December 28, 1940 to November 24, 2022
They called him “Flying Phil”.
A multi-trophy winner at his local auto race track, Philip Jay Edwards has had a lifelong love of cars as a driver, mechanic and salesman.
In the 1970s, he owned Edwards Chevrolet, a Chevrolet and Oldsmobile dealership in Attica. For his one season in 1980, he was the current Lancaster Motors owner of his speedway and raced in a modified stock car.
He died suddenly at his home in Amherst on November 24th. he was 81 years old.
Born in Plattsburgh, the eldest of four, Mr. Edwards grew up in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls and was a member of LaSalle High School’s class of 1958.
He enlisted in the Navy and became an aircraft engine mechanic, earning the rank of E-5. He was stationed at bases in Hawaii and Washington.
Returning from service, he lived in Attica and was a salesman for Don Allen Chevrolet in Buffalo. He then opened his Performance Edwards racing outfitter’s shop on Bailey’s Avenue.
He began competing at Lancaster Speedway in 1969, driving his own car. – It was rebuilt in the early 1970s, sold as a late-model stock car at Dutch Speedway in the mid-1970s, and rebuilt at Lancaster until 1983.
He also competed in the Race of Champions at Pocono Raceway for several years.
For several years, Mr. Edwards ran a used car dealership on Transit Road and Wale Drive, worked for an auto auction company, and personally sold vehicles until his death.
He was also a career coach bus driver who transported disabled children.
“He was tough,” said his wife, former Debbie Page, “but they melted his heart.
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle enthusiast, he continued to ride well into his eighties. He and his wife regularly attend his bike week in Daytona, Florida, and had a timeshare his residence there.
They also traveled extensively on cruises, visiting China, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Alaska, and Hawaii.
He enjoyed gambling and was a regular visitor to local and Las Vegas casinos.
In addition to his wife, survivors include three daughters, April Krip, Jennifer Stringfellow and Connie Matewicz. Five sons: Robert, Philip, Brian, Andrew and John. He has two sisters, Susan Secretet and Peggy Makie. Brother, Paul. 13 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Visits will take place on Thursdays from 3pm to 7pm at the John E. Roberts Funeral Home at 280 Grover Cleveland Highway, Amherst.