This is to advise that Warrant Officer Radio Instructor Carl James Niel EDWARDS of Michigan, USA K15304 crossed the bar.

Carl James Niel Edwards, 81 years of age of Livonia, Michigan passed away 16 December 2019 after a several years’ fight with a rare Parkinsonism disorder.
He was born on 16 December 1938 in Napier, New Zealand to Coral Isobel McInnes Edwards Robson and James Edwards. He attended Napier Boys’ High School. He married Nancy Lee Kendall on 24 June 1988 in Livonia, Michigan.

Between 1955 and 1974 Carl served in the Royal New Zealand Navy. Through intensive effort, he achieved early promotions and was Communications Officer for HMNZS Waikato, planning ship’s communication systems in Belfast Ireland, where it was built and commissioned in 1966. His last naval rank was Warrant Officer, Radio Instructor. When asked to become a senior rate officer he turned it down several times sure in the belief he would have more influence to achieve his goals at the appointed warrant level. With that standing, he helped and guided many along their career paths.


His second career was in the automotive industry where he managed assembly plants in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. for Nissan Datsun, American Motors Jeep and Chrysler Corporation. In 1989 he joined Chrysler= as Operations Director for Arab American Vehicles in Cairo, Egypt where he and Nancy lived until 1996. Carl helped to restructure that facility to obtain a non-military commercial/recreational market for the Jeep Cherokee in the Middle East. He also liaisoned with companies in Israel and Turkey. He retired in 2001.

In earlier days he achieved medals in swimming and shooting competitions. Cars were his hobby, and he was a member of the Auckland Car Club. In later years he worked to keep a beautiful valley property at home. He enjoyed the company of his family and friends and his special pets, Ned and Katya and later Ellie who made sure to watch over him.

He is survived by his loving Nancy; and from a previous marriage, his devoted daughter Donna Tapp and also daughter Gaylene and son Maurice. He is predeceased by loving parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

A memorial is being planned in the spring of 2020. Memorial donations may
be made to:


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  1. Rod says:

    Very sad to hear the news. Served with Carl on Waikato in 67/68 and again at Northhead in the very early 70’s. If the rumours are true, he was instrumental in my getting posted to the UK in 71 to pick up Canterbury. RIP Carl – total respect.

  2. murraynash says:

    Very sad news. Carl was on the Waikato with me on the commissioning voyage and again later at Irirangi. I remember him bringing out a Browning pistol once to show us in the BWO.

  3. gunther says:

    Sorry to hear.. remember him for his dry sense of humour and quick wit ..condolences to Nancy, Gail and family.

  4. Dodger Long (Paddy) says:

    Sad to hear this … Carl was a good bugger, I remember him down at Irirangi but never served at sea with him! RIP Carl

  5. Neal Catley says:

    Very, very sad news! I had the good fortune, ashore and afloat, to serve alongside Carl on many occasions. He was a true friend in every sense of the word. Those who knew Carl will know he was very knowledgeable and an easy to get along friendly sort of person. And, Carl like many of us, never suffered fools of any stripe. He was a Man’s Man! I know Carl will be deeply and sorely missed by his family and friends in both NZ and the USA. When Carl’s mission on planet earth had ended – I have it on the highest authority that a special TRIPLE X SUPERCHARGED GOLDEN CHARIOT landed in the ‘den of night’ to uplift one in number: Warrant Officer Radio Instructor CJN Edwards, RNZN K15304: and then, at the speed of a radio wave, Carl was transported to his permanent resting home at ‘GALAXY PALACE’ where he was, in full REGALIA, CEREMONIOUSLY PIPED onboard to once again enjoy the company and friendship of his ‘advance party’ shipmates. Rest In Peace, Carl. And, enjoy yourself to the MAX!

  6. John Bullock says:

    Yes, I served with him at sea and crossing paths at North Head from time-to-time… great guy all round, and a good teacher of the “trade”. I remember his glistening Morris/or Austin 1100 that was his pride and joy. I saw him again after he left the Navy living in Brisbane where he was working for Nissan/Datsun. Last time I heard he was in Egypt still with the car industry …. RIP

    • gunther says:

      Speaking of cars and Carl…remember at Irirangi 1971 (the new buildings in the army centre) and the navy had sent down a Toyota SWB, (brand new) can’t remember the model, and it gleaned..Carl took special pride in keeping it that way, and not anybody could drive it. As for taking it on rabbits shoots, forget it..even taking it off road was a no no..and woe forbid if you marked it, from memory no junior rate was allowed near it let alone drive it..but have to say it was one helluve a clean 4wd…


    Carl was in the 33rd W/T boys with me –I can tell some tales about him on runs ashore etc–
    crossed paths several times up until 1965 Condolences to his family

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