Friends and family describe 70-year-old Howard Edley as a hardworking man who loved God.
“He was connected and he did make a difference. And that’s what his life was about — making a difference in the lives of other people,” said family friend, Robin Henry.
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Henry said she’s known Edley since she was 10 years old when the two lived in the small community of Mingo.
She recalled a memory of Edley driving her to Urbana. When it seemed like they would run out of gas, Edley had faith in God that they would make it into town — which they did.
“Howard is a wonderful man that would help anybody,” she said.
Edley was shot and killed late Saturday evening in a Clifton Ave. alley between E. Rose Street and Rice Street in Springfield. Police responded to the alley to find Edley sitting in a running truck with an unidentified number of gun shot wounds, according to a police report.
It’s not clear what led up to the shooting.
“It’s an outrage because it’s so senseless,” Henry said. “He has people that need him here on this earth and he had people that were counting on him. His kids needed him. His grandkids needed him.”
Henry said Edley was living in Holmes County, working for farmers at the time of his death, but led a men’s prayer breakfast every Saturday in Springfield. Edley also still has relatives in the area.
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Edley’s cousin, Catherine Moore said in a message that Edley was also a Vietnam veteran.
Another cousin, Jamie Moore added, “He and my aunt took plenty of not so fortunate children and adults in to help give them a better life. He would help any stranger in need,” she said. “We currently are more angry because the (way) he died.”
No one has been arrested in the homicide. Springfield Police said detectives are continuing to investigate.
“If I had to speak to the person who did it, I would just say turn yourself in,” Henry said.
Howard’s sister, Julie Underwood said the family has set up an account at Civista Bank in Urbana. Donations can be made to the Howard Edley Jr. Memorial Fund.
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