Ajijic resident Donald Bennett Edwards died in his Ajijic home on August 15 after a long illness at the age of 76.
Born March 16, 1935 in Auburn, California, Edwards’ early schooling was in a Christian Brothers boarding school. He attended St. Mary’s College in Napa Valley and joined the Christian Brothers Catholic community. He left the order in 1955 and attended St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, where he met his wife, Valerie. The couple married in 1956.
Edwards earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Johns Hopkins University and his Masters Degree at Stevens Technical College in Hoboken, New Jersey. He studied for his doctorate at the University of California in Los Angeles and even took an accredited course in witchcraft while he was there.
Edwards was active in the civil rights movements of the 1960s until the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. He then decided to take a full-time job with International Business Machines, with whom he had been involved in a work-study program.
During his 34 years with IBM, he and his family were transferred to London, Kobe, White Plains, Rome, Paris and back to California. He was most proud of a software program he wrote called “Learning to Read by Writing on the Computer.” It was a fun and successful program for kids done when IBM still had an educational department.
In 2005, Edwards moved to Ajijic, where he wrote a column for the Lake Chapala Review called “Rincon del Don.” He made many friends in the Mexican community and was well known for his cheerful manner. He wrote a book with his daughter, Leslie Edwards, also of Ajijic, called “And Did You Look Upon the Wall?” It was filled with “sort of true tales” about daily life around Lake Chapala .
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Valerie Edwards of Ajijic, daughter Tracie Edwards of Boston, Massachusetts, Terrie Edwards-Aoki of New York, Leslie Edwards of Ajijic and three grandchildren, Max, Aelish and Tyler.
Edwards’ special gift was the knack for making anyone and everyone he encountered feel good. He’ll be sorely missed in the community. Memorial services are pending.