Mary Edna Buckhalter Dykes, known affectionately as Edna, passed away peacefully on October 6, 2023, in Tallahassee, Florida. Born July 24, 1936, on the family farm in Grand Ridge, Florida, Edna was a beacon of love, faith, and thoughtfulness throughout her 87 years.
Edna was the beloved daughter of the late Grant and Marie Lynn Buckhalter. She was predeceased by her brother Ulysses Buckhalter, sister Malvenia Buckhalter Gay, and her devoted husband of 59 years, Eddie Ben “Shorty” Dykes. Edna is survived by her sons Jeffery A. Dykes (Kelly), Michael P. Dykes (Nicole), and Edward H. Dykes (Liza). She is also survived by her brothers WR Buckhalter (Juanita), Lloyd Buckhalter, and Harvey Buckhalter (Elaine), and her sisters Salatha Ringer, Sarah Frances Dunning, and Eva Mae Brazen. Edna was a cherished grandmother to Amanda Paige Mathis (Chad), Shelby Jean Tilley (Reid), Logan Andrew Dykes, Heather Marie Dykes, Mikaela Sullivant (Stacey), Morgan E. Dykes, Nicolas M. Dykes, and Ethan C. Dykes. She was also a proud great-grandmother to Alyssa, Caleb, Aubrey, Cayson, Hayes, and Cillian. Edna leaves behind her loyal caregiver and close friend of the family, Mary Frances Toole, her close cousin, Mary Frances Kacur, and a host of nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
Edna was a proud graduate of Grand Ridge High School, class of 1955. She began her journey into healthcare at the Registered Nurse Program at Florida State Hospital in the fall of 1955. It was here that she met her future husband, “Shorty”, and they married in 1956. Edna dedicated 33 years of her life to caring for others as a registered nurse at Florida State Hospital before her retirement in 1991. Her faith was a cornerstone of her life, and she was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church of Chattahoochee and the Guild Group. In her later years, she enjoyed attending Calvary Baptist Church as she was able.
Edna had a zest for life that was evident in her many interests. She loved working in her yard, traveling, and camping, especially at the beach on St. George Island. She cherished long Sunday afternoon drives with her late husband and had a passion for photography. Edna was a devoted caretaker of her husband until his death in 2015, a testament to her loving and thoughtful nature.
In the words of Mother Teresa, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Edna embodied this sentiment, touching the lives of many with her kindness and compassion. Her legacy of love and faith will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.
Edna’s life was a testament to the power of love, faith, and thoughtfulness. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all who were fortunate enough to know her.
Flowers will be welcomed by the family or in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent in memory of Ms. Edna to First United Methodist Church in Chattahoochee, FL (18 W Marion Street Chattahoochee, FL 32324).
A Celebration of Edna’s life will be held in the First United Methodist Church of Chattahoochee on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, beginning at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. Interment will follow in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Visitation will be held at 10:00 AM Eastern Time one hour prior to service.