journeyed to their now far-flung friends and family whenever and wherever needed.

John is survived by his loving wife of 51 years Katherine Edwards, son John Alexander Edwards III (Jaety) and wife Geraldine Edwards, daughter Melissa Edwards Pearson (Lissa) and her husband John Pearson, and four granddaughters: Caitlyn and Hayley Edwards; and Katherine and Margaret Pearson (Mae). He is also survived by his sister Dorothy Doran (Dotsie), her husband Robert Doran, nieces Susan Doran and Kathy Gesualdi, and a great-nephew Reid Gesualdi. John is also survived by his two sisters in law and their families. 

We are deeply indebted to John’s caregivers, most especially Neville Travers, for the years of compassionate care which enabled John to fight his battle with Parkinson’s at home and with dignity.

A celebration of John’s life will be held Sunday January 14, 2024 at 2:00 pm, First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan, 178 Oenoke Ridge Rd. Considering John’s love of creating homes, the family suggests contributions to Habitat for Humanity. 

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