Dr. James Pressly Edwards, D.D.S., passed away peacefully on the afternoon of Aug. 13, 2017, at the age of 85.

He was born in Arcadia, to Benjamin Eli Edwards, Sr. and Mary Zell Edwards.

Though born James Presley Edwards, a typo on a military form later changed his middle name to "Pressly" forevermore. The family lived on a small farm in Arcadia, where he had a favorite pet bull named "James Presley Calfy Castor Oil." The family would then move to Noblesville, during the hard times of the Depression, where his father found work as a postman. The family lived on Cherry Street in what is now a carefully preserved historic home.

He graduated from Noblesville High School in 1950. Shortly thereafter, he hitchhiked to a recruitment station with his cousin and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served approximately six years and achieved the rank of 1st Lt. During his service, he attended the U.S. Military Language School in Monterey, Calif., to study Russian. He later joined a flight crew in the 28th Bomb Wing, 718th Squadron. There he served as a navigator flying the B-36. Later the squadron was one of the first to receive the B-52. He was extremely proud to have served his country and regaled countless tales of adventures during those times. After his service, he remained close with many that he served with, attended several reunions of his Bomb Wing, and was an active member of the Air Force Association.

A few years ago, on a visit to Castle Air Museum in Merced, Calif., he discovered that the B-36 on static display there bore a tail number that he recognized. It was one that he had delivered for decommissioning many years ago, and he was on the last crew to fly that exact airplane. The museum curator opened the aircraft and allowed him and his family to tour the interior.

After his service in the Air Force, he attended Indiana University and was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. He enrolled in the School of Dentistry, graduating in 1963. While in school, he met, fell in love with, and married Barbara Jean Mullinix.

After graduation, he established his practice on South Meridian Street on the south side of Indianapolis. A second office was later opened in Broad Ripple Village on the north side of Indianapolis. He operated a successful practice for more than 30 years before selling the business. Then in his sixties, he returned to IU Med School for another advanced degree in Dentistry and Facial Surgery. He continued practicing for about another eight years with Affordable Dentures at various locations throughout Indiana.

After retiring, he frequently enjoyed the fellowship of friends who congregated at Noblesville Golf and Batting, owned by good friend Sid Davis. In later years, he moved in with family in California to be near and get to know his younger grandchildren.

He was a saved man who repented and accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, as evidenced by a marked transformation in his life and a thirst for God's Word.

Survivors include a daughter, Ariane Ely; son-in-law, John Ely; son, James Boyd Edwards; daughter-in-law, Marie Edwards; treasured grandchildren, Mac Ely, Dorothy (Daisy) Edwards, Emily Edwards, and Ethan Edwards; and sister-in-law, Wanda Edwards, now the last family survivor of the Greatest Generation.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; sister, Ann Hutson; brothers; Benjamin, Robert, Charles, and John; and two cousins raised as brothers, Bill Bruce and William (Pete) Knight.

He was buried with full military honors at the Bakersfield National Cemetery, in Arvin, Calif., on Aug. 25, 2017. A celebration of his life is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 15, 2017, at the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 East 67th St., Indianapolis.

Arrangements were made with the assistance of Wood Family Funeral Service. For condolences please visit www.woodmortuary.net