EDWARDS, ALBERT ELY (1937 ~ 2020). The following is an obituary for Al Edwards, former member of the Texas House of Representatives. The obituary was published in the Houston Chronicle on May 7, 2020.
State Representative, Honorable Albert Ely Edwards Sr. was born March 19, 1937 in Houston Texas. He was born the sixth child of sixteen children to Rev. E. L. Edwards, Sr. and Josephine Radford Edwards.
Edwards attended Wheatley High School (Houston, TX) and Texas Southern University in 1966. Edwards received a Physical Therapy Certification from Tuskegee Institute and an Honorary Degree from the University of Belize in 1983. In 1996 Edwards obtained a Doctor of Divinity Degree from World Bible Christian University in San Antonio.
He attended Progressive New Hope Baptist Church in Houston, TX for over 60 years and was an ordained minister under Pastor L.L. Atkins, Sr. in 1990.
In 1956, Edwards married Katie Jackson and to that union was born Rosalind. In 1960 he married Barbara and to that union was born Alicia & Marla. In 1969, Albert married Lana Cloth and to that union of 25 years were born Albert Ely II, Jason Kiamba, and Alana Catherine Raquel.
Edwards entered politics and was elected to the Texas State Legislature from Houston's House District 85 which later became District 146. In 1979, legislation recognizing Juneteenth Day was initiated by Edwards and passed the Texas State Legislature.
In 1995, he joined the Democratic National Committee board and served as National Vice Chairman of the DNC Black Caucus for 10 years and went on to serve as National Chairman of the DNC Black Caucus for 6 years. Edwards served 26 years as a State Legislator in District 146.
Edwards is survived by his devoted and loving former wife, Lana Cloth Edwards who was influential in his success throughout his entire career. Lana also remained his support system and was unconditionally dedicated to his comfort and healthcare until the Lord called him home on April 29, 2020.
His memories will be cherished by his loving children and grandchildren. Albert Ely Edwards II (Trelle), Jason Kiamba Edwards (Denise), Alana Edwards Holloway; Grandchildren - Alexis and Albert III, Sidney and Sloane, Melvin V, Rosalind E. Morgan (Leyton), Marla Anderson (Alvin), Alicia Gordon; Grandchildren - Candace and Leyton III, Bryan and David, Sean Leigh, Lucean Kuykendall (Darrell); Grandchildren - Kennedie and Chelsia, Ajah.
Albert was preceded in death by his parents, Reverend E. L. Edwards, Sr. and Josephine Radford Edwards; his beloved sisters Betty Jean, Beverly and Elrine E. Henson; and beloved brothers Russell, Donald, Phillip and Reverend Eldridge L. Edwards Jr.; His devoted sisters, Josephine E. Lyles and Mary E. Bonham (Roland); and devoted brothers, Alfred Edwards (Jackie), William Earl Edwards (Cathy), Redick Edwards III (Edith), David Edwards Sr. and Paul Edwards (Donna). His three darling aunts: Myrteal Radford Howard, Gladys Lorine Radford and Myrtha Edwards Webster. He will be missed by a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Due to Covid-19 and the need for social distancing, only the immediate family and church personnel will be allowed on the church ground or the Interment service.
Virtual services are set to begin at 10 a.m. and will be co-led by Bishop James Dixon and Pastor L.L. Atkins of the Progressive New Hope Baptist Church.
Links to watch the services will be made available on the church's website, thecommunityoffaith.org, and on Edwards' Facebook page, facebook.com/RepAlEdwardsSr.
Edwards will be interred Friday at 3 p.m. at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, where a "brief graveside service" will be streamed online. Alana Edwards Holloway, Jason Edwards and Al Edwards II — asked those wishing to send flowers to instead "support Dad's favorite cause; the education of Juneteenth and the story of emancipation. Please send checks to 'Juneteenth USA' at 3355 West Alabama St., Suite 640 Houston TX 77098."