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The World Needs More Edsels

Beloved Edsel Blevins passes

By Eugenia Jones

The world lost a gentle soul as McCreary County native and icon, Edsel Ford Blevins, was laid to rest earlier this week. Edsel was known throughout the region, particularly in McCreary and Pulaski Counties, for his faith, kindness, gentle spirit, laughter, and two-finger, Pop Stoneman style of banjo picking.
Upon the news of his passing, Edsel’s friends and fans immediately posted tributes and expressions of sadness to Facebook. Those tributes capture the essence of a man who was an inspiration to all. The following are just a few of the many tributes dedicated to a man who was truly loved, admired, and respected.
“Truly a faithful man of God.”
-Lena Spradlin
“Kentucky lost a legend early this morning. I’ve never known a sweeter more gentle and loving soul than Edsel Blevins. I learned so much from him about music and life. How to laugh and love. I’ve lost another hero but he’s gone in to pick with his, and I can see him bouncing with laughter. We’ll miss ya sir! ‘Roll on buddy’.”
-Kevin Dalton
“One fine man.”
-Carolyn Helbert
“Edsel Blevins left this world a “testimony of life”!”
-Judy Bowling Bruner
“Edsel just had one of those spirits you couldn’t help but smile around. We’re all a little richer for having known him.”
-Shella Campbell
“He was so kind and gentle. He loved his mother and father so much.”
-Mary Ann Jones
“He was loved by all that knew him, and he loved every one.”
-Pamela Tucker
“He was such a great man. I cherish memories of him from elementary school at Smithtown.”
-Dapheny King
“Yes, there should be a Mr. Edsel in every child’s life. He was everyone’s friend, but every child had a hero in Mr. Edsel-a protector, an ear if needed, always a positive influence. He had the best and biggest heart. He is such a beautiful human.”
-Debra Tucker
“He was truly one of God’s angels on earth.”
-Bill Johnson
“Edsel F. Blevins was such a good soul. He had genuine unconditional love for everyone he met and considered a friend. He had no hate or bitterness in his soul. Raised in hard times, he lived a simple man’s life. I had some great conversations with him each day and not one time did I walk away not learning something and inspiring me to be a better person. He told me once he always tried to spread happiness and was always honest with everyone he met.”
-Debby Zimmerman
“A Legend and mentor of kindness, indeed!”
-Richard Curtis
“He was a kind hearted soul. I’m remembering him joining with Dick Taylor- Edsel playing the banjo and Dick playing his guitar. What beautiful music they could make! They’d always end with their famous laughter, I can still hear them now.”
-Lois Coffey
“Edsel was such a great man! I met him my 5th grade year. He was the janitor at Smithtown Elementary. Always offering you a quarter to get you a pop! The world needs more Edsels!”
-Tammie Nazario
“Loved you Edsel. You were indeed a dear friend and great picking buddy. You will be missed.”
-Everett West
“Edsel came to the Senior Citizens Center to visit, and he was asked to sing, “Fathers Table Grace.” There was not a dry eye in the whole room! He was such a joy.”
-Arlene Jones
“One of the only Pure souls that I ever had the pleasure of meeting. It is truly a sad day.”
-Megan Mayfield Davis
“We all need to be as humble and nice as Edsel. He taught us all.”
-Beverly Chapman
“Edsel never knew a stranger, and he saw the good in all. His heart was kind. Edsel loved to perform, and his two-fingered, Pop Stoneman banjo licks were one of a kind! However, as much as he loved the banjo, I know Edsel’s greatest happiness in performing was just to be amongst people and give them joy.
With each hand Edsel shook, with each “Have a good day,” he bestowed on strangers at the Dollar Store, with each quarter he slipped to a child to buy a pop, with each stray cat or dog he fed, and with each kind deed Edsel did for his fellow (wo)man along the way, the world became a better place. Love you, Edsel. It was an honor and a privilege to be your chauffer, your manager, and your friend.”
-“Miss Jones”
A complete obituary for Edsel Ford Blevins is on page 7A.

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