Robert Cleveland "Cleve" Edmunds always had a friendly smile and a welcoming handshake for anyone he met.
He was definitely a "people person."
"Never have I ever seen him meet a stranger," his wife, Maxanne, said.
The 73-year-old owner of Cleve Edmunds' Bar-B-Que died Monday. His memorial service was held Friday morning at Warren Baptist Church, where he was a member and head usher.
Mrs. Edmunds called her husband a throwback, a gentleman who didn't like her to pump her own gasoline and always put himself between her and the road when they walked their Evans neighborhood.
"We'd been married almost 17 years," Mrs. Edmunds said. "They were 17 wonderful years."
Mr. Edmunds took over Edmunds' Bar-B-Que in Martinez from his father 40 years ago and enjoyed sitting in the dining room talking with patrons.
He was a former Aiken County commissioner and longtime member of the Jaycees and of West Lake Country Club, where he served on the housing committee.
He was a board member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and gave his time to raise money and coordinate events for the organization, Mrs. Edmunds said.
"Cleve had a very generous heart and it showed in a lot of ways," Mrs. Edmunds said, adding that he enjoyed sports including auto racing and the Georgia Bulldogs. "Through his life, it was a life lived for people."
And it was Mr. Edmunds' outgoing and bubbly personality and interest in other people's lives that made him so likeable and special to all who knew him.
To the always sharp-dressed Mr. Edmunds, people were all the same.
"He was very proud of what people accomplished in life," Mrs. Edmunds said. "He was so happy for people when they did well. He was a cheerleader. But he was right there for people when they weren't doing well, too."
In addition to his wife, Mr. Edmunds is survived by his sister, Faye Edmunds; a stepson, Stephen Allmond; two granddaughters, Alexandra and Abigail Allmond; a sister-in-law, Nan Brooks; an aunt, Myrtle Lott; a niece, Jana Jordan; a nephew, Taylor Brooks; and many cousins.
Mrs. Edmunds said her husband never had any children of his own, but still enjoyed the perks of being a grandparent, including a June family trip to Disney World.
With those two grandchildren, "He had two things he never thought he'd have in life," Mrs. Edmunds said.
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