Ada Jean Edwards

January 7, 1943 – March 23, 2023

Memorial Service

A devoted mother of five and grandmother of 11.

A humanitarian who fought for the rights and empowerment of all people.

A Houston City Council member.

A respected spiritual leader and ordained minister.

A pillar in the community.

A highly demanded speaker.

A successful entrepreneur.

And so much more.


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We are all deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved community leader, our own former Councilmember Ada Edwards. Ada loved her constituents and her constituents loved her. As a Houston Councilmember, she enjoyed being a problem solver and took on problems with a fierceness and a belief that they would be resolved in favor of the many vulnerable people she represented. You never had to worry about seeing Councilmember Edwards in the neighborhoods as an elected official or simply as a community activist and leader. You could always count on her bright smile and you knew she had a desire to help whoever it was that was in need. 

She was a friend and supporter of one of our great institutions, the Shape Community Center and she was one of the best at articulating the unique African ancestry of our African American neighborhoods. She was able to communicate that history to all Houstonians. Councilmember Edwards always believed that we could attain a just world where everyone was treated with dignity. As I stated earlier, she was loved by many, and it was a joy to see her in and out of her community. She fought for parks, more housing, and she was a very strong advocate for Houston’s children. 

Let us resoundingly thank her for her life and legacy and give her the best tribute, which is to continue to help the most vulnerable wherever they are. I was personally enriched by her life! My deepest sympathy to her children and her many wonderful grandchildren. May she rest in peace and rest mightily in power.

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Today the City of Houston lost a friend, a community leader, and a hero when Councilwoman Ada Edwards passed away. She served the city as councilwoman to District D for 6 years, finding solutions when others said there were none, preserving the character and history of our city, and fighting tirelessly for those in need. We shall miss her greatly.


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Former Houston City Council Member Ada Edwards never forgot where she came from or who she represented. During her time as the District D Council Member, she worked to find solutions without compromising her beliefs and was steadfast in fighting to improve the lives of all Houstonians. She advocated for affordable housing, social justice and community empowerment. She cared deeply about people living in historically under resourced and underserved communities. 

Even after she left elected office because of term limits, Edwards remained active and dedicated her time to connecting people to education and employment opportunities, mentoring youth and working with nonprofit organizations. 

Houston is a stronger city today because of Ada Edwards’ tireless advocacy and dedication to public service throughout the years. May Ada Edwards Rest In Power.

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Ada Edwards was a woman of fierce conviction and firm integrity. She didn’t seek the limelight, but she wasn’t afraid of it.  She was a social Justice warrior but a loving and compassionate woman. She didn’t have to raise her voice, because when she rose to speak you knew you had to listen. I’m honored to have known and served with her.


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Ada was such a unique soul: She was an idealist who valued results more than words or publicity.  She was  my full partner in City government for 6 years and my family loved her as we would a special, never boring, inspirational aunt.

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Ada Edwards was a force of light. Driven by a radical love of justice and an unwavering faith in the power of the people, she was a fierce and fearless servant leader who changed Houston for the better. She lit a path for us to follow in pursuit of a better, more just world for all. She was Houston’s Ella Baker, an African-American civil rights and human rights activist.


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My sister Ada has left us, but her work will live forever. A tireless advocate for justice & equality, Ada gave selflessly of herself. Her passion radiated & it was contagious, she inspired & challenged so many of us to do more.

I’m grateful for our friendship & time together on city council. We entered city hall as freshman, both having been community activists with the fire in our belly to make a difference. We knew it was important to work as allies, to lead by example & show how our two communities had much in common & demonstrate how we were better together.

Ada will forever be in my heart. May she rest in power.

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The Honorable Ada Edwards was a pillar in the Houston community, who worked tirelessly to serve the underrepresented in poor and minority neighborhoods. She was a relentless fighter for affordable housing, HIV/AIDS testing, criminal justice reforms, youth empowerment, affordable and accessible healthcare, and so much more.

Ada summed up her life’s work in three simple words: organization, mobilization and inspiration. I was among the many who were inspired by her work, her dedication to mobilizing communities and organizing the people to fight for their rights and find solutions to better serve our city.

I was proud to call Ada my friend, colleague, mentor and one of the many women I admired and looked up to. I join the community as we mourn the loss of this community warrior.


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I’m saddened to hear of the death of Council Member/activist Ada Edwards. She was my council member. I’m extremely grateful and thankful that I had the opportunity to know her. She is one of the reasons that I am in politics. She appointed me to the LARA Board for the City of Houston. She knew that affordable housing was extremely important to me, after my failed run for Houston City Council in 2003. She appointment me in 2004. She asked me to make sure that I asked the right questions to make sure that the money meant to help make homes affordable be directed to the homes and not the developers. I followed her instructions and asked the tough questions.I stayed on that board until I ran, and won the At-Large 5 City Council seat in 2007.

Ada was a baddie before baddies were thing! She was unapologetically a fighter for the people! She taught disenfranchised people how to stand up to those in power. She was unafraid and was a great role model for me! I will miss you, Councilmember Edwards, but your legacy lives on! My thoughts and prayers go to her family, including Todd.

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Our beloved, Ada Edwards, has passed away. She was a fierce community warrior & champion who empowered everyone she touched. She has taught me so much & given all of us so much of herself. I am forever grateful. Although she is not here with us guiding us as she has done for many years, we must ensure that her legacy lives within us & in the work we do. We miss her & love her so much. Her legacy & impact will continue to endure. May her soul rest in peace. 

– Council Member Amanda Edwards

2006 was the first time in the history of Houston City Council that the majority elected were women. We were a diverse group representing the entirety of Houston. One thing that quickly became clear was that Ada Edwards was the moral compass and quiet conscience of that governing body. When Ada spoke, everyone listened. When confusion or chaos presented itself, we could always count on Ada to restore order and get us back on track. For us, she was the face of good government and the voice of righteousness.

We can still hear her voice singing, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” We are so glad to have served with Ada and called her friend. She will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, dear friend.  

– Council Members Anne Clutterbuck & Sue Lovell


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Many are called but few are chosen. Ada Edwards was called to do God’s work for the people of Houston way before she graced the dais of City Council. Her voice resounded with power when she spoke. She was the voice for the homeless, those who faced injustices, and those who wanted a better community.  

Thank you momma Ada for choosing me. I owe my journey to you. Thank you for believing and choosing me enough to take your seat and follow in your foot steps. Thank you for giving me Karen Haller. Thank you for teaching me to let my No be No and my Yes be Yes. You encouraged me to do good government and to take care of District D.

I hope I have made you proud. I know you are singing this little light of mine.  I’m going to “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” Your light will never go out. Rest now, Sis Ada Edwards.

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Our city is shaken by the loss of my dear friend and social justice advocate Ada Edwards. We are grateful to have been able to carry on her legacy and valued work when the Center for Hope was named Ada J. Edwards in her honor. She was a political force of nature and a voice for the least, last, and left out . She will be deeply missed.


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Ada Edwards was a selfless fighter who spoke truth to power. And her influence was felt at KHOU-TV, Channel 11.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Ada helped to make a difference for minorities working at KHOU-TV. We were able to advance to management roles, on-air and behind-the-scenes positions as producers, directors, engineers, photographers and anchors because of Ada’s willingness to speak up and speak out for us.

We can never forget Ada’s passion, her drive, her spirit, her intelligence… her heart. We stand on her shoulders and proudly honor her legacy of service.

Additional tributes will be added as they come in.