Edward McDonald Milner

May 24, 1928-March 31, 2024


After a long life and a short illness, Edward McDonald Milner passed into the hands of a merciful God, on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2024.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Rebecca Yvonne Bartlett Milner, and is survived by his children, Edward McDonald Milner Jr. (Sylvia Milner), Thomas Bartlett Milner (Sandra Johnson), and Julia Ellen Milner (Kamran Jahanshahi); and his beloved grandchildren, Stephan Jahanshahi, Camellia Jahanshahi, and Christopher Johnson (Susan Bernardi Johnson).

He was born May 24, 1928, in Albertville, Alabama. Upon the death of his father, in 1933, he moved with his mother, Arree Twitty, and younger brother, James, to Gainesville, Georgia, where he lived until graduating from high school, in 1945. While there, he developed a love of music in the high school band and a lifelong commitment to the Boy Scouts, being the first Scout to reach the rank of Eagle in Troop 1, Gainesville.

In the fall of 1945, he left Gainesville for Nashville, Tennessee, where he attended Vanderbilt University. He studied Chemical Engineering, was a member and student director of the marching band and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He also meet Becky who was a student at Peabody College. After graduating, in 1948, they married, on April 2, 1949.

Ed started his professional life producing naval stores, moving with Becky between several locations in the deep South of their origins. In 1956, his career took a major turn when he began working for a Monsanto subsidiary, in Decatur, Alabama. In 1962, the family of five moved to Rhode Island; in 1962, New Jersey; and in 1986 to St. Louis Missouri, where he worked for Astroturf Industries. He was very involved in making it a safe surface and helped introduce Astroturf as a soccer and field hockey surface, traveling to Pakistan, Singapore, India, Japan, and forming friendships he maintained until his death. In 1992, he retired as president of the corporation.

After retirement, Ed and Becky moved to Olmstedville, New York, where they built their dream home (Frogmore) on 100 acres in the Adirondack Mountains. Over the next 18 years, they volunteered with the US Service Corps of Retired Executives to assist a Brazilian start-up and served on the board and as chairman for the International Association for Sports Surface Science (ISSS), headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. In their community, he served on the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District and the North Creek Chamber of Commerce. He continued his lifelong participation in Rotary International, directed his church’s choir, and impersonated Theodore Roosevelt at numerous community events. He was a founding board member of the Our Town Community Theatre Group, supported North Country Public Radio, and enjoyed the company of innumerable friends, the Chous and other family members at Frogmore. In his spare time, Ed played golf, cooked, and enjoyed complementary wines, photographed wildlife, and read. No meal at Frogmore was complete without friends and conversation.

In 2010, when he and Becky could no longer cross-country ski or shovel snow, they moved to Cookeville, Tennessee, and then to Life Care of Sparta where they were supported by a loving and helpful staff. Becky passed in 2018, and Ed continued to enjoy his friends and family until his passing.

Ed Milner will most be remembered for loving, supporting Becky, his children and a family extending beyond those mentioned here to innumerable friends. He was the living embodiment of the Scout Laws, truly Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. He is loved, sorely missed, and his memory will comfort to all who knew him.

A memorial service will be 1 p.m., April 27, 2024, at Sparta First Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to Rotary International, https://my.rotary.org/en/donate

 Hooper-Huddleston & Horner Funeral Home, in Cookeville, is in charge of arrangements.