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Roger Joseph Edwards
September 26, 2023
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Roger Joseph Edwards of Woodstock NY passed away on September 26, 2023. Roger was the beloved husband of Martha (forever known to Roger as “Babes”), dear older brother of Dorothy Connor, much loved father of Nanci and Donald Leiching & Susan and Mike Swinton, cherished grandfather to Ian, Brinnah, Aaron, Shannon Leiching and Zander Swinton, proud great-grandfather to Colton Leiching (who we are all so glad he had a chance to meet) along with being “the older sophisticated cousin” among his treasured cousins, and his cousins-by-marriage who became true family to him. Born in Kearny NJ to Joe and Marge Edwards (who he loved very much) on October 10, 1941, he often shared fantastic memories of growing up in Kearny with his cousins and being surrounded by family.
Sports and physical fitness were very important to him. As a child he played soccer and basketball, and as an adult he continued playing basketball in numerous leagues as well as tennis and golf (where his sons-in-law often heard very un-Roger-like words coming out of his mouth). He regularly participated in a weekly bridge club and was a member at the original Nautilus Fitness among others.
He was extremely intelligent and worked his way through Newark College of Engineering and was a proud member of the Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Phi Eta Sigma honorary societies as well as Phi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Beta Alpha Chapter (NJIT) . After graduating as an Engineer, he worked first at General Dynamics in San Diego CA then back to the East Coast to IBM in Kingston NY where Roger and Martha settled and raised a family, in Saugerties then Woodstock (where Roger saved money by painting the entire new house himself!). While at IBM, Roger was awarded numerous patents, earned his masters degree from Syracuse University and retired in 2001. As an IBMer in the 70s, he was offered the opportunity to work at IBM in Hurley UK and the Edwards family had a very grand adventure for a year or so living in England, an experience they all remember with great fondness. Roger made many lifelong friends from work - both Kingston and Hursley - who he remained in touch with for decades.
After retirement Roger and Martha along with his sister Dorothy spent many hours taking the grandchildren on vacations all over the country and an annual family vacation to the Jersey Shore. Roger was an extremely social man and would strike up conversations with just about anyone about anything. He also enjoyed telling stories about the interesting people he met doing so and the wonder of strangers becoming friends. As a father and grandfather, Roger absolutely loved getting to know the friends his kids and grandkids brought to the house. He truly enjoyed kids coming over and left behind numerous stories of teaching some to swim and how to balance checkbooks among others. He had a very special relationship with his sons-in-law and loved them as sons.
There are so many things that mean Roger, Dad, Grandpa to all of us: RJ, absolute undying devotion to Martha, “don’t ask Dad/Grandpa/Roger for an explanation about anything unless you have about an hour or so to spare”, politics, heated discussions, bad driving (which his oldest grandkids have very fond memories of), continually teasing his 9-year-younger sister about her childhood being much more cushioned than his, his generosity and willingness to lend a hand (L.I.N.E. had a much easier beginning with Roger’s help) a grudging love for all the dogs (and sometimes cats) who were always foisted into his life by his family but most of a love and pride of his family - all of them - that was second to none.
You did good dad, you did good.
A Celebration of Roger's Life will be held October 14, 2023 at 1700 Sawkill Road, Kingston NY 12401, time 12:00 noon. Please honor his memory by contributing to the Saugerties Animal Shelter Building Fund (saugertiesanimalshelter.com).