Edward went above and beyond. He was an extremely loyal, dedicated, and devoted man to his children and the fire service. He died on February 13, 2021, during a house call, doing what he was driven and committed to: saving lives. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Edward grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He joined because he had a yearning in his heart for saving lives and helping others. He served in utmost dedication a total of 17 years as a firefighter (7 years), engineer (2 years), chief (7 years), and battalion chief (1 year).
Although proud of his accomplishments, Edward was always humble and never boastful. Always one call away, he never met a stranger and would do without hesitation for others. He was constantly willing and able to lend a helping hand or financial support when needed. You only had to ask once, and Edward was right there to help fix the problem in any way he could. His qualities—including determination, hard work, and being extremely innovative and inventive—made him special and unique to so many people and appreciated by those who truly knew him. He was our family’s own personal superman.
Edward opened his arms and heart to those he called his “brothers beyond blood.” He mentored and taught them to keep climbing the ladder in the department. He took the time and effort to contribute to what he felt was his purpose, while creating an unbreakable bond with them. He was vice president of a group that goes by the name HOTTAR, helping to lead in the fight against injustice, combating racism in the fire service while recruiting the minority.
As Edward’s oldest daughter, I will always feel happily obligated to relive his memory wherever and whenever. I was and will always be his, benna. My dad deserved more years than he got. However, I keep my prosperous faith in the Lord and his timing. To me, my dad will always be one of a kind. As I watched him at work, I realized that it was more than a job to him. He had found a forever second home, and he loved what he did every day. All the study sessions with me and him, teaching me things about the fire department that most don’t know, and growing up in fire trucks will always be a part of my life.
Edward leaves in his remembrance his wife, Denise; his daughters, Kennedy, Kensley, Kensington, and Kaylor; his stepsons, Jurod and Reginald; his mother, Victoria Karriem-Ray; and many other family and friends, on and off the fire department.
To the most loving son and I am proud to have my name on your birth certificate. Together we were blessed to be in each other’s lives . Knowing that you were loved by your mother, siblings and four daughters. Loved by all your family which you will always have.– Victoria KARRIEM-Ray