F’ville to say goodbye to Ed Travis

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The man who ran a namesake hardware store on Fayetteville’s courthouse square for 30 years has died.

Edward Nicholas Travis, 90, who died Jan. 8, opened his hardware store on the Fayetteville Square in 1952. He sold it in 1982, but the vacant building on the western side of the square is still designated by locals as Travis Hardware.

He was always interested in his county and served in a number of capacities throughout his lifetime.

He first served by joining the United States Army and served for three years in World War II. He spent 28 months in active duty in Italy, and came home with some loss of hearing.

Undeterred he joined the Fayette County Kiwanis and having had perfect attendance his first 25 years, the Kiwanis club named him to its Legion of Honor in May, 1980. The club had previously honored him as “Kiwanis Man of the Year” in 1961 and bestowed on him its highest international award, The Hixson. He was a member of the club for well over 50 years.

He was also an active member of the Fayetteville Masonic Lodge #711, F&AM, the Scottish Rite, The Yaarab Shrine Temple and the Griffin Shrine Club.

In 1968 he was named Fayette County Citizen of the Year and in 1982 the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce named Travis as its Outstanding Business Person of the year.

When he retired in 1982 and sold the hardware store, then-Fayetteville mayor, the late Jack D. Dettmering, wrote, “We [the city council] appreciate the many years of faithful and devoted service that you have given unselfishly to this community. You have always worked very closely with the city government, civic clubs and more especially, your church.”

Travis was a longtime member of the Fellowship-Discipleship Sunday School Class and the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church.

Commented Robert Jordan, who worked all 30 years for Travis at the hardware store: “He was a wonderful man and I always enjoyed working for him. He was a fair man in whatever endeavor he was in. He taught me a lot about people.”

Longtime friend and fellow community volunteer Huie Bray said, “I dealt with Ed Travis from the time he opened up the hardware store until he closed it and he was always honest and fair. He was an asset to this community. We were in Fayette Kiwanis together for over 50 years and he always took part in all the activities Kiwanis participated in. We often went on fishing trips together and the times spent together were always enjoyable.”

Fellow Fayette Countian and Kiwanis member Lamar McEachern stated: “Ed was a pillar of the community and did more for others than anyone who comes to mind. He served the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church all his life. His good works will continue through his establishment of the Edward N. Travis Foundation, which gives scholarships to students. His largess will only be known to those on the receiving end.”

The final explanation of the kind of man Edward N. Travis was is this: One Christmas Eve, Ed was called at home to come to the hardware store and exchange a bicycle for another color. He did so, knowing full well, the man didn’t buy the bike from Ed in the first place.