Last updateThu, 17 May 2018 7am

Mississippi Jeweler dies in car crash


Ed Beets, Jr. 1953 – 2012

On December 8, 2012 the jewelry industry lost one of its own when Ed Beets, Jr. died suddenly in a fatal car crash. Ed was the owner of Southern Jewelry Designs in Columbia, MS and the creator/designer behind several custom design jewelry lines. Ed was making his way back to Mississippi from Arkansas when he was involved in a head-on collision. The husband/father/grandfather/jeweler was only 59 years old.

The unexpected nature of his death left his family speechless, but the outpouring of support from their Columbia, MS community has been phenomenal. It is his most recent jewelry collection, however, that seems to bring great solace to this grieving family.

Called Wildlife Jewelry; Ed took the outdoor elements that inspired him the most and created handsome, masculine pieces that every man could identify with.

“This line was special to him because it was the first one he’d planned to go wholesale with,” explains Ed’s wife, Billie. “It was just a part of who he was and he put all of himself into designing this line. He’d finished the last piece only a week before the accident and had already received offers on it.”

In fact, a week before his death Ed trained an employee on making the more difficult pieces – something he’d never done with any other line. Likewise, he discussed his desires for his funeral arrangements with a family member/pastor at Thanksgiving, something he’d never done before. Billie also marveled at the fact that they were able to take a family photo over the holidays; the first one in 15 years.

“Ed must have been prompted by God to take care of these things even if he didn’t understand why,” remarked Billie. “One of which was calling Amy the night before the crash to tell her he was coming home to be with her in the hospital. Those two were so much alike that they occasionally butted heads, but that night he told her how proud he was of her and spoke with her about other emotional things, which was uncommon for Ed.”

Billie, who’s worked alongside Ed in the store for almost 40 years, is taking things one day at a time.

“We are trying to continue Wildlife Jewelry so we can see his dream come true. And I know Ed, who loved precious stones and metals, is enjoying those streets of gold and precious stones in Heaven. I believe he’s enjoying all those gems like no one else.”

Contributions in memory of Ed may be made to Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. Your gift can be donated through www.childrenshospital.umc.edu.