Friends, classmates remember slain market owner

Dennis Edwards, owner of the Edwards Corner Market and Deli at 81 N. Mill St., died Wednesday afternoon in a shooting at the store. He is remembered as a generous person who wanted to make the community a better place. In a story from 2010, Edwards described how he had come home to reopen his father’s business. (File photo from 2010 by Bettse Folsom)

Friends, neighbors and acquaintances were dealing with the shock of the sudden shooting death Wednesday afternoon of Dennis Edwards, owner of the Edwards Corner Market and Deli at 81 N. Mill St., Kansas City, Kansas.

Edwards reportedly was in the path of a man with a gun who entered the shop on Wednesday afternoon at the market. He was died in the shooting. A second person is in critical condition. The suspect was wounded by police and was taken to a hospital.

State Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist., who was in school with Edwards, stated, “Dennis was such a generous soul always doing what he could to help other people. He loved our community and wanted to make it a better place. It was amazing what he did with his family store, the Edwards Original Corner Market and Deli, turning it into more than a market and deli, it was a gathering place for people in the neighborhood. Dennis served his community in so many ways as a successful small business owner, a precinct committee rep, mentor and a resource to the residents in the neighborhood. Dennis is a wonderful person that will be missed by so many and remembered for all the good he did in our community.”

Tilmon Dantzler, owner of the Big Grill and More, 501 N. 6th St., Kansas City, Kansas, said he used to see Edwards every morning at The Restaurant Depot in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I’ve known him over the years. He was such a good guy, he really was,” Dantzler said. “It shouldn’t have happened to him.”

Scott Mackey stated, “He was a great guy. Never a cross word from the guy about anything or anyone. I last saw him at a couple of UG Commission meetings. He was getting Commission approval for permission to sell beer at his deli. He was in great spirits.”

In 2010, a story by Bettse Folsom in the Wyandotte Daily about the Original Corner Market and Deli described how Edwards changed his life and decided to reopen his father’s store on North Mill Street in 2007. His father had run the business from 1959 to 1985.

Dennis Edwards renovated the building, adding wood paneling and floors and a retro theme with antique decorations such as a 1940 root beer barrel.

The store became a gathering place and safe haven for residents and youth. In 2010 Edwards said he would not have made it without the support of the community. “The smartest thing I ever did was to come home,” Edwards told the Wyandotte Daily in 2010.

Dennis Edwards appeared at a Unified Government Commission meeting in 2011 to talk about a permit for his store. (File photo by Mary Rupert)

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