Charles Daniel Edwards

Published 6:12 pm Friday, September 21, 2018

Charles Daniel Edwards, a long-time resident of Washington, died Sept. 15, 2018, at Arbor Acres Retirement Community in Winston-Salem. He was 91.

Born in Spooner, Wisconsin, on Dec. 2, 1926, Dan was married to Elaine Casperson of Frederic, Wisconsin, for 63 years. Karen and Palmer Edwards are their children.

At age 17, Dan enrolled at Marquette University as part of the WWII Navy College V12 Program — beginning of 20 years of military service. He received his BS and Master’s from the University of Wisconsin. Re-entering the Navy, he interned at the University Hospital in New Orleans (then Hotel Dieu), attended the Navy’s Submarine School in Connecticut, later serving as a submarine physician in Hawaii. Subsequently, he completed his surgical residency with emphasis on trauma at Detroit Receiving and the local VA hospital.

In 1959, Dan and his young family moved to Washington to begin his medical practice, providing general surgery and trauma care to residents of Beaufort and surrounding counties for over 20 years. Dan and Elaine loved the friendliness of Washington and Beaufort County Hospital, living near the river, visiting the ocean, exploring yard sales and antique stores and enjoying community events.

In the early 1980s, he re-enlisted to serve at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. In 1991, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, after being recalled during the first Gulf War to his final tour of duty at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Dan inherited his mother Roma’s love of books and poetry and his father Palmer’s interest in learning how things work. He wrote to his children and grandchildren about music, movies and books. Dan’s grandchildren marveled at the supplies he collected to support his many interests.

During retirement, Dan taught Advanced Cardiac/Trauma Life Support to health care professionals at East Carolina University as a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. The Pamlico-Tar River Foundation awarded Dan and Elaine the Great Blue Heron award for their volunteer work. Together they took computer courses at Beaufort County Community College, which led to Dan’s serving as secretary for the New Bern Computer Club.

In 2010, Dan and Elaine moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to be near their daughter, Karen, and her husband, John Rieser. Elaine died in 2012, and in December 2017, Dan moved to Winston-Salem where Palmer and his wife, Marty (Shore), could enjoy his company and care for him.

Dan is survived by sister Carolyn Brandeen (George); his children and their spouses; grandchildren Michael Rieser, Katie Rieser (Emily Owens), Julie Edwards (Tom O’Lynnger), Emily Edwards and Susan Edwards; and great-grandson Jonah Miles Owens-Rieser.

Plans for a memorial service in Washington, NC are incomplete. If you would like to be notified of the time, please email

The family requests that memorials be made to Sound Rivers, P0 Box 1854, Washington, NC 27889 or the Parkinson’s Foundation at