Edward Westmoreland Puckett was born in Fairfield, Illinois on November 18, 1960 and passed away peacefully on June 17, 2020 at Grady County Hospital in Cairo, Georgia. Ed is survived by his wife Cindy (Pritchet) and three sons: Wes, age 35; Josh, age 25 and Zach, age 24. Ed and Cindy celebrated the arrival of their first grandson, Josh Puckett, Jr. in April of 2019. It saddens his wife and children immensely that his grandfather will miss watching Josh, Jr. grow.
Ed was the youngest of five children born to Buel and Ruth (Gray) Puckett who lived in rural Southern Illinois at the time. His mother, “Granny Puckett”, is 99 years old and lives in Murray Kentucky with Pat Puckett, his closest sibling in age and her husband, Timothy Rife. All his siblings mourn the loss of “Eddie”, the name his birth family gave him: Ann Puckett lives in Athens, Georgia; Tammy Vail lives in Fairfield, Illinois; Charlie Puckett, his only brother lives in Columbus, Ohio. Ed’s nephews and nieces include Drew Hendricks - Ann’s son, Tammy’s three children – Scott, Jennifer Smith and Kevin Ruhl and Charlie’s daughters - Tiffany Puckett Smith and Danielle Puckett. Although Ed was blessed by all his nephews and nieces, he was especially close to Scott, Jennifer and Kevin Ruhl, Tammy’s children. When “Eddie” was 16 when he moved from Albany, GA to Fairfield, Illinois into Tammy’s home where he learned what it was like to have younger children who observed how you behaved. This was a wonderful time of growth in Ed’s life. He learned solid “Rules to Live By” – the practical skills necessary to run a farm or grow a garden and the importance of schooling. Fortunately, Fairfield High School had a Building and Trades program that taught home construction. Ed graduated from Fairfield High School in 1980. During these years, Ed gained immeasurable skills in farming, growing vegetables and home building. But most important, he honed an impeccable work ethic which served him well for most of his life. While living with Tammy’s family, he went to church regularly and was baptized into the Geff Christian Church.
When Ed was born, he joined a large and close family; there were 21 first cousins, 20 of them on his mother’s side but only one on his father’s side. Only three cousins have predeceased Ed. All of the living cousins who are scattered across the nation (California, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Missouri, Ohio and Virginia), share the grief and loss of “Eddy-Boy”, the nick name given to him by Sallie and Lisa Book, his Chicago-area cousins who loved to “borrow” a little brother occasionally. His older parents and siblings were more than pleased with that practice.
Ed was a man of action and a man of the outdoors. He rarely sat still. If he was not at his day job, he was in the woods hunting or fishing, not for sport alone but for consumption. He tricked his older sister, Pat into eating his home-made venison stew by telling her it was vegetable beef stew. Ed grinned when she pronounced it “very good” – and then, he revealed the ingredients.
All of Ed’s employers were pleased with his work performance; it was always above and beyond the typical employee. When he was a manager at Buffalo Rock Pepsi in Albany, Georgia, he was a well-known and well-respected man in the community. He received an award from Easter Seals of Southwest Georgia for his leadership in their annual golf tournament fund raiser. Ed followed in his father’s foot steps in giving back to his community. Ed learned from his dad that volunteer work was not just good for business, it was the right thing to do. Ed’s children, Josh and Zach express appreciation for this quality of character shown by their daddy and granddaddy. It is no doubt a quality they will pass on to their children.
Due to the present COVID-19 situation, a memorial service will be held at a later date.
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