Former Gov. Edwards’ brother dies

Marion D. Edwards
Marion D. Edwards

Marion D. Edwards, the brother of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and former vice president of a New Orleans-based mining company, died Saturday at his home in Broussard, relatives said.

He was 84.

Edwards spent much of his career with Freeport-McMoRan, a mining company formerly based in New Orleans.

Edwards was hired by Freeport-McMoRan after he successfully headed his brother’s campaign for governor in 1983, according to The Advocate’s archives.

He served as vice president of governmental affairs until 1985, sometime before he and his governor brother, among others, were set to face trial on federal racketeering conspiracy charges.

The first trial, which concluded in December 1985, ended in a hung jury. On May 10, 1986, a second jury cleared the Edwardses and their co-defendants.

Edwin Edwards, now 85, was convicted in May 2000 of extorting applicants for riverboat casino licenses during his fourth and final term in office. He was released from prison in 2011.

Marion Edwards continued working as a political consultant for Freeport-McMoRan until 1999, according to information supplied in an obituary notice.

Edwards led the Edwards Insurance and Real Estate Agency from 1956 to 2012, his obituary says.

Edwards survived cancer in 1977. The Marion D. Edwards Fellowship in Hepatic Oncology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is named in his honor.

Born July 10, 1928, in Marksville, Edwards attended Bethany Nazarene College in Bethany, Okla., and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

Relatives of Marion Edwards could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Bonnie Warren, a former editor of New Orleans Magazine, said she came to know Marion Edwards and his wife Penny after she met Penny Edwards in 1975 while working on a committee in New Orleans for the U.S. bicentennial celebration.

“The one thing you’d have to say about Marion, he had an incredible love of life,” Warren said. “He loved to tell jokes. He was a funny guy.”

Edwards also was a devout member of the Church of the Nazarene, Warren said.

“He had a very abiding faith in God,” she said.

Visitation for Marion Edwards will be held at the Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home, 301 N. Avenue F, Crowley, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The funeral will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene, 1203 W. Northern Ave., Crowley, at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Marion D. Edwards Fellowship in Hepatic Oncology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 301439, Houston, Texas, 77230; or Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston St., Suite 200, Lafayette, LA 70503.