Edith Irene ‘Edie’ Sword

Edith “Edie” Irene Sword, 98, of Pharr, Texas, went peacefully to the arms of Jesus on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. She was born April 11, 1919, in Oakwood, Ohio, to the late Lloyd Clinton Shafer and Mary Anice Gillespie Shafer. In May 1941, Edie married Frederic Funkhouser of Archbold, Ohio, and they moved to California where their two sons were born.

Edie worked as a cook during the war and later as a cashier at Stater Brothers Markets in Riverside, Calif. During this time, she organized the Single Swingers Square Dance Club of Riverside. After their marriage ended, Edie moved to Ridgecrest, where she worked at Victory and Champs Markets.

She was a popular checker, not only because of her friendly personality, but also because she memorized the sale prices so she could efficiently help customers check out by punching the register rapidly. It was not long before she began a career with civil service, working in Accounting at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake.

Ceramics, sewing, baking, cake decorating, square dancing and cooking were favorite hobbies of hers. Her strawberry pies and chocolate-dipped candies were works of art. Edie attended Ridgecrest Methodist Church and continued being actively involved in square dance clubs.

It was through church and square dancing that a romance blossomed between Edie and Bernard A. Sword. They married in 1974 and after retiring, moved to Weslaco, Texas, a place they came to love after many visits to see friends and family who spent their winters there. Her niece and BFF Darlene (Victor) Campos also moved to the Rio Grande Valley, and it was Darlene who became Edie’s guardian angel when Edie moved to assisted living. Because Bernie and Edie loved to fish, they also had a boat house on the water in Port Isabel. Later they bought a second home on the Arroyo Colorado in Rio Hondo where Edie caught many sea trout from their private dock. Frequently, she happily traded her fish fillets with local farmers and friends for shrimp and fresh vegetables. You were always assured of delicious food and lively games when you visited Edie. She had a positive attitude on life and was heard to say, “If you think you’re going to have a bad day, you will.”

Her husband Bernie, brothers Lester, Russell and Lloyd A. Shafer; and sisters Marie Hoover, Sara Burkholder, Anna Mary Etter and Edna Place preceded her in death. She is survived by her sons Richard (Maria) Fankhauser and Larry (Eva) Fankhauser; grandchildren Glenn (Anna) Fankhauser, Dr. Jeffrey (Amy) Fankhauser, Beth Ann Steude, Stephanie, Jennifer, and Amber Fankhauser; and great-grandchildren Alyssa, Kaylee, and Brenten Steude and London and Lyle Fankhauser.

Memorial services were held Oct. 29 in Weslaco, Texas, and will be held Nov. 11 in Continental, Ohio. Interment will be in Monroe Cemetery in Continental under the direction of Heitmeyer Funeral Home.

Edie supported the Dupont Church of the Brethren (104 N. River St., Continental, OH 45831) her entire adult life and, in lieu of flowers, her request was that donations be made to the work of this church. Online condolences may be expressed at www.heitmeyerfuneralhome.com.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

— Submitted by the family of Edith Sword

Story First Published: 2017-11-03