Edward J. Blitch was born on April 12, 1929 to Laura Clark Blitch and Thomas J. Blitch and passed away on Sunday, Jan.3, 2021.
Hebrews 6:7. “Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it that produces a crop useful for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.”
Mr. Edward was a farmer. The land he loved to farm was located in Stilson, GA and on a beautiful Sunday morning in January he lost his battle with congestive heart failure at the age of 91.
The last days of Mr. Blitch’s life, known to many as Mr. Edward, were spent thanking God for his blessings he had received from farming and his family. Husband, dad, grandpa, uncle, and great grandpa left behind his beloved wife of 73 years, Winona Hursey Blitch, his five daughters, Dianne (Robert, deceased) Bath, Joy (Daniel) Lee, Melanie (Marc) Mickleboro, Kim (Grady) Hughes, Melissa Kight and his daughter in law, Donna ( Jeffrey, deceased) Blitch. He was preceded in death by his two sons, Jeffrey (Donna) and Kevan. Mr. Edward had 12 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
Farming was his passion and vocation for much of his life. In his earlier years, Mr. Edward worked at Union Bag in Savannah and for the Bulloch County Board of Education as an electrician. His farming methods were based on good stewardship to the land and to God. God, family, and community were his priorities throughout his life. Farming provided for his family a lifestyle tied to the natural world. Hunting, fishing, crabbing, oyster gathering, and swimming in rivers, ocean, and ponds were integral parts of living and working on the farm. Mr. Edward’s innovative and progressive trends in farming were recognized by the Young Farmer’s of America during various years throughout his earlier days of farming. Good farmers are great business men. Mr. Edward was a good farmer and understood you can not pay more for the land than you could possibly farm off of the land. Like any good farmer, his contract was his word and could be trusted. In his retired years, you could find him sitting outside under the shelter enjoying the smell of the earth, the curing of tobacco in the barn, the picking of peanuts, and watching the cows graze in the field and waiting on someone to share a story.
Mr. Edward’s love of family led to many of his nieces and nephews being employed on the farm and he was constantly in contact with his extended family far and wide, often leading to an oyster roast, peanut boiling, or a fish fry. He loved his family and supported them financially and morally throughout his life. He did love to tease and could bring a smile to your lips no matter your age. When he discovered he could push his false teeth out with his tongue, he would surprise his grandkids when they least expected it causing quite the stir and a few screams! Every family member has a good story on Mr. Edward and probably most of the residents of the Stilson community who know him have a story also.
Mr. Edward and his wife, Winona, lived on the farm all of their lives. Throughout the years of their marriage they had traveled to 48 states and Canada and Mexico. The two of them loved the National Parks out west and you could often hear Mr. Edward say “I miss those big blue skies”. In 1986, they bought property in Black Mountain, NC. There, Edward and Winona, built their home away from the southern heat. This home was shared by his family and friends and remains a haven for his family to this day. This property showcases some of Mr. Edward’s ability to build structures and ponds as does his property in Bulloch County. He fondly called his structures “weinie” houses (crazy structures made of discarded things or wood from the farm) constructed for cooking and relaxing.
In his community of Stilson, Mr. Edward campaigned hard to keep Stilson Elementary open and to keep the post office open (lost this battle). He did not want Stilson to disappear off the map. He loved his small farming community and employed many people throughout his life in seasonal labor and tried to help those who were willing to work. Over the course of his life, he served on grand juries and was always willing to help with projects to improve the lives of others.
Mr. Edward was a steward to his church and an active member supporting programs by his leadership and financial support. He was originally a member of the Presbyterian Chapel in Stilson and when the chapel closed became a member of Old Fellowship Baptist Church also located in Stilson.
Mr. Edward will be laid to rest on Jan. 7 at 11 A.M. with a visitation at the church at 10 A.M. His grandsons will have the honor of being his pallbearers: Jarrett Bath, Chris Hughes, John Derek Lee, Judd Blitch, Zachary Mickleboro, and Dexter Kight.
In Memory of Edward J. Blitch, contributions can be made to the Old Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery Fund.
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