Chapter Eternals: Crawford Edwards ’17 and Benjamin Shellhaas ’17

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our brothers Crawford Brown Edwards III ’17 and Benjamin Bright Shellhaas ’17 into Chapter Eternal. We want to extend our deepest sympathies to their family, friends and loved ones. View their obituaries below.

Source Courtesy of The Legacy

Crawford Brown Edwards, III died on March 5, 2022. Crawford was born in Macon, Georgia on May 20, 1999 to Kristy and Brown Edwards and his two sisters; Christine and Milly Parks. He was predeceased by both his paternal grandfather, Crawford Brown Edwards, and his maternal grandfather, John Matt Bingham. Survivors include his paternal grandmother, Mildred Taylor Edwards Dennis and his maternal grandmother, Vivian Howard Bingham. His precious family includes numerous devoted aunts and uncles and many cousins.

A Celebration of his Life will be held Friday, March 11, 2022 at Christ Church with private burial. Rev. Cynthia C. Knapp will officiate. A Visitation will be held from 5 until 7PM Thursday at the residence of Bonnie and Joe Starr, 4533 Old Club Road, Macon, GA 31210. Donations may be made to fund OI research to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607 or the OI Foundation, P.O. Box 824061, Philadelphia, PA 19182-4061 or Stratford Academy, 6010 Peake Road, Macon, GA 31220 or Christ Church, 582 Walnut Street, Macon, GA 31201.

Shortly after Crawford’s birth, he was diagnosed with a severe form of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Type III which is commonly known as OI or Fragile Bones. At the time of his death at 22 years of age, he had suffered over 53 broken bones, 28 surgeries, and over 60 trips to Montreal. In Montreal he was one of the first participants in the newly developed protocol and scientific study discovered by Dr. Francis Glorieux and his team through Shriners and McGill University. It was Shriners who cared for Crawford’s entire medical needs: treatments, diagnostics, equipment, therapy, and every other aspect of his health and well- being from birth to 21 years of age. Without this excellent care, it is unimaginable what his quality of life or longevity might have been.

Crawford was a student at Sonny Carter Elementary School and then transferred to Stratford Academy in the fifth grade and it is from there he graduated in 2017. During these school years he made many life-long friends in both his classmates and teachers. He loved playing Miracle League, a nonprofit baseball league for the challenged and disabled.

It was during his senior year at Stratford that he had to undergo an extensive surgery to lift his spine off his heart and lungs. He recovered in time to graduate and matriculate into the University of Georgia with the Zell Miller Scholarship. He pledged Kappa Alpha Fraternity and enjoyed fun, football, and wonderful friendships. He was working towards becoming a Sports Psychologist, a dream he had because of his great interest and deep passion for sports, namely the NBA and college football. His fascination and admiration for elite athletes allowed him to live vicariously through them; a way he could experience sports being disabled. He marveled at the elegance and awesome power that those athletes possessed.
Between January and June of 2019, Crawford had 6 surgeries to rod his arm and shunt his brain to protect him from the threatening hydrocephalus. He was very sick for most of those 6 months and could not attend college. He went through all these trials with grace, dignity, and stoicism.

As the world crisis with Coronavirus eased and he got a bit better, he was able to enroll in Middle Georgia State University and was a student there at the time of his death. He was employed at his beloved alma mater, Stratford Academy, where he was reunited with his favorite teachers and staff and worked as a substitute teacher and tutor.

Crawford was astoundingly never bitter or resentful. By allowing us into his life, to help him and love him, he taught us more about living and gratitude than we could ever learn alone. His brilliance far outshined any shadow that Osteogensis Imperfecta could ever cast over him. One of his favorite quotes was from Winston Churchill: “When you’re going through Hell, keep going” and he did until such a time, on Saturday, March 5th, 2022 he didn’t have to anymore and God carried him home, healed and relieved.

Visit to express tributes.
Snow’s Memorial Chapel, Bass Road, has charge of arrangements.


