Edward R. Needham, 87, of Covington, passed away Oct. 6. Mr. Needham was a talented Chemical Engineer. He taught himself computer programming and wrote the production tracking software for Beaver Manufacturing Company, which he owned and operated for 43 years. From the time he started the company, in 1971, it has grown every year and still remains strong. In 1989, the governor of Georgia presented him the Spirit of Business Award. He enjoyed flower gardening and building radios, was able to repair anything electrical, including organs, and even built his family’s first TV from scratch. Mr. Needham lived in Matanzas, Cuba, from 1955-1960, while employed by Cuban Rayon Company. He was a seasoned world traveler and visited many South American countries, including Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and Peru during his business travels. Mr. Needham enjoyed boating and owned several boats over the years despite not being able to swim. He was a very compassionate and community-oriented individual. He believed in encouraging students while they were young and that teaching them hard work and perseverance would allow them to achieve anything. He and his wife, Nonie, received the R.O. Arnold Award in 2008. Mr. Needham was a member of Covington First United Methodist Church, where he served on the Board of Trustees. He was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Vestina (Broom) Needham.
Survivors include his loving wife of 62 years, Lenora (Nonie) Needham; children and their spouses, Edward W. Needham of Covington, Kathy Needham Rhodes and her husband Robert of Social Circle, Bryan A. Needham of Oxford; grandchildren, Seth Rhoades, Judson Rhoades, Charles Needham, Katy Rhoades, Krissy Rhoades, Rachael Needham; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Mr. Needham will be held at 2 p.m. today, October 9, at the First United Methodist Church in Covington, with the Rev. Dr. Douglas Gilreath, the Rev. Jan McCoy and the Rev. Dr. Don Martin officiating, and interment following in Covington City Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church from 10 a.m. to noon today. Flowers are accepted, or donations may be made to Covington First United Methodist Church, 1113 Conyers St. SW, Covington, Ga. 30014. Visit www.caldwellandcowan.com to place online condolences.