In Memoriam: Edgar Lee Chinn III

Edgar Lee Chinn III, entered eternal rest on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Edgar affectionately called “Lee” or “Lee Lee” was born January 26, 1966, in Washington to the late Edgar L. Chinn Jr. and Effie H. Chinn (both deceased). Edgar accepted Christ at an early age at Tabernacle Baptist Church. He was very active in the Youth Fellowship at Tabernacle during his adolescent and young adult ages, while he obtained a firm foundation of God’s biblical principles. There he was a Deacon-in- training and a member of the renowned Tabernacle Echoes Choir. He was a faithful servant anytime he was called upon to serve his church. In his later years, he joined Zion Church in Landover Maryland, where he was a faithful member and on any given Sunday, his closest friends may have received a reminder call from him to “go to church.”


On Nov. 11, 2001, Edgar was united in holy matrimony to Yolanda J. Chinn (Loni). This union also united son, Rico Saunders whom he loved and adored. It was important to Edgar that he instilled some of the same principles his father gave him at an early age. Edgar was supportive of the entire blended family.


Edgar was educated in the Prince George’s Public Schools and was proud of it. He was mostly proud to be among the first graduating class from Forestville High School. The bond with many of his fellow “Forestville Knights” lasted his lifetime. He was the senior class vice president and remained active with the Forestville High School Alumni. He furthered his education at Morgan State University in Baltimore, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in telecommunications (1989). Soon after his arrival, he quickly adapted to becoming a “Morgan State Bear.” While at Morgan State he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. (Alpha Iota). In 2003 he earned a master of science degree in educational administration and supervision. It was at that time he was honored and awarded the James Haywood Harrison Memorial Scholarship Award for outstanding achievement.


Edgar began his professional career in many facets of social work and counseling before pursuing his passion as an educator. He began his career in education as a Crisis Intervention Specialist within the Baltimore County Public Schools. He moved on to Baltimore City Public Schools which afforded him to serve as Acting, Assistant Principal. Following that he proudly joined the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) as an assistant principal at Fredrick Douglass High School, “Home of the Eagles,” for 10 years. Upon arrival, Edgar passionately served the students of Fredrick Douglass High and he finally felt like he was home again. He immediately began his quest to save all students. He truly believed all children could soar when given the right tools and guidance. Edgar had an unyielding work ethic and commitment to the scholars of PGCPS. As a leader at Fredrick Douglass and the community he continuously instilled in his students and faculty that “Success only comes through hard work and dedication.”


In addition to his professional career, Edgar volunteered a tremendous amount of time to his community via the South Bowie Boys and Girls Club. He began coaching football and basketball for many years. He became the Commissioner for several years and he also held other positions such as Athletic Director. He also coached basketball for Bowie Express AAU team. Becoming a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc., was extremely important to Edgar. It furthered his dedication and loyalty to serving communities from the time of his initiation in Fall 1985. He had a great love of service and valued the Brotherhood of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. Much of his life was dedicated to the fraternity and was an active member of the College Park Sandy Spring Maryland Alumni Chapter. He served in officer roles and as a result, he received the “Brother of the Year” award. Edgar was the University of Maryland’s undergraduate Chapter Advisor for several years and in April 2017 he was honored with the distinguished award “Advisor of the Year.”


He enjoyed attending sporting events such as Washington Redskins and the Washington Wizards. He was a loyal fan to both and a true die hard Redskins fan and everyone knew it! Motorcycling became a passion he enjoyed as well. He’d spend months planning riding trips and mostly enjoyed riding with his nephews Wayne and Kevin. He simply loved his sister Elaine’s cooking and looked forward to her scrumptious family dinners.


Edgar was a loving and compassionate man with a great big heart. He had a great sense of fashion and style and was known as a well-dressed man which he called “Chinn swag.” He was an invaluable mentor and an inspiration to many. He had a great sense of humor, he loved to laugh and had an infectious personality that once you met him you would never forget him. He worked hard and played hard too. Most importantly he loved his family. Edgar will surely be missed, but the love that he gave to others will forever remain in our hearts.


He was preceded in death by his parents Edgar L. Chinn, Jr., Effie H. Chinn, brother James Wesley, sister Florence Davis and mother-in- law Jeanetta Bruce. Edgar leaves to cherish his memories as living reflections of a great life: loving wife, Yolanda J. Chinn (Loni), son Rico Saunders III , sisters Elaine James and Petra Jacobson, brother Ralph Chinn Sr., and two dogs, Bella and Lexi whom he loved and spoiled so much. He also leaves to cherish his memories a host of loving aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws, God children, fraternal brothers, colleagues, neighbors and tons of close friends

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