By Holly J. Andres, Staff Writer
POSTED: 12/31/09, 9:00 PM PST |
A memorial service will be held Wednesday for Mary Edwards, a Granada Hills community activist and environmentalist, who died Dec. 7 after a long illness. She was 79.

Edwards was a longtime supporter and spokeswoman for the North Valley Coalition of Concerned Citizens, a grass-roots organization that opposed the expansion of nearby Sunshine Canyon Landfill.

“Mary was worried about the health of the community. She wanted to make the area safer, and she wouldn’t give up. She motivated us to fight with her,” said longtime friend and fellow activist Mary Anna Kienholz.

Edwards was also the founder of LASER (Landfill Alternative Save Environmental Resources) and was an advocate for the acquisition of land for the Rim of the Valley and Bee Canyon Park.

“She was very well-known in the community but she was humble. Doing for others was her nature. She was truly exceptional. We will miss her a whole lot,” Kienholz said.

In addition, Edwards was a founding member of Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council, active in the Granada Hills Women’s Club and a supporter of the anti-poverty group Meet Each Need With Dignity.

“Mary was a totally giving woman. She wore her heart on her sleeve. She cared about the homeless, the hungry, battered women,” said Wayde Hunter, president of the North Valley Coalition. “She fought like all-get-out for the community.”

Edwards is survived by her husband, George, and seven children.

The memorial will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and St. Charles, 16651 Rinaldi St., Granada Hills.

Memorial contributions can be made to MEND, 10641 N. San Fernando Road, Pacoima 91331 or other charity.