MARY NORDIN EDSONMary Vance Rhodes Nordin Edson of Duluth died peacefully at her home at Lakeshore late Saturday evening, Jan.
Mary Vance Rhodes Nordin Edson of Duluth died peacefully at her home at Lakeshore late Saturday evening, Jan. 7, 2012. With determined spirit and gracious wit, she struggled with congestive heart failure for the past three years.
Mary was born July 7, 1921, in Great Falls, Mont., to Edyth Miner and George Vance Rhodes. In her early years, her father, an inventor and businessman, moved the family frequently until they settled in Memphis, Tenn., where Mary Vance and her younger sister Virginia Miner Rhodes spent the rest of their childhood and early adult years. Mary graduated from Miss Hutchison's School and attended Southwestern in Memphis, now Rhodes College.
In 1941, Mary wed Jay Shaw Smith of Memphis. Jay served in World War II, after which Mary and Jay and their two children, Sherry and Nick, moved to Southern California where Jay was a cotton buyer for Anderson, Clayton and Company. They lived in the San Gabriel Valley until their divorce in 1963. Mary and Jay remained friends until his death in 2003.
In 1964, Mary was married to Gustaf A. Nordin, then the General Manager of the Pasadena (CA) Independent-Star News. Gus Nordin, a native of Duluth, had a distinguished career in journalism, beginning as a reporter with the combined Herald and News-Tribune of Duluth. While living in Pasadena, Mary was a partner and vice president of Three Crown Imports, Ltd, a venture she shared with Gus in their travels around the world. In the 1980s, after Gus's retirement, they lived in Sun Valley, Idaho, and in Duluth, where Gus was a consultant for KDAL-TV. Gus died in 1988.
Following Gus's death, Mary established the Gustaf A. Nordin Scholarship to enhance the study of journalism at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Devoted to this initiative, Mary enjoyed meeting the impressive recipients of the Nordin Scholarship. Twenty-seven students have received the scholarship since its inception. In 2009, the University of Minnesota Foundation renamed it the Gustaf A. and Mary V. Nordin Journalism Scholarship to recognize Mary's support of journalism at UMD. Also in that year, Mary received a Chancellor's Award in recognition of her commitment.
In 1990, Mary wed Chauncey Lindsley "Lew" Edson, a resident of Duluth and retired faculty member of the music department at UMD. Together they enjoyed music, travel, and visiting with their families. Lew Edson died in 2000.
Mary loved animals, particularly horses, and was an active rider, traversing the hills of California, Nevada, and Idaho on her favorite Tennessee Walker, Frosty. She was a therapeutic riding volunteer and also visited nursing homes with a variety of her animal companions. Mary had an infectious love of life and was quick to make new friends with whom she shared many wonderful experiences. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandparent, sister, and aunt. In Duluth, she was a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and the Kitchi Gammi Club.
In addition to her parents and her husbands, she was preceded in death by an infant son in 1943 and her grown son, Jay Shaw "Nick" Smith, in 2011. Her sister, Virginia Miner Rhodes, died in 2007.
She is survived by her daughter, Mary Sharon "Sherry" Hall (Edwin) of Duluth; her granddaughter Katharine Hall Kindervater (Garnet) of Minneapolis; Edwin Hall's children, Mimi Hall Gustafson (Frank) of Spokane, Wash., and Torrey Hall Volk (Jay) of Seattle, Wash.; her nieces, Mary Scott Wallace and Laura Bee Wallace of Reno, Nev., and nephew Walter Vance Wallace of Port Townsend, Wash.; three children of Gus Nordin, Lanne Nordin Mitchell of Covina, Calif., Judith Kendall Lindley (Kenneth) of Fallbrook, Calif., and Gustaf Raymond Nordin (Tamara) of Central Point, Oregon, and their children; and three children of Lew Edson, Sandra E. Riordan and Dr. Priscilla E. Knighton (Robert) of Duluth and Harvey W. Edson (Carol) of West Bloomfield, Mich., and their children.
Mary was attended with great skill by her physician, Dr. David Arvold, and the devoted staff of St. Luke's Hospice. She was lovingly cared for at the end of her life by four remarkable women, Mary Jane Hendrickson, Michelle Hendrickson, Tammy Nelson, and Trista Schinigoi.
CELEBRATION OF LIFE: 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1710 E. Superior Street, Duluth, The Rev. Bill Van Oss officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Gustaf A. and Mary V. Nordin Journalism Scholarship at the University of Minnesota Duluth, c/o Adam Meyer, PhD, College of Liberal Arts, 1208 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN 55812-3095. 218-726-6708 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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