'Gentle and kind' Louisiana state Rep. Ronnie Edwards dies after 2-year battle with cancer _lowres

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards greets everybody at the panel discussion on the loss of young black males in East Baton Rouge Parish held at the Charles R. Kelly Community Center on Saturday, Sepetember 27, 2014.

Metro Council members remembered their friend and fellow councilwoman Ronnie Edwards on Wednesday, as they renamed a room in the Charles R. Kelly Community Center for her.

Edwards, who had recently been elected to the Louisiana Legislature, died in late February after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.

Here is what city government leaders and council members had to say about Edwards:

Casey Cashio, Metro Council administrator, dedicated the invocation before the meeting to Edwards. He cited Psalm 118, reading “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” He said he believes Edwards is with God, and he also read from 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

Mayor Pro Tem Chandler Loupe called for a moment of silence for Edwards, saying he wanted to reflect on “the way she touched everyone’s life and the blessings she bestowed upon me.”

Tara Wicker said she met Edwards 20 years ago. “It’s unimaginable and really incomprehensible about how much we really miss Ronnie,” Wicker said. “Let’s honor Ronnie and honor Ronnie’s memory living that out as we perform our duties here as council members and also as citizens … We’ll try to behave as much as possible, Ronnie and keep your memory alive.”

Trae Welch said Edwards was always able to have him see the other side of arguments. “Whenever we lose someone who truly has a servant’s heart like Ronnie had, it’s hard, because that’s what she did,” he said. “She lived this life, but she lived it for other people and not for herself.”

Buddy Amoroso, a close friend of Edwards, said he was thankful that their Metro Council offices were close together and that they could frequently speak to each other. “She always had such a sweet smile and such a sweet person, and boy, she was a tough lady,” Amoroso said. “She was sweet but she was also very tough.”

Erika Green replaced Edwards when Edwards won a seat in the legislature. Green said the community has made it known how well-loved Edwards was. “She instilled a lot of wisdom in me,” Green said.