Edwin Lea Brent, 88, of Greenville, MS, passed away on January 10, 2021.
Lea, as he was known, was born on November 6, 1932 in Vicksburg, MS. He was the son of the late Jesse Edwin Brent and Alice Ruth Hayes Brent.
Lea Graduated from Greenville High School and from Mississippi State College, now Mississippi State University, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
While working on the Mississippi River in his high school years, Lea, along with his father, Jesse, and brother, Howard, formed Brent Towing Company with 1 boat and 2 barges. The company grew until it was sold to Kirby Corporation in Houston, TX, in 1989 with 26 boats and 66 tank barges. Shortly afterwards, Lea moved to Colorado where he was active in developing a horse racing venue, Pikes Peak Meadows, pursuing his other passion of raising and racing Arabian horses. After a brief move to Florida, he returned to Greenville.
Lea was a charter member of Trinity Methodist Church in Greenville, and at the time of his death was a communicant at Saint James Episcopal Church in Greenville.
Lea was active in the early days of the Republican Party in Mississippi serving as the Chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, and as a delegate to the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami.
Lea’s other passion was hunting. He hunted at many clubs along the Mississippi River, including Worthington Island, Ashbrook Island, Spanish Moss, Black Bayou and Catfish Point. He hunted extensively out west in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Alaska, as well as British Columbia, Yukon Territory and Mexico. His brother Howard commented, “Lea would take a fella that liked to hunt a little bit and ruin him”.
Lea is survived by his six children, Ruth Ann Brent, Jesse Brent II (Melinda), Collins Brent (Elizabeth), Margaret Brent Lamb (Sam), Belinda Brent Morel (Billy), and Susannah Brent Mays (David), stepchildren Elizabeth Beck Noble England (Chris) and Randolph Noble, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, along with his siblings Betty Jo Boyd (Bob), Barbara Wasson (Charlie), and Howard Brent. He also leaves a special friend, Ruth Saed, from Memphis. He was preceded in death by his parents, wives Ann Eason Brent, and Judith Mosal Brent.
A private graveside service was held on January 23, 2021. Memorials may be sent to St. Jude Hospital in Memphis or Children of Mississippi Hospital of Jackson, MS that were instrumental in saving the lives of a grandson and great-grandson.