On December 29, Laura Ruth Wells Edwards, 53, entered an “eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” She heard her Heavenly Father speak the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Laura’s earthly journey ended in her Chesapeake home; surrounded by those she loved the most.
Laura was born in Virginia Beach and was a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads. Her parents, Bob and Marie Wells, undoubtedly embraced her upon her entrance into heaven. Laura was a graduate of Kempsville High School (’87) and went on to earn a double major in psychology and education at the College of William and Mary (’91). She made lifelong friends at WandM, especially through the Baptist Student Union (now BCM).
Laura taught elementary school in the VBCPS for five years, including a year at Woodstock Elementary, where she and her future husband met, as second-graders. After devoting many years to raising her three children, Laura returned to teaching at Norfolk Christian Schools (NCS). She spent nearly 15 years in elementary education at NCS, serving her longest tenure as a gifted resource teacher. During her time at NCS, all three of Laura’s children graduated from the school.
Laura was a faithful, active member of New Song Fellowship in Virginia Beach. She joined the church, as a young child, and remained a member for more than 45 years. Her ministry work was extensive - youth camps, women’s ministry, small groups - but her passion and calling always involved teaching young children. She was the preschool director at NSF for more than 20 years.
In December 2019, Laura received a shocking diagnosis: stage 4 cancer. For three years, she fought faithfully, persistently and courageously, enduring multiple surgeries, hospitalizations and numerous rounds of chemo and radiation. Her faith and testimony only increased, as she actively sought opportunities to encourage others, despite great personal hardship.
Deep, heartfelt thanks to Dr. Michael Lee and Nurse Gabrielle Whalen, with Virginia Oncology Associates. For three years, they loved and supported Laura, investing in her personally and professionally. They cared for her as a patient and they valued her as a human being and friend. She loved them for it. Dr. Bethany Tan, Dr. John Sayles, Dr. Marybeth Hughes and the entire nursing unit - 5 East - at Sentara Leigh, all deserve special thanks.
Laura is survived by her husband of 28 years, Gregory Joseph Edwards; a daughter, Allison Marie Rusk (Brandon); and two sons - Kyle Parker Edwards (Hannah) and Nathan Joseph Edwards. Her first grandchild, Harper Grace Rusk, was born in September, bringing great joy to Laura and the family. The news that her second grandchild will be born to Kyle and Hannah on, or about, Laura’s birthday, in July 2023, was also a great gift.
Laura loved her in-laws, Wayne and Sally Holloman, and took comfort in their continuing care for her family. Also honoring Laura’s memory are her brother, Lee Wells, his wife, Gloria, and their four children - Zephaniah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Grace Marie - all of Gray, TN. Laura was blessed to be loved and supported by many extended family members, co-workers and lifelong friends.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 6, at New Song Fellowship - 865 Woodstock Road in Virginia Beach.
A memorial service will begin at 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 7, at New Song Fellowship, with Pastor Brent Hobbs officiating.
The burial at Norfolk’s Forest Lawn Cemetery will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance
and/or New Song Fellowship’s children’s ministries
Friends may post remembrances online and/or view the churches livestream at https://www.grahamfuneralhome.com/.