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February 22, 1943 – May 13, 2023

Mr. Willie Lee Edwards, 80, a resident of Brighter Living Assisted Center, Hopewell, departed this life on Saturday, May 13, 2023.  Affectionately known as “Chill Will and Chilly Willie”, was born on February 22, 1943 in Florida.

He was a graduate of Booker T. Washington Junior and Senior High School, Class of 1961 and St. Leo University.  Willie joined the United States Army Special Forces. He retired as Sergeant First Class (SFC -E7).  His military honors and awards are as followed National Defense and Vietnam Service Medal, Senior, Master and German Parachute Badge, Army, Overseas and Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon.  

Willie was a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in North Chesterfield, VA, where he sang on the choir, teacher, usher, and soul winning.  He also served on the prison ministry.  Willie was employed and retired from the Petersburg Sheriff’s Department.  He enjoyed bowling.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Latanza Edwards; son, Phillip Edwards; father, Willie H. Edwards and mother, Julia Mae Edwards; sister, Carrie Bell Edwards; and his aunts, Ophelia Colston and Rita Mae Outing.

Willie leaves to cherish his memory to his children, Cyrus Edwards, Jakia Velazquez and Camil Davis; grandchildren, Sheneika Chance (Gabriel), Chance Edwards, Acelyn Edwards, Ava Davis, Anglin Velazquez, Jr., Angel Velazquez, Aris Velazquez and Aris Velazquez; great grandchildren, Xzaivian, Cartur, Jaxson, Breylon, Kyler and Nova; nieces, Angela Sams, Cynthia Sams, and Michelle Sams Kee; nephew, Willie Sams; devoted friends, Deacon Clarence Lee, Deacon Alvin Coleman, Deacon Leander Hall and Deacon Michael Brown; devoted relatives and friends,  Ramona White, Alberta White, Sherry White Landrum; and a host of cousins, other relatives and friends.

Services will be held 11:00 A.M., Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 6100 Cornerstone Boulevard, North Chesterfield, VA, the Rev. Johnathon Bennett, Pastor. The interment to follow at the Virginia Veterans Cemetery.

In leiu of flowers, the family ask that you make memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society in honor of Willie Lee Edwards.

J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, watch the funeral services live online at