Edith Atwell of Indianola, formerly of Jefferson Parish, New Orleans, La., passed away Sept. 15, 2020, in Indianola. A graveside service will be held at 12:00 noon Saturday, Sept. 19 at Garden of Memories Cemetery, Metairie, La. Burton Funeral Home of Indianola has been entrusted with arrangements.
Edith was born to Clarence E. and Dorothy Humes on July 10, 1926. She grew up in Bogue Chitto, Miss. as the youngest of eleven children. She enjoyed playing basketball in school, and spent time entertaining her nieces and nephews. After studying at Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Wesson, she joined the lab at Brown's Velvet Dairy in New Orleans in 1946. It was there that she met her husband, William (Bill). Bill passed away in 1958 leaving her a widow for most of her adult life. While at Brown's, Edith was sent to Pennsylvania State University to study dairy science and to train in culturing yogurt. Upon her return, she created the lab necessary for this process and cultured the first yogurt produced in the State of Louisiana. She worked in the lab for forty-six years before retiring in 1992 as head chemist.
Edith loved keeping up with Louisiana politics and discussing it with her many relatives and friends. In spite of her vision issues, she remained an avid reader of magazines and newspapers, which she read from cover to cover in order to keep up with her many interests. She also loved animals and tamed many stray cats that would come eat behind her azalea bushes. Several of those cats made it into her home as beloved pets. To the surprise of the children in her life, she tamed the squirrels around her house by feeding them peanuts out of her hand. Some of her happiest days were those spent with visits from her nephews, great nieces and great nephews, whether in her home by the river or by phone.
In 2015, as her health and eyesight began to fail, at the age of 89, she left her beloved city and moved to the Mississippi Delta town of Indianola where she lived with her great-niece, Suzanne Mason, her husband, Charlie, and son, David. She spent the last five years of her life spoiling the family dogs, enjoying life in the Delta, and being spoiled in return, as a part of this family. One of the special people she met was her sitter and friend, Peggy Armstrong, who provided faithful care and friendship. In the last five years of her life, the love and exquisite care given by Suzanne, Charlie and David greatly enhanced and enriched her life.
Edith was preceded in death by her parents, her ten siblings, her beloved niece, Frances Brister Powell, and her nephew, R.W. Brister.
She is survived by her Delta family, Suzanne, Charlie and David Mason; nephews Charles Humes (Ernestine) of Waterville, Ohio, Al Stroud (Donna) of Livingston, Texas, Tim Humes (Cynthia) of Seattle, Wash., Dennis Humes of British Columbia, Terry Humes of Dayton, Wash., Allen Lea (Rhonda) of Shady Shores, Texas, Tom Lea (Nancy) of Boise, Idaho, Ray Lea (Vickie) and Jim Lea, both of Bartlesville, Okla., Curtis Brister (Barbara) of Cleburne, Texas and Bailey Powell, husband of Frances Brister Powell. She also is survived by a host of great-nieces and nephews as well as great-great nieces and nephews and great-great-great nieces and nephews.
The online guestbook may be signed at www.burtonfuneralhome.net