on May 20, 2014 - 6:16 PM
Jan. 4, 1927 – May 13, 2014
William L. Edwards Jr., of Angola, whose promising career in professional baseball was cut short by an arm injury, died May 13 in Gowanda Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. He was 87.
Born in Lawtons, he attended Eden High School and Gowanda High School, where he excelled at sports, particularly baseball. The pitching duo of Bill, as he was known, and fellow player Dick Rooney led the way to a perfect season in 1944. Gowanda won all nine of its scheduled games. The team remains the only undefeated varsity baseball team in school history.
Mr. Edwards was later scouted by the Brooklyn Dodgers and drafted before graduation. A brief stint with professional baseball ended because of an arm injury, at which point he returned to graduate from Gowanda High School in 1945 and married his high school sweetheart, Alice Mae Congdon.
He served in the Army during World War II as an entertainment specialist, playing baseball for the troops from 1945 to 1946.
After his military service, he and his wife moved to Alexandria, Va., where he worked for Allegheny Airlines. He returned to Gowanda and was employed as director for inventory and material goods at Gowanda Psychiatric Center for 33 years.
Mr. Edwards continued with baseball for local teams and coached his children’s baseball teams. A member of Tri-County Country Club, he was an avid golfer and a talented artist.
His wife of 43 years died in 1988.
Survivors include a son, Michael Scott; three daughters, Laurie Lee Williams, Anne Alice Alexandra and Elizabeth Sarah Dicembre; and eight grandchildren.
Services, with military honors, will be at 11 a.m. Friday in First Presbyterian Church, 64 E. Main St., Gowanda.