Dr. Rayford Norman Edgar

Published 11:02 am Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dr. Rayford Norman Edgar, 91, died Tuesday, August 8, 2017, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford.  Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Water Valley, with burial to follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.  Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Seven Oaks Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.

He is survived by his wife, Teresia Bagguley Edgar of Water Valley; one daughter, Jayne Edgar River (Keith) of Water Valley; two granddaughters, Heather River McLellan and Steffi River Larson, and three great grandchildren.

A lifelong resident of Water Valley, he was born September 15, 1925 to the late William Bryant Edgar and Lucy Belle Ware.  He graduated from Water Valley High School, attended the University of Mississippi and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee.  He served in the United States Navy in World War II aboard the USS Ainsworth in the South Pacific theater and achieved the rank of Petty Officer First Class.

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Dr. Edgar began his practice in Water Valley in 1950.  From then until his retirement in 1995, he helped thousands of people with their vision.  He performed far more than eye examinations and writing prescriptions, always taking time to get to know each and every patient.  He was a member of the State Board of Optometry, and served on the National Board of Examiners.  He joined the Lions Club in 1950 and helped them fulfill their mission of sight conservation.  He received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Lions Club International.  He also received the State Department of Optometry Lifetime Member award in 2013.

He was a member and Director of the VFW and American Legion, served on the Board of the Mississippi State Department of Health, Water Valley Housing Authority Board, Yalobusha County School Board, a charter member of the Water Valley Chamber of Commerce, Casey Jones Museum committee and Board member, and a Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board member.

Dr. Edgar was an accomplished percussionist, having played the drums in many bands and combos. He loved music, especially Big Band and Gospel, and enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie of his fellow musicians.  He was an outdoorsman, enjoying fishing and especially bird hunting, along with his love of sports.  He was an accomplished athlete, and played football, tennis, golf, and baseball.

He was a member of First Baptist Church in Water Valley, where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, Adult Choir member, and served on the Youth and Finance committees.  He loved his Church and her people, where he gave of his time and talents unselfishly.  He loved his community and Water Valley, where he spent his whole life making it a better place to live and grow up.  He loved his family, and gave his all to be the best husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Memorials may be made to:

Lions Club International Foundation, Department 4547, Carol Stream, IL, 60122, or

First Baptist Church, P. O. Box 1472, Water Valley, MS 38965

Kinard, of North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Donations and memorials can be made in Mrs. Embry’s honor to Laodicea Primitive Baptist Church; c/o Mary Stepp; 175 Walker Road; Thaxton, MS 38871.

Online condolences can be left on the Tribute Wall at www.colemanfuneralhome.com.