Some people are destined to spread generosity and light to those around them. Undoubtedly, Jodie Lee Edge was one of those people. Although he had to depart this earth on October 30, 2017, signs of his presence reverberate through the thousands of lives he bettered over the course of 91 years. The sixth child of Clifton and Bessie Edge, he was born February 14, 1926, in Heavener, OK. His first job was selling popcorn for a nickel a bag on Saturdays. He later worked at the soda fountain in the local drugstore, and as a teen, became a “printer’s devil” at the Heavener Ledger newspaper. By age 12, he set his sights on becoming a doctor.
Jodie was part of the greatest generation, graduating from high school one day, and getting on a bus the next morning to go to Navy boot camp. He served as a Yeoman 2nd Class on the U.S.S. LST Lone Wolf, a massive ship carrying tanks, supplies and troops to the Pacific War, including the Battle of Okinawa. When the war ended, he became a student at the University of Oklahoma (OU). He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bacteriology and chemistry, and enrolled in the OU College of Medicine. It was during this time he met and fell in love with Elizabeth (Betty) Nashert. The couple married in 1951, and over the next ten years, welcomed five children: Stephen, Christopher, Gregory, Mark and Sherri. Following medical school, Jodie took a position at the ACH Hospital in Shawnee, OK, delivering 3,000 babies over the course of 10 years, and yes, it’s true: one of them was Brad Pitt! In 1966, he moved his family to Norman to undertake a psychiatric residency at Griffin Memorial Hospital, and re-specialize as a psychiatrist. He created Doctor’s Park Psychiatric Clinic in Norman, and established an in-patient psychiatric wing at Norman Regional Hospital. For many years, he provided pro bono psychiatric care to clients at Catholic Charities.
Elizabeth passed away in 1987 after 37 years of marriage. Fortunately, a few years later, Jodie met Doris Caswell, who had also experienced the death of her spouse. They were married in 1990, and Doris’ children---Yvette, Laura Belle and Karl---expanded Jodie’s scope of fatherhood by three. The couple was blessed with 27 years of marriage, and celebrated a family that includes eight children, 17 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
Dr. Edge was a treasured son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. Over a 50-year medical career, he brought his healing touch to tens of thousands of patients and their families. He was recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He was the director of the Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma and was a dedicated member of St. Thomas More University Parish. In 2005, Pope John Paul II awarded Jodie the Venerable Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontiff for his exemplary practice of the Catholic faith. Spreading good will over the course of his life came naturally to Jodie, and those who knew him are richer for his presence.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Our Faith, Our Future Capital Campaign at St. Thomas More.