Edward F. Southern, Sr.
Edward F. Southern, Sr. ( Ed to most, JJ to his most favorite people) left his earthly body on November 14, 2023.
The youngest of three children, Ed was born on April 9, 1936 to Early Floyd and Edith Marshall Southern. A true “Newberner” Ed lived all but a few years on what is now Whitt Southern Road, attending grade school in the one room Newbern School and being a lifelong member of the Newbern United Methodist Church.
From an early age, Ed loved to work. He also loved to tell stories of days gone by. Some of our favorites include: memories of Panther Creek with his Mama’s people, living beside his grandparents and helping on the farm, working for Conrad’s (he started there when he was 10). He had so many stories to tell about his time on Claytor Lake. Ed drove a school bus while he was in high school, fondly recalling all those “wild kids.” Around this time, he also began working for his Uncle, Frank Marshall. Eventually, he and his brother bought part of this business and formed Southern Welding and Machine Shop. No job was too big or too small. Their reputation for quality work led them to becoming the gold standard in Maintenance Machinist and Welders for many years in this area. After the business was sold, Ed started his second career at the tender age of 55, selling insurance and real estate.
Ed loved to travel and was so proud of the fact he had been to almost every state, but Alaska and Wisconsin always eluded him. He often took off in his mobile home to Ocean Lakes in Myrtle Beach, SC and a trip wasn’t complete until you traveled out into the “back country” to eat at Luvanne’s. He also loved to go out west and “check up” on how the Crazy Horse Monument was coming along.
Ed married Gloria Lucille Ware and together they raised two boys, Edward F. Southern, Jr. and Kenny R. Southern. They also raised Gloria’s sister, Helen “Ray” Ware Warf, after the death of her mother.
The role Ed loved more than any other was being “JJ.” Ed was an amateur radio enthusiast and his oldest granddaughter picked up on Ed being called “JJ.” 47 years later, he is even called Great PawPaw JJ. He doted on his only grandchildren Christy and Eric. These two souls held the key to his heart and will always remember and be thankful for all the many ways he taught, protected, encouraged and loved them. He became the proud Great PawPaw JJ with the births of Caleb, Tyler, Zane and life only got sweeter when Elliott and Amelia came along. These seven souls were the shining stars of his world.
He is survived by his children (Eddie and Kenny) grandchildren (Christy (Johnny) Underwood and Eric (Jessica Pabst) Southern, great grandchildren, (Caleb, Tyler and Zane Underwood, Elliott and Amelia Southern) sister-in-law (Helen “Ray”Warf, nephew (Ed “Bit” Warf), along with many other family members and countless friends.
Ed will be greeted by his parents, siblings (Donald and Marie), his wife (Gloria), niece, (Shannon) and many other family members that he loved to keep alive in memory through his storytelling.
The family would like to offer their sincere gratitude to Nurse Haley Seagle and Physical Therapist Jeanie Grant for going above and beyond with the level of care they provided to Ed. His son, Eddie, became his main caretaker in his later years and his devotion and care gave us all the opportunity to love our JJ and keep him comfortable at home during his final years.
Arrangements are being provided by Stevens Funeral Home. The viewing will be Saturday, November 18, 2023, from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Funeral services will be held the following day on Sunday, November 19, 2023, at Norris-Stevens Funeral Home with the funeral following at The Newbern Cemetery.