Cotten Funeral Home


Edward A. St. John

February 16, 1943September 15, 2020

Opening Act - 02/16/1943 Final Performance - 09/15/2020

On September 15, 2020, the legend we knew as a beloved husband, daddy, grandpa, pampa, papa, big papa, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend, earned his well deserved pair of angel wings.

Ed's story began in Massachusetts, where he was raised by his mother, Christine alongside his two younger brothers, Joe & Bruce, and sister, Dee. In younger years, locals were starstruck by his amazingly natural talent to yodel, sing and play the guitar like a pro. His outfits were one of a kind, as was he.

Freshly graduated from Mahar Regional High School in Orange, MA, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps with four of his close friends, on a whim. He proudly served our country for six years and received an honorable discharge in 1966.

After years of performing at jamborees and country western concerts, Ed learned the skill of drafting and business management, and began building a career as an independent contractor in the mobile modular industry. During that time he was also a foreman and property manager in Vacaville, CA. When his work was complete and he acknowledged all of his accomplishments, him and his wife, Brenda retired to Kelford, North Carolina.

While in NC, their neighbors and church members quickly became good friends, and in the past couple of years were great support to both of them.

Of all his many accomplishments, his greatest pride was in his 8 girls, lovingly called Deb, Nan, Cher (Doug), K (Dave), and Bren (Harry), daughters of Lorraine. Tiffy (Chris/"Guy"), daughter of Edna, and Ang (Tre), & Em, daughters of Brenda.

Through the years, he earned the cross country title of Grandpa, Pampa, Papa, and Big Papa, to the following: Joey, Kara, Josh, Nate, Jessica, Jerrika, James, Bubba, Jake, Tyler, Selina, Steven, Amanda, Allen, Zachary, Dyl, Dakota, Jordan, Aria, Zach, Sawyer, Aly, Bradley, Oliver, Tucker, Jules, Lexi, Eli, RJ, Zeth, and Kass.

Depending on what era of his journey you may have crossed paths, you may have known Ed as a talented musician/entertainer, fellow Marine veteran, mechanic, jockey, baseball player, bar owner, drinking partner, golfing buddy, cribbage champion, solitaire player, inventor, teacher, boss, compass/navigator, story teller, or protector. He was a man who could build and fix absolutely anything.

Ed was a hero to most, the following were some of the people who greatly impacted his life: Roy & Rick (brothers he met too late in life), cousin Linda, Marine buddies; Ralph, Richard, George, and Earl (Semper Fi); Eddie Bezio, Kelly, Larry, Roger, Fran Clark (the Buck to his Merle), Uncle John, Aunt Helen, many special in-laws on all sides, and way too many more wonderful and supportive family and friends to list.

Being the person he was, he didn’t want anyone fussing or crying over him. With his sense of humor, he would rather see us laughing and having a good time in his honor. We would love for anyone who was touched by his life to share a moment, thought, or story on his memory wall.

At this time there will be no funeral service. As per his wishes, we will be organizing a celebration of his life at a later date (TBD).

We don’t do goodbyes in our family, so as dad would say, "see you later".


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Edward A. St. John

have a memory or condolence to add?

Karen St.John

September 27, 2020

Every cherished moment spent with my dad I will hold close in my heart. I will miss my phone calls telling me we’re in for bad weather! Rest In Peace until we meet again dad.... love K.

Cheri Smith

September 27, 2020

My dad was my hero , my go to person when I needed an ear to listen without judgement. My person I could depend on for guidance or comfort. I am missing the weekly face times, his smile, laughter, and his love. Knowing he was always there picking up the phone or welcoming a visit. My dad wore many hats through out his years but the hat he wore most was the dad hat... he loved all eight of his daughters unconditionally and even if he didn’t like our choices at times, he stayed silent letting us chose the path and learn lessons we needed to learn on our own so we could grow We all had our own relationships with him but mine was just love ,special moments and beautiful memories that I will always cherish and keep close in my heart... love you daddy ❤️

Linda Duncan

September 25, 2020

I found out in 2018 that Ed was my cousin, we talked on the phone and finally met. Ed was such a joy , I only wish we had more time together. Until we meet again. Love you
To his daughters and Brenda, I am sorry for your loss.

Debbie St. John

September 23, 2020

Where do you begin when you lose someone so special. Daddy you will be missed terribly. I have so many memories that I could probably write a book, but I wanted to thank you for bringing music into our lives. It has gotten us through some tough times (and I need it now more than ever) and has made us laugh and smile during many other times. (I keep thinking of the last time we sat and sang or tried anyway). I pray that I can pass that along to Kara and Joey (although, you know they listen to some crazy music). As long as it makes them happy it’s okay. I’ll miss the phone calls and the weather updates, especially when I’m on the road which you know is all the time. I’m sure you are singing with the other greats up there and I look forward to singing again one day with you. I’m proud to be your daughter and I’m proud to call you DAD. I love you and I’ll see ya later, Deb.


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