Edna Hood Fendley

Our beloved mother, grandmother and matriarch, Edna Hood Fendley, passed away Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, at the age of 89 years. She was born June 2, 1930 as the second of four children to John William and Ella Lorine (McLean) Hood in Miami, Fla.
She was married on May 19, 1952, to Arthur Harris Fendley until his passing in November 2010, after 58 and a half years. Their marriage produced two children: Dan Arthur Fendley (Janice) of Hoover, Ala., and Janice Elaine Nerland (David) of Tallahassee, Fla. Her children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren survive her. She is also remembered by two brothers: John William Hood of Davie, Fla., and Lawrence E. Hood (Janice) of High Springs, Fla. Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents and her older sister Mary Hood Batic. (She was blessed with many Janices.)
She was greatly loved by her grandchildren: Bryce Nerland (Rachel), Carrie Harris (Joel), Virginia Williams (Michael), Adam Nerland, Danielle Fendley, Tyler Nerland (Bethany), Victoria Fendley and Elizabeth Fendley. They brought her great joy, and she travelled many miles to attend their birthdays and special events. She was blessed with five great-grandchildren: Makennah, Caden, Adeline and Eloise Nerland, and Brinley Williams. Just three days before her death, one of her last requests was to see and hold her cherished great-grandchildren. We were fortunate to fulfill that wish.
Edna grew up in Miami during the Depression. Soon after graduating from high school, she went to work at the post office to contribute to the family finances. It was there that she met her husband. When their marriage was blessed with children, they decided for her to stay at home to focus on raising them well. When Dan and Janice were old enough to be in school, Edna took a part-time job in a laundromat to help support the family but applied herself to study so that she could be qualified for more substantial employment. She made most of the clothing she and her daughter wore in these early years in the interest of frugality. Success in her educational endeavors led to opportunities with the State of Florida. When Art retired from the post office in 1980, they moved to Monticello, where she and Art were active members of the Monticello Church of Christ. She retired in 1991 from the Florida Department of Transportation.
At a young age, Edna became a Christian, and her faith directed her life. She relished living as a servant and enjoyed cooking and delivering food to those who were unable to care for themselves. She was known for single-handedly entertaining many in her home, even as a widow into her late-80s. It was not uncommon for her to have more than 20 people at her dining room table.
She was a seamstress, a quilter, a gardener and an award-winning flower arranger. She had many talents and seemed to use every one that God had given her. She was more industrious and energetic than most of us. She had a zest for life that kept her involved in many projects, when others her age were slowing down. It seemed she could accomplish anything she put her mind to.
Even late in life, she was not afraid to learn new things or tackle new challenges. She became computer and internet savvy, in large part, to stay connected to her grandchildren. She loved studying with new converts and had a weekly study going with a young Christian until recent health issues made its continuance impossible. In recent months, when others began taking care of her finances, we became aware that she had been providing direct financial support to evangelists living and working in impoverished areas.
Her family feels she led a life worth emulating. She would insist, in her humility, that she lived with imperfection. But her family, who knew her well, believe there are few whose lives embody the qualities we should all aspire to possess, more than hers did to us. She made us want to be better people. We were fortunate to have her example and wisdom in our lives. Hers was a life well-lived.
Proverbs 31:26-29: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed and her husband also and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
The funeral service and celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Monticello, Fla., at the Beggs Funeral Home located at 485 E. Dogwood St., with Carlton Bassett officiating. Interment will follow in Oakfield Cemetery. Visitation with the family begins at 10 a.m. before the service.