Edwin O. Nurmi, (Ed), age 98 passed away October 7, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona. He was born November 29, 1912 in Spokane, Washington to his parents, Anton and Minnie Nurmi. Both emigrated from Finland early in the 1900?s and Ed?s first language was Finnish, in which he was fluent until death. He is survived by his step-son, James and wife Janice Abbott of Alamogordo, NM. He has two grandsons, Bruce and Gregg Abbott and 4 great grandchildren, Lanette, Grace, Simon and Bonnie Abbott of El Paso, Texas. He is also survived by his cousin, Esther Sellers of Edmonds, Washington and several nieces and nephews all in Finland.
He was preceded in death by his wife Grace who died in 1950 and wife Ruth who died in 1990. He was a long time winter resident of Good Shepherd Villa, in Mesa, Arizona. He grew up on the North Fork of the Coeur d? Alene River near Enaville, Idaho and graduated from Kellogg High School. Ed held a degree in Agronomy from the University of Utah where he graduated in 1936. After graduation he began his career with the Soil Conservation Service in Coeur d?Alene, Idaho before moving to Sandpoint, Idaho to become the first Area Conservationist in Bonner County. Before retiring in 1968 he was the Manager of the Plant Materials Center in Pullman, Washington.
Upon retirement he and Ruth established home on Cocolalla Lake where they lived in the summer and in Apache Junction, Arizona for winter time. They moved back and forth with the seasons until her death after which Ed moved to Good Shepherd Villa for the winter and Alpine Vista in Sandpoint for the summer. He continued this life style until 2002, when the travel became too difficult. During retirement years Ed and Ruth traveled extensively to Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. He especially enjoyed trips to Finland. They also traveled extensively in the United States including Alaska and Canada. One of his favorite activities was taking friends and visitors on car trips around Arizona and the Northwest. He could be counted on to explain the history and important aspects of everywhere he traveled. In north Idaho he always remembered the farm families he had worked with and the farm plans he helped them develop.
He was a life member of the Masonic Lodge and served as Master at a young age. He also belonged to the Shrine and attended the Presbyterian Church. Cremation has taken place. There will be a memorial service on October 23rd, 2011 at 2:00PM at Good Shepherd Chapel, 5848 East University, Mesa, Arizona. A grave side service in Sandpoint will be held at a date to be announced later. Memorial donations in Ed?s name maybe made to Shriners International, 855 Main St., Lewiston, ID 83501 and University of Idaho Foundation, Moscow, Idaho 83844. Visit awisechoiceaz.com