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Edward Fender, 56

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 01 - August 29, 1996

Edward W. Fender, an agricultural supervisor, died August 15 after suffering an apparent heart attack at the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Fender, 56, collapsed while conducting field work at the center in Blackstone. Two co-workers administered CPR until the local rescue squad arrived. Fender never regained consciousness, said Jim Jones, director of the center.

The co-workers, Bill Jennings and Bill Wilkinson, "Just wouldn't give up," Jones said.

Fender worked for Virginia Tech for more than 25 years, first at the now-closed Southside Research Station at Charlotte Court House and then at the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center, which opened in 1974. He supported research projects through crop preparation and maintenance, data collection, and other field activities.

Jones said Fender's experience and expertise made him a valuable member of the staff at the center. "He was the kind of person you just can't replace," Jones said. "He was here for so long and he was so knowledgeable that he was a tremendous asset."

Fender's death has affected the staff at the center and the many part-time college students who worked with him this summer, Jones said.

"Everyone is deeply involved, upset, and concerned about it right now," he said. "This is by far the worst thing that has ever happened at this center."