Maudie Flake Edwards

Edwards, Maudie Flake

Born in Pulaski, a small Southern Illinois town, Maudie had six brothers and sisters. Her father worked for the Illinois Central Railroad. Her mother was a homemaker, seamstress and gardener.

Maudie attended elementary school in Pulaski. She took a bus to Mounds for four years of high school and spent summers working in St. Louis, MO, earning money to buy the things needed for high school. Because her parents felt they would be unable to send her to college, Maudie promised if they would help her get into college, she would do the rest. She worked and sang in the Rolland Hayes Choir to pay her tuition.

Maudie attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for two years and received a two-year teacher's certificate. She continued with summer and night classes to complete her bachelor's and master's degrees. She enjoyed going to college and although she had almost earned enough hours for a PhD, her desire to teach took her to the classroom. Her first teaching assignment was in a one room schoolhouse at Olmstead. The next assignment was to teach first and second grade in Mound City and eight years later in Ullin. In 1959, Maudie came to Champaign as a first-grade teacher. She retired from the Champaign school’s system in 1984, but continued to share her love for education as a volunteer.

She had a great love for the fine arts. Her hobby was sewing, a love she owed to her mother. In 1994, Maudie was featured in the Covering our Heritage: African-American Quilts of Champaign-Urbana, an exhibit held at Krannert Art Museum.

Maudie was not only dedicated to teaching and helping young children but to learning as well. She traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, Africa, and every state in the United States. After church (Christian Methodist Episcopal), Krannert Center for the Performing Arts was her favorite place.

Maudie Flake Edwards passed away on March 16, 2006.