Woodward, Okla. —
Renssellear D. "R. D.", "Rant" Edwards was born to Dunn and Mary (Kinney) Edwards March 20, 1918, at their farm home north of Woodward in the County Line community. He peacefully passed from this life in Woodward on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at the age of 95 years - just 68 days short of his 96th birthday, to join his Heavenly Father whose Word he had fervently and diligently proclaimed for more than 62 years. R. D. attended grade school at the Pickett and Senate rural schools and graduated from Fort Supply, Oklahoma, High School in 1937. R. D. obeyed the Gospel, being baptized into Christ during a Gospel Meeting at County Line Church of Christ in early 1932. On June 3, 1939, he was married to Velma Genevieve Barnett, his beloved and faithful wife, companion and friend, and would have celebrated their 75th anniversary with her on June 3, 2014. They had one son, Marvin Larry, on May 8, 1942. R. D. farmed during the first 40 years of his life, until 1958, and also was in the auction business from 1948 to 1958. R. D. loved to sing and perform in his younger years, being active in school plays and community literaries as a young man. He wrote many country and western songs and was often asked to play his guitar and sing at school and community programs as well as on the local radio station in Woodward. In 1949, R. D. began preaching and teaching the word of God, commencing what became a lifelong commitment. His local work, meetings, and appointments started in Oklahoma at County Line, Laverne, Waynoka and South Flat near Beaver. In 1958 he ceased farming and auctioneering and accepted his first full-time position as evangelist and pulpit minister at the 5th Street Church of Christ in Woodward. Throughout the rest of his 62-year ministry of preaching, teaching and evangelism, he brought God's Word to Anadarko, Tipton, Capitol Hill, Texas, Nebraska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Missouri and finally back to Woodward and Vici in northwest Oklahoma, where it all began. After moving back to Woodward in 1978, he enjoyed gardening and his yard was a regular stop on the annual Garden Club tour. But his consummate pleasure and passion was the continued study of the Bible, of which he was truly a scholar of the highest order. R. D. had a vision problem resulting from a teenage eye injury that throughout his later years made it very difficult for him to read while speaking. But he was blessed with a wonderful mind and incredible memory which allowed him to endlessly call upon and quote scripture as he preached and taught, right up to the last day of his life.
Preceding him in death are his parents; three brothers: Marvin, Louis and an unnamed baby who all died early in life; three sisters: Lillian Rosendale and husband Orville, Erma Readnour and husband Maurice, Verle Chabino and husband Clayton; brother-in-law Raymond Barnett and wife Marie; and beloved brother-in-law and fellow preacher J. D. Barnett; one niece, Laveda Browder and husband Ray; and five nephews: Delta Chabino, Ron Barnett, baby Barnett, and Junior and Leslie Barnett. He is survived by his wife, Genevieve, of the home in Woodward; son, Marvin Larry and grandsons Rance Boone and Dunn Renato Edwards of Oklahoma City; one brother-in-law Herman Barnett and wife Geraldine of Cedar Park, Texas; one sister-in-law, Beverly Barnett of Hiram, Georgia; seven nieces: Verda McCubbin of Woodward; Darla Wyatt and husband David of Oklahoma City; Debra Sexton and husband Rick of Seiling; Deanna Martin and husband David of Cedar Park, Texas; Melanie Rankhorn and husband James of Chillicothe, Ohio; Tammy Driskoll of Austin, Texas; Quayla Hope and husband Jeff of Hiram, Georgia; four nephews: Donald Rosendale and wife Mildred of Woodward; Darrell Chabino and wife Marynel of Oklahoma City; Delbert Ray Barnett and wife Melinda of Beaumont, Texas; Dale Barnett and wife Joanna of Alpine, Texas; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Services will be held at the Church of Christ in Woodward, Oklahoma at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, January 17, 2014, with James Rucker and Ray Don Jackson officiating. Interment will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Woodward.
Remembrances may be shared online at www.billingsfuneralhomewoodward.com