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Couple builds very long life together

Published Aug. 24, 2005

Glenda and Richard "Dick" Edwards of Tarpon Springs celebrated their 70th anniversary with a dinner party for friends and family, including one of their two daughters, Sally Wisniewski of Venice, and her husband, followed by a New Year's Eve dance at Lake Tarpon Village, their home for 22 years. They were married on Dec. 31, 1934, in their hometown of Cuba, N.Y.

Mr. Edward's family members were building contractors. They came to Florida from Cuba to build homes during the winter before Dick, now 90, turned 7.

Mr. Edwards said his family brought bulldozers and other heavy equipment down to Florida with them, equipment that was not common here at the time.

In 1921, while living in West Palm Beach for the winter, the company built two houses. The following year, they constructed their own family home in Ozona, where they lived during the winter months, returning to Cuba during the summer construction season.

One of the family's first buildings was on North Clearwater Beach, just beyond the gates of the Carlouel Yacht Club.

Before joining his family's business, and after he was married in 1934, Mr. Edwards ran an oil lease for 12 years in Allentown, N.Y.

In 1946, the couple and their first daughter moved to Cuba Lake, and he joined the family business, dividing his time between Cuba and Ozona.

In 1982, the couple built their current home on Lake Tarpon, living there as winter residents and retiring here permanently in 1999.

An avid sailor, Mr. Edwards has sailed Snipes most of his life and has participated in many international races. Now, he sails a Sunfish twice weekly with the Lake Tarpon Sunfish Club, often winning the races. He is a member of the Lake Tarpon Village Boat Club and a former commodore of the Cuba Lake Yacht Club, where he helped build the clubhouse.

Mrs. Edwards worked as a bookkeeper for a men's clothing store while her husband was busy in the oil field. After the birth of their first daughter, she became a homemaker.

They have one other daughter, Dana McGuire of California, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Edwards has been a volunteer for the past 24 years at the Palm Harbor Library.

Mr. Edwards is known by friends for his great sense of humor. Neighbors Shelly and David Whiting said he once quipped after celebrating their 69th anniversary on New Year's Eve: "I never thought the time would come when I'd be happy to get in bed with an 89-year-old, but tonight's the night!"

For information or anniversary form, call (727) 445-4109. To submit an item to Good for You, write to Betsy Bolger-Paulet, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756, send fax to (727) 445-4119 or e-mail to