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Sylvia K. Edwards, church and community work, food pantry director

June 30, 1931 — Feb. 19, 2016

Sylvia K. Edwards of Buffalo wore many different hats in life: mother figure of her family, church and neighborhood; food pantry director; and teacher of special needs children at the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Buffalo.

Mrs. Edwards died Feb. 19 in her Buffalo home. She was 84.

The former Sylvia King was born in Eldorado, Ark., where she attended public schools.

She married Johnnie Q. Edwards in 1952. The couple raised nine children together.

After a brief stay in Minnesota, she and her family moved to Buffalo. Mrs. Edwards served as the first Sunday school teacher at the Upper Room Church of God in Christ, of which her husband was founder and pastor. She was named president of the music department for District 6 of the New York Western First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ, presiding over a 60-voice choir. She also held many other posts and titles within the jurisdiction.

Mrs. Edwards gave religious counsel to other women in their homes and churches, and took responsibility for children and young parents in her neighborhood, inviting them into her home and feeding them, according to her family. She was employed with the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Buffalo for 22 years. Following her retirement in 1994, Mrs. Edwards headed a food pantry that took responsibility for feeding and clothing many underpriviledged families in the area.

Her husband of 62 years died in 2014.

Survivors include two sons, Johnnie L. and Paul A.; six daughters, Cynthia A. Benning, Sherry K. Robinson, Christina Y., Lisa P., Iola D. and Doris L.; 14 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

A home-going celebration will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Prince of Peace Temple Church of God in Christ, 669 Kensington Ave.