November 6, 1919 - September 21, 2012 OKLAHOMA CITY Retired minister Dr. Robert (Bob) Edde, Jr. was born in Quinton, OK, the only child of Robert and Ruby Edde. At an early age he moved to Okmulgee, OK where he graduated from high school in 1937. In 1938 he went to college at Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater, OK where he wanted to be an electrical engineer. He joined a fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, worked washing dishes at a sorority house, and sang in the Cowboy Quartet, a men's quartet. One year the quartet traveled to New York City, appearing on the Fred Allen Radio Show. The quartet's piano player was Jeanne Conner, whom he would marry in 1942 in the Methodist church in Stillwater. Bob entered active duty in the US Army in 1943, at Ft. Sill, OK. He was sent to Officer Candidate School at Ft. Belvoir, VA and graduated first in his class. In 1945 he was sent to Korea as part of the Occupation Troops and was stationed at Inchon, Korea, where he was given command of an engineer company. He returned home in 1946 with the rank of Captain. He entered business with Jeanne's father, Cecil Conner, and worked as sales manager for Cecil's Mid-West Maytag Company in Lawton, OK. In the late 40's and 50's, Bob and Jeanne were active in Centenary United Methodist Church and Bob was the Lay Leader for many years. He had an excellent baritone voice and loved singing in the church. He was also active in the Optimist Club and performed in their annual musical. After the store was sold in 1956, Bob then held several jobs, first selling insurance and writing commercials for a local radio station before entering full-time church work as the Adult Education Minister at Centenary Methodist Church in Lawton, OK in 1958. In 1960 and heeding a call to the ministry, Bob entered full-time ministry and moved his family to Oklahoma City, OK where he was Pastor of Grace Methodist Church. He entered college again and majored in religion at Oklahoma City University. He then took a correspondence seminary course through Perkins School of Divinity at Southern Methodist University. Going to college full-time, seminary, and starting a new church were difficult and required long hours of hard work. He was ordained a Methodist minister in 1963. Under his leadership, Grace Church grew from a few to several thousand members in seven years. Bob also served churches at Weatherford, OK, Moore, OK, Sapulpa, OK, and Duncan, OK. From 1978 to 1984, he was the District Superintendent of the Lawton District of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church and served on the Bishop's Cabinet. In 1985 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Oklahoma City University. People who worked with Bob in the ministry always said that his experience in business helped immensely in dealing with people and dealing with the financial burdens of a church. In 1985 and after 25 years of full-time ministry, Bob retired and moved with his wife, Jeanne, to Oklahoma City where he took a position as Associate Minister of St. Luke's Methodist Church. He continued in that part-time position until 1999 when he retired for a second time at the age of 80. Bob had a great sense of humor, always had a joke to tell, and was kind to everyone. He loved the mountains and his favorite place was Estes Park, CO. He took his family there every summer for many years and loved to hike the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. He had a love of photography and even developed his pictures in a darkroom located in a spare bathroom. Later in retirement, he combined his love of western art with oil painting and several of his paintings hung in the home. Bob always said he hoped to leave two things to his children, a love of God and love of the mountains. After retiring at age 80, Bob became the primary caregiver for his wife, Jeanne, until a few weeks before his death. In May 2012, Bob and wife Jeanne celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne; his children, Dr. Richard Edde, Dr. Kay Holt, & David Edde; his grandchildren, Karin Owens, Dr. Angela Middlebrooks, and Robert Edde III; sister-in-law & brother-in-law, Marge & Cecil (Bud) Conner; nephews, Dr. Stephen Conner, Rev. Alan Conner & Jeff Conner, & niece, Susan Conner; and several great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Thursday, Oct. 11, at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Okla. City. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Membership Care at St. Luke's Church. Private graveside services will be held.

Published in The Oklahoman from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, 2012