Source Courtesy of Kimbrell – Stern

Benjamin Bright Shellhaas, 23, of Athens, Georgia passed away suddenly and unexpectedly yet peacefully while asleep Monday afternoon, November 29th, 2021 in Athens, Georgia.
Ben was born December 2, 1997 and grew up in Albany, Georgia. He was a forestry student at The Warnell School of Forestry at The University of Georgia. He loved attending classes in one of his favorite places in Athens, Whitehall Forest. While at UGA, he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and the SAF Forestry Club. Ben also attended ABAC his freshman year where he was named to the President’s List. He graduated from Deerfield-Windsor School in Albany in 2016 where he made many lifelong friends. Ben was a member of Porterfield United Methodist Church and attended YoungLife Albany. Ben was scheduled to graduate from UGA in December 2022 and had recently been accepted to UGA Study Abroad South Pacific program.
Ben worked as the Youth Director at Covenant Presbyterian Church in 2018. Ben continued to counsel youth at Dogwood Acres Summer Camp in Chipley, Florida for two years which further led to his fascination and love of Forestry. Ben was an athlete and loved playing golf. While in high school he excelled in soccer and basketball and he ran cross country. He especially enjoyed any opportunity to coach younger kids.
As a child, Ben had a unique ability to think outside the box and his natural curiosity about all things was a source of great pride to his parents. Ben was a big thinker and lover of life. Ben passionately continued to play golf as often as he could. His favorite golf partner was his twin brother Ethan and the frequent battle for the lowest score was always fought for. He also enjoyed golfing with his older brother Sam, his Father, his cousins, and his friends. Ben has, inarguably, the best golf swing in the family. Ben was a joy to be around and made the most insightful comments on any given topic; he always had a surprisingly well thought out opinion that was deep and textured for someone so young. We will mourn him with our whole hearts and every fiber of our bodies and souls. His curiosity at the complex miracle of the sciences and nature coupled with his faith in God reminds us of the many interesting conversations he was known for in “The Shellhaas Clan”. Ben was a unique soul and a friend to all, his eyes were bright with sincerity and kindness. His energy and humor would light up a room just by walking in with his “laid back” infectious presence. Ben was always so present and intentional when having a conversation which is a rare trait to have in this world. Ben’s best friend was his younger twin brother Ethan. The love shared between them was a source of deep happiness for almost 24 years. They will always be best friends and brothers. He loved his parents well, he loved and laughed with his sister and brothers in a sincere and passionate way that only he was capable of. The love he showed his “GiGi” was a true gift to her from God. Ben was so passionate about life and love and if he loved you, you knew it. Ben was adventurous in life, bold yet faithful in spirit and those who loved him were all blessed when he was near.
Ben loved the seven cats and two dogs he grew up with. Ben thoroughly enjoyed eating, especially spaghetti, Mexican food and The Red Bar. He loved sea kayaking and would paddle so far out that you lost sight of him. He loved watching The Office and Marvel Movies. Ben and his sister Sarah enjoyed a passion for music, especially the saxophone. We have many fond family memories of skiing, rafting and so many trips to Santa Rosa Beach. We were fortunate to have just spent six glorious days at the beach over Thanksgiving with our Baltimore family where he proved to be a master charades player. We were graced and blessed by his presence, his humor and his always famous pumpkin pies.
Ben is survived by his parents, Steve and Patti Shellhaas, his siblings, Sarah, Sam and Ethan, grandmothers Lee Don and Carolyn Shellhaas, aunts and uncles Cindy (Chris) Dyer, Baltimore, MD Scott (Ann) Shellhaas, Atlanta, GA, Andrew Cox, Denver, CO and Lori (Greg) Battle and his cousins Will and Colin Dyer (Baltimore, MD), Nathan, Matthew and Noah Shellhaas (Atlanta, GA) and Kyle Law (Savannah, GA). He was preceded in death by his Grandfathers, Donald Dale Shellhaas, George Dale Don, James Lee Cox (Boulder, CO) and his great Grandmother and namesake, Vernell Bright Garrett (Andersonville, TN).
A memorial service will be held Monday, January 10th, 2021 at 5:00 pm at Covenant Presbyterian Church. The Reverend Dr. William Dr. “Biff” Coker and the Reverend Dr. Sam Henderson will officiate. The family will receive friends from 4:00 – 5:00 PM at the church. Those desiring may make donations in Ben’s memory to Whiz Kids Georgia, Inc., Whitehall Forest at the Warnell School of Forestry at UGA, Dogwood Acres Retreat (Chipley, FL), YoungLife Albany or a charity of choice.