School 36


Vonda Kay (Killion) Edwards

March 7, 1943 ~ April 8, 2018 (age 75)

Vonda Kay "Dude" (Killion) Edwards made her trip to heaven on April 8th after battling lung cancer since Labor Day 2017. She leaves behind a family whom she loved completely. One of her favorite quotes is by author R. Queen who writes, "If you love someone or something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly, share it." Born at home on March 7, 1943 in Plainville, IN, Vonda was first taught this lesson of love by her parents, Ralph Alexander & Clara Bell "Boots" (Houghland) Killion whose 60+ year marriage was the embodiment of cherishing. 

Vonda went on to cherish her husband of 55 years Chester B. Edwards, Jr. and 3 children: Jill Elizabeth Snodgrass (Sean Krikorian) of Jefferson City, MO and Key West, FL; Rebecca "Becky" (John) Lorentzen of Sturgeon, MO; and Kurt Alexander Edwards of Hutchinson, KS. 

Seven grandchildren added to her capacity to love: Samuel Edwards Snodgrass of Key West, FL, Zachary Nathaniel Lorentzen, Johnna Kay Lorentzen (Kyle Sirois) of Sturgeon, MO; Jacob Gene Lorentzen, Joseph Alexander Lorentzen of Columbia, MO; Ethan Robert Edwards and Hanley Patrick Edwards of Salina, KS. And finally, the love she was able to share was compounded in her two affable great-grandchildren: Clara Marie (Zach) Lorentzen and Kylie Jane (Johnna and Kyle) Sirois. 

As the middle child of seven siblings, loving completely was a principle; she leaves behind five living siblings, Ken (Hallie) Killion of Mill Creek, WA, Ronald Killion, Beth (Dan) Lawyer and Daniel (Cynthia) Killion all of Bloomington, IN and Steve (Ann) Killion, Hazelhurst, GA.  In addition, there are an army of nieces and nephews scattered from coast to coast. Vonda was preceded in death by her parents, one sister Sonya (Bill) Galloway of Centralia, MO and a son-in-law, Steve (Jill) Snodgrass of Jefferson City, MO.

R. Queen's quote goes onto say, "Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there one day, it might not be there the next.  Never take that for granted." Vonda personified this lesson when her mother past in 2005 and her elder sister in 2008, leaving her as the "Matriarch" of the family. She further embodied this spirit in how she planted in Columbia, including being a member of Olivet Christian Church for 50 years, accepting many roles inside and outside the church. Vonda’s church family held a special place in her heart and she treasured being a part of her Bunko group, book club, and card club.  After retirement, Vonda joined the Assistance League of Mid Missouri and again helped make a difference in many people’s lives.  Her favorite task was "Operation School Bell" which dresses thousands of grade school students with new outfits and coats.

Vonda attended four different High Schools, graduating in 1961 from Plainville HS in Plainville, IN and remained in contact with many of her former classmates from all four schools. She worked for the Columbia Public Schools for 27 years: 11 years at Rock Bridge High School as Secretary to the Assistant Principal of Student Activities; 11 years at Secondary Learning Center (SLC)/Douglas High School as Secretary, nurse, counselor, friend and mother figure to hundreds of students; and 5 years at Hickman High School as Audio-Visual Technician and North Hall Guidance Secretary.  She loved what she did and made a difference in hundreds of kid’s lives by practicing Queen's next lesson: "Say what you need to say, then say a little more.  Say too much, show too much, Love too much!" In all these roles, Vonda was a mentor, mom, and friend to all whom she came into contact.

Knowing that all things are fleeting as R. Queen suggests, "Everything is temporary but LOVE, Love out lives us all," Vonda above all loved and cherished her family. She married the-love-of-her-life (Chester) and together had three devoted children - Jill, Becky and Kurt, who have honored their mother and father over these many years. In harmony with these lessons, Vonda asks only one favor: love completely, love wholly, and love forever.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Vonda's honor may be made to Olivet Christian Church, The Assistance League of Mid Missouri “Operations School Bell” or “Links to Learning,” 1729 W Broadway, Suite 1A, Columbia MO 65203 or the Vincent P. Gurucharri Foundation, Inc. 3220 Bluff Creek Dr., Suite 100, Columbia, MO 65201

Visitation will be at Olivet Christian Church, Sunday, April 15th from 4 to 8 PM with the Funeral Services on Monday, April 16th at 10 AM.  A brief family visitation will also be held on Monday starting at 9 AM.  All services will be at Olivet Christian Church, 1991 S. Olivet Rd (off highway WW) with Reverends Wesley Knight and Dennis Swearngin officiating.  Burial will follow in the Olivet Cemetery with all the grandchildren serving as pallbearers. 

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