Phyllis Vineyard Edwards Profile Photo
1933 Phyllis 2023

Phyllis Vineyard Edwards

June 7, 1933 — May 3, 2023

Phyllis Vineyard Edwards, 89, of Knoxville, TN passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. She was the last surviving daughter of K L and Nora Walker Vineyard. Preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Betty McGaha and Ruth Skeehan, and niece Deborah Bowman. 

Phyllis is survived by her loving husband of over 60 years, Russell D. Edwards, Sr., daughter, Karen E. Cunningham, son Russell D. Edwards II, and Kathy Wyrick Edwards; four wonderful grandchildren, Blake Cunningham (Jenny), Lauren Rivera, William Edwards (Storey), and Elise Rechel (Max); seven great-grandchildren, Declan and Logan Cunningham, Kennedy Rivera, Brooklyn and Camden Edwards, Owen and Katie Rechel; and a host of loving nieces and nephews. 

Phyllis was born on June 7, 1933 at Caney Creek in Polk County, TN, in the villages above Ocoee River. She graduated from Central High School in the class of 1952 and Draughon Business College in May 1954. That same year she began her career at McGee Tyson Properties as their secretary/bookkeeper and continued until 1995 when she retired. In 1984, she was elected to the Board of Directors for Lenoir City Company, whose principals were the Gilpin Family of Virginia. She served in this capacity until December 2020, when the last properties were sold. 

She was a member of South Knoxville Baptist Church until the family moved to the Halls community in 1987. At this time, they transferred their membership to Beaver Dam Baptist Church. She was a faithful member in church activities, including, Silvertone Adult Choir, Martha’s Ministry, Vacation Bible School, and many other ministries when asked to serve. Phyllis continued her involvement until her eyesight failed and volunteering was not possible.

Phyllis (Grandmother, Aunt Kay) will be remembered as a passionate defender of those she loved and being so confident in her faith and convictions, that it was contagious. Her family will deeply miss her homemade cakes and candies, quick wit, driving go karts together at The Track, trips to the lake as a family, and dedication to all Tennessee sports. Go Vols! 

The family will receive friends Friday, May 5th from 5 to 7pm at Beaver Dam Baptist Church with the Celebration of Phyllis’ Life immediately following with Dr. Alan Price officiating. A private graveside service will take place at Greenwood Cemetery at 11am on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Beaver Dam Baptist Church in memory of Phyllis. Condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis Vineyard Edwards, please visit our flower store.


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