The Honorable Ronnie Edwards was a beautiful and dynamic leader who faithfully served the Baton Rouge community and beyond with her heart, time, and talents. The Board and Staff of Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation (UREC) are deeply saddened by the loss of Mrs. Edwards, affectionately known to us as Ms. Ronnie, who had the trailblazing vision and stamina to found UREC in 1992. We realize how blessed we are to have worked with and alongside a leader of such character and strength.
An administrator with over 40 years of experience in state and local government, business and industry, Mrs. Edwards formed lasting relationships and partnerships with schools and institutions of higher education, nonprofits, the faith-based community, businesses and elected officials to effect change through her community development work.
Twenty-four years ago, Mrs. Edwards established UREC as a trusted and credible community development organization. With the assistance of many community leaders and supporters, her tenacity resulted in: homeownership and safe and affordable housing for many families; the establishing of Louisiana’s first home for grandparents raising grandchildren in Baton Rouge; innovative youth enrichment initiatives; small business training and development; strategic alliances and partnerships; the development of the Security Dads initiative to combat violence; and many more endeavors that support UREC’s overarching vision of Building Today’s Communities for Tomorrow.
She also lent her skills and expertise to numerous local and regional boards and coalitions that focus on community development and improvement, economic development and enterprise, education, homelessness, housing and other community development matters.
Such successes and contributions are only a breadth of the servant-leader she truly was. Deep in her heart, Mrs. Edwards believed that families, youth and elders were equally deserving of respect and a high quality of life. She fought for both with all of her might in health, vigor, strength and, of late, even in illness.
More recently, in her role as UREC’s Special Projects Manager, Mrs. Edwards began to champion seeing the same affordable homeownership accomplishments experienced in Baton Rouge extend to other parts of Louisiana. She also worked with local community and education partners to bring Project STEAM to Baton Rouge public schools, exposing hundreds of Baton Rouge youth to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
Mrs. Edwards lived and served with humble grace, faith and resiliency. At the time of her death, she was serving as Louisiana State Representative for District 29.
UREC extends sincere condolences to the Edwards family, as our hearts, prayers and support are with them during this time.
Mrs. Edwards’ family invites the community to honor her journey during a celebration of her life on Friday, March 4, 2015 at Living Faith Christian Center, 6375 Winbourne Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70805. A viewing will take place from 8:00am to 10:00am. The service will begin at 10:00am with interment at Heavenly Gates Mausoleum, 10633 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70807. The repast will begin immediately following the internment and will take place at The Charles R. Kelly Community Center, located at 3535 Riley Street.
The Board and Staff of Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation