Remembering Marie Rose Tyner, 53, real-life ‘superwoman’ who cared for her customers at Edna’s #1 Restaurant

Marie Rose Tyner

Marie Rose Tyner

For more than four decades, Marie Rose Tyner was a fixture at Edna’s #1 Restaurant on River Drive in Columbia. The roadside walk-up building has seen a lot of traffic over the years, and it became a favorite eatery early on with plenty of regulars stopping by for hot dogs topped with chili and onion-overloaded burgers.

Although the customers love the food and the prices at Edna’s, many of them returned time and again for Mrs. Tyner. She befriended her customers, cooked their food with love and served them with a signature smile not soon forgotten by those who saw it.

Mrs. Tyner, of West Columbia, died July 18, 2015, at the age of 53.

Edna’s was opened by Mrs. Tyner’s father and stepmother — none other than Edna herself. But many customers assumed Mrs. Tyner was “the Edna” and were surprised to find her name was Marie, according to Mrs. Tyner’s husband, Tracy.

“They’d say, ‘You’ve been here this long and you’re not Edna?’ ” Tracy said.

Tracy met his wife when he started working at Edna’s while he was in high school. After a few months, they started dating, and the couple celebrated almost 30 years together.

Tracy said it wasn’t just one particular thing that drew him to his wife. It was everything.

“She was a good woman,” he said. “She treated others well even if she didn’t know them.”

Her kindness was the reason her customers loved her so much, according to her husband. Many people came to Edna’s specifically to see Mrs. Tyner, and if she wasn’t working, they wanted to know where she was and when she was coming back.

Mrs. Tyner gave each customer special attention, according to her daughter, Rachel. Mrs. Tyner didn’t just take orders and send her customers on their way; she chatted with them while their food was cooking, and she made them feel appreciated.

Edna's #1 Restaurant

Edna’s #1 Restaurant (photo by Allen Wallace)

Mrs. Tyner was always so happy to see her customers and served their meals with an abundance of love and kindness, her daughter said.

“[The food] was prepared however they wanted it. You could ask her to put ketchup in a smiley face on each bun and she would do it,” Rachel said.

And it wasn’t just the customers who felt appreciated. Edna’s employees were either family or felt like family, according to her husband.

“She treated everybody so well they didn’t want to leave,” Tracy said.

Some of the employees have worked at Edna’s for almost 15 years, and others have been there longer, like Tracy, who’s been working there 30 years.

“You don’t work there that long if it’s not a good place to work,” he said.

Even Mrs. Tyner longed to be at Edna’s when she was away from the business, according to her husband. Mrs. Tyner was out of work recently because of health problems and hospital visits that required fluid to be drained from around her heart and lungs. Despite needing to rest and recover after her most recent release, Mrs. Tyner had plans to be back at work Monday before she passed away Friday.

She took her work very seriously, but when she came home she did even more, according to her daughter. Rachel’s mother always made sure those around her were taken care of, even when she was the one who needed care. While in the hospital, Mrs. Tyner frequently asked how Edna’s was doing and wanted to know if everyone in her family was okay.

“She was a very strong woman, a shoulder to lean on,” Rachel said. “[She was] the support beam to our house.”

Rachel saw her mother as her best friend and said she could always count on Mrs. Tyner to say exactly what she needed to hear and to be there when she needed someone. Mrs. Tyner was quick and efficient, an amazing woman — she was “superwoman” in her daughter’s eyes.

“I try to follow by that and do what she would want,” Rachel said. “I wish I could be half the person she was. She was such a beautiful person inside and out.”

A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held in her honor at noon on Friday, July 24, 2015, at Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church in Columbia.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Barr-Price Funeral Home and Crematorium.

To view the full list of Cola Daily obituaries, click here.

Amanda Thames is the obituary writer for Cola Daily. Reach her at (803) 753-6816 or

Categories: Obits