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Jesse Berthal 'JB' Edwards


Jesse Berthal "JB" Edwards, 93, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, March 25, after a brief illness. He was born in 1920 in Pipe Creek on what is now the Northrup Ranch.
Before the age of two, JB and his family moved to the location that became his home for most of the remainder of his life. The son of Jesse William Edwards of Pipe Creek and Edith Buckner Edwards of Tarpley, JB was valedictorian of his class in Pipe Creek High School, graduating in 1937.
In 1940, he married his sweetheart, Helen Callahan, of Bandera. The couple had five children, Jesse B. "Jay" Edwards IV, Jerome Edwards, Jeanette "Jan" Edwards Turner, Jeanene Edwards Mansfield and Joslyn Edwards.
Throughout his life, JB believed in serving his community. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he returned to Pipe Creek to serve on the Pipe Creek School Board and then on the Bandera ISD Board of Trustees for a total of 22 years with both districts.
He was Justice of the Peace in Pipe Creek, helped to organize both the Pipe Creek and Lakehills Volunteer Fire Departments and was appointed by Governor Dolph Briscoe to serve on the Bandera County River Authority Board.
JB was a member and officer in the American Legion and was Precinct 2 Republican Party Chairman. For decades, he served on the Pipe Creek Community Center Board of Directors.
Additionally, he was a charter member of the Bandera County Farm Bureau, patron of the Bandera County Junior Livestock Show and supporter of the Bandera County Little League. JB enjoyed supporting his children's activities and volunteered in any capacity. He also enjoyed and supported the activities of his grandchildren and eventually those of his great-grandchildren.
JB loved the Lord and lived his life trying to follow Christ's teachings. He served as an ordained deacon in the First Baptist Church of Pipe Creek and, with his wife Helen, worked with the church's youth group for many years. He sang in the choir as well as co-teaching an adult male Sunday School class. JB cheerfully served at every opportunity.
Over the years he used his talents in many other ways - as a carpenter, who partnered with his brother to build houses before World War II; always as a farmer and rancher; and as a businessman.
In the early 1950s, JB taught himself to operate bulldozers and other heavy equipment and started a business clearing land and building earthen dams and roads. An able mechanic, he was also a skilled worker and administrator. In 1968, he became a licensed real estate broker, owning and operating a successful real estate office in Pipe Creek.
Given his love of history, JB became known for telling stories about the history of the area and about his family's adventures after taking up land in Bandera County. He gave wise counsel - whether asked for or not - and was a loyal friend. JB could always be counted on to help someone in need. He served as a role model for his family and will be missed by them and many others who knew him.
A loving father, JB will be missed by his surviving children, Jan Turner of Pipe Creek; Jeanene Mansfield and her husband, Keith, of Pipe Creek; and daughter-in-law Carolyn B. Edwards of Bandera.
He leaves behind 10 grandchildren and their families, including David Edwards and his wife, Jennifer, of Smithville; Jess Edwards and his wife, Niki, of Pipe Creek; Justin Edwards and his wife, Katy, of Duncanville; Shiloh Edwards of Bandera; David Coke Turner III of Pipe Creek; Kathy Turner Rogan and her husband, Rob, of Mooresville, North Carolina; Jana Turner McGowan and her husband, Jeb, of Pipe Creek; Bo Mansfield and his wife, Tandie, of Pipe Creek; Connie Mansfield Carter and her husband, Ken, of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas; and Brent Mansfield of Pipe Creek. JB was also the proud great-grandfather of 16 great-grandchildren and uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents; his two sons, Jerome and Jay in 1990 and 2004, respectively; daughter Joslyn in 1995; and only brother William Emmett Edwards in 2002. Helen, JB's wife of 69 years, joined them in Heaven in 2010.
Led by Rev. Ted Bosworth, services were held at Grimes Funeral Chapel in Bandera on Saturday, March 29. Pallbearers were his grandsons, Bo Mansfield, Ken Carter, Brent Mansfield, Justin Reece Edwards, Jess Edwards, David Edwards, Coke Turner and Jeb McGowan. Interment followed at the Pipe Creek Cemetery.