Former SC Gov. James Edwards laid to rest

VIDEO: Former Gov. James Edwards laid to rest
Former SC Gov. Jim Edwards died Friday at age 87. (Photo Source: WCSC)
Former SC Gov. Jim Edwards died Friday at age 87. (Photo Source: WCSC)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Family, friends and political colleagues attended the funeral service for former South Carolina Gov. James Edwards in downtown Charleston Monday.

The service was held at St. Phillip's Church at 1 p.m. Edwards died Friday morning at his home at age 87.

Gov. Nikki Haley attended the service, along with many other politicians and former South Carolina governors.

"His legacy is undeniably humility with public service, with a heart for the people, no question about that," former Gov. David Beasley said. "He always did what was right, standing strong, standing tall, but doing it with humility."

During the service, Edwards' son-in-law, Kenneth Wingate, called Edwards a good man and "the captain of our ship." Edwards was known for three great qualities: humor, humanity and humility, Wingate said.

Edwards was the first Republican governor elected in the State of South Carolina since Reconstruction, holding office from 1975 until 1979. At the time, a governor in the Palmetto state could not run for a second consecutive term.

But President Ronald Reagan appointed Edwards to the position of Secretary of Energy in 1981. Edwards served for roughly two years before stepping down to become the president of the Medical University of South Carolina in 1982. He stayed in that role until 1997.

MUSC President Dr. David Cole said the medical university began to "transform and grow in scope, scale and quality" during Edwards' tenure.

Born James Burrows Edwards on June 24, 1927 in Hawthorne, Fla., Edwards was a dentist and oral surgeon before stepping into the political arena.

The James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine and James B. Edwards Elementary School in Mount Pleasant were named for the former governor.

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