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Edmondson: The epitome of a great mother

The two girls of Elan Formals owner Cathy Edmondson want her to be remembered as the selfless, humble and loving mother that she was.

On April 18, Edmondson tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized the following Wednesday. On Tuesday morning, May 4, she passed away.

Her daughter Kenna Sharpe will always remember being a child falling asleep listening to her sewing.

“My mother was selfless, humble and loving,” Sharpe said. “As a child, I remember laying in her bed watching her sew at night. I would fall asleep to her sewing. Now, my fondest memory of her is being at the store and being around all of the girls that she loved and adored so much. Any time she was there, she was happy and helping the girls that she loved.”

If Sharpe could narrow some things down to what she will miss the most about her mother it would be her hugs, talking to her and hearing her sing out of tune.

“I’m going to miss her hugs, I’m going to miss just talking to her anytime,” Sharpe said. “She was the only person in the world who could calm me down. Just hearing her sing off tune, I think about it now and I would give anything to hear it again.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sharpe and her sister Caitlyn Shipman did everything to make sure they did not endanger their parents.

“It was a Godsend that Caitlyn and I didn’t pass it on to them when we had it in February,” Sharpe said. “We knew that it would be devastating for them if they got it. My mom fought an autoimmune disease and psoriatic arthritis for the majority of my life.”

With Mother’s Day on Sunday, Sharpe said she is going to try and think of all of the positive things, knowing that her mother’s presence will still be felt.

“I have to think about the good things that she has done for me and everybody,” Sharpe said. “I have to remember that even though she won’t be here, her presence is still going to be felt and missed. There are lots of people that are going to be thinking about her. So, I just have to try and find comfort in the fact that she won’t be forgotten.”

Edmondson was heavily involved in the community, Sharpe said, by providing fashion shows to empower women, decorating for wedding and banquets to making sure young men and women had clothes to wear to proms.

“There is so much that she has done,” Sharpe said. “When we first opened the store, we did a fashion show for women empowerment. She would decorate any event, including the football banquet at the high school and several weddings for friends and family. Any time that there was a young man or young woman that couldn’t afford a tuxedo or a dress, she is the person that the school would call or a close mentor of the child would call and she would make sure that that child had what they needed. No matter what she had to do, whether she just paid for the tuxedo with no charge to them or if she heavily discounted it. At pageants, she would provide gift certificates for the winners, the sashes or the crowns. She just did so much.”

When Sharpe thinks of her mother’s happy place, she said Elan Formals was it.

“I just want people to know how much she loved her girls and how much she appreciated her customers,” Sharpe said. “Elan was her world. She loved her family and she loved her store. It was truly her happy place.”

Though it may look like COVID-19 is disappearing, Sharpe said people need to do everything they can to stop the spread.

“If I hadn’t have experienced it first hand then I would probably been oblivious to it, as well,” Sharpe said. “But we still all need to do what we can to keep people like my mom and dad safe. Somebody has to protect them. My mom was the epitome of a great mother. There’s nothing in the world she wouldn’t have done for her family.”

She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Sonny Edmondson, daughters, Caitlin Shipman and Kenna Sharpe and husband Nicholas, brother, Ricky Reeves, grandson, Daley Shipman. She relished being his “NaNa” and he was her greatest joy. Cathy is also survived by an abundance of extended love ones including numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services for Cathy Reeves Edmondson will be at 11 a.m., Sat., May 8, 2021, at Evans Funeral Home with Allen Lindsey and Dr. Troy Jones officiating.