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Melvin Virginia (Samuel) Edwards
August 31, 2023
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In the early morning hours of Thursday, August 31, 2023, God, who is infinite in wisdom, and in whom Melvin Virginia Samuel Edwards deeply trusted, called her from her earthly labor to her heavenly reward. Her transition was peaceful, in her sleep, and reflected the peaceful way she lived. She was 83 years old and less than one month shy of her birthday.
Melvin was born September 28, 1939 in Fort Gaines, Georgia. She was the fourth child born to the union of the late Pharris Samuel, Sr. and Charlie Bell (Burnett) Samuel. Her early and formative years were spent in Fort Gaines. She graduated from Speight High School in Fort Gaines and soon thereafter migrated north, eventually landing in Hartford, CT where she lived the rest of her life. Early during her Hartford residency, Melvin married J. C. Edwards. To this union a son, Larry, was born. Although she and J.C. divorced, she was blessed by her loving and caring son.
Melvin possessed a very strong work ethic. I guess one can say that it was a family trait. She worked at Stanadyne Corp. in Windsor, CT for more than 30 years until she retired. After retirement, she enjoyed volunteering at the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and always lent a helping hand to her senior neighbors on Coventry Street. She would drive them to their medical appointments and to the grocery store, all without fanfare.
Melvin was a faithful and dedicated member of Bethel AME Church for over 50 years. She was a longstanding member of Bethel’s Senior Usher Board for more than 40 years until her health prevented her from serving. Being an usher was just a natural manifestation of her very humble and serving spirit. Melvin was a very meticulous, sharp dresser who knew how to put together an outfit for any occasion. From her hats down to her shoes, she was a classy dresser. She was a quiet and caring person who loved to bake.
Besides her Parents, Melvin was preceded in death by her only child, Larry Edwards; brother, Pharris Samuel, Jr.; sister, Velma Birt, and brothers-in-law King A. Woods, Sr., and Elliott Birt; and sister-in-law Shirley Samuel.
Left to cherish her precious memory are her granddaughter Arry’l Edwards of Fayetteville, NC; sister Louise Woods of Hartford, CT; brothers Walter Samuel (Gloria) and Leon Samuel (Mary) of Hartford, CT and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. We all are blessed that God saw fit to share Melvin with us for almost 84 years. As she begins her new life in eternity, we know it will be one of joy, peace and happiness because of her strong faith.