Edna Nesheim, 91, Duluth

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Edna Elizabeth (Russ) Nesheim died peacefully at St. Luke&8217;s Hospital of Duluth early on the morning of March 22, 2008, just two months shy of her 92nd birthday. She had lived at the memory-care unit of Lakeshore Home over the past 1-1/2 years, following many good years at Mt. Royal Pines III Assisted Living.

Edna was the fourth of six children born to Dr. Jesse and Anna (Ryg) Russ, of Rake, Iowa. She was a good scholar and musician and an outstanding youth basketball player. After high school at Rake she attended Waldorf and Coe colleges, completing her bachelor of arts degree in physical education in 1937. She married her lifelong neighbor and University of Iowa graduate Dr. Martin O. Nesheim that same year. They lived happily in Duluth during his internship at St. Luke&8217;s Hospital, then settled down in Emmons which became his lifelong medical practice location. Dr. Nesheim enlisted in the medical corps in 1942, so Edna and sons John and Paul moved along to San Antonio, Abilene and other towns in Texas during his work as a medical officer, including a stay in Rochester. They returned from Texas to stay in Rake after he shipped out to the Pacific Theatre for the duration of World War II.

After the war, the Nesheim family returned to Emmons, where Dr. Nesheim continued in solo practice through 1968, although moving the family residence to Albert Lea. Edna was active in church, community and educational affairs in both communities. She taught Sunday School at Emmons, encouraged scouting and neighborhood programs in Albert Lea, and was very active in politics, A.A.U.W. and her local art institute. She was a prize-winning watercolorist and textured-objects artist, working in a variety of durable media. She pursued an avid interest in nature and natural scenes and representations, and assisted other local artists in their work with exhibitions. She was active and observant, usually to be found outdoors pursuing biking, skating, skiing, walking or &8212; perhaps most often &8212; sketching.

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After retirement, Martin and Edna traveled throughout the U.S., settling down for winters in South Padre Island, Texas and summers in northern Minnesota. The returned permanently to Duluth in 1994, encouraged by their own history and the quality of medical care available here. After Martin passed on in 1998, Edna remained active with her local family, concert events and arts interests and memberships, including a wide variety of organizations &8212; even doing some elder trail-scouting for the Superior Hiking Trail. She remained a 70-year member of Emmons Lutheran Church but most often attended First Lutheran in Duluth. The pastoral cares and attentiveness of FLC staff were and remain much appreciated during her final years.

Edna Nesheim was preceded in death by her beloved grandmother &8220;Beste&8221; Ryg her parents and all four of her adult-surviving siblings. She also lost two young grandchildren, Nicole Marie Nesheim and Peter Michael Nesheim. She is survived by her three sons &045; John, an attorney of Houston, Texas, Paul (Valerie) also an attorney in Houston, and Robert (Marlys) a physician of Duluth. She was also very proud and actively pursued her three grandchildren, Jeff (Sue) Nesheim of Houston, Texas, and Andrew and Matthew Nesheim of Duluth. Their interests became her new interests.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Bethesda Chapel, First Lutheran Church, 1100 E. Superior St, Duluth. with reviewal one hour prior to service. All attending are welcome to a noontime lunch with the family. Interment will be on Friday at 2 p.m. at West Cemetery in Rake, Iowa, alongside her husband of sixty-one years and among her ancestral family, brothers and sister. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to Emmons Lutheran Church of Emmons or to the First Lutheran Church Foundation of Duluth.

The family expresses sincere and sustained gratitude to all those who welcomed Dr. and Mrs. Nesheim back to Duluth after their absence of 56 years, and especially to those who provided support and assistance to Edna over these last 10 years. The attentiveness of her extended family and relatives, and their very-frequent visits, were of great value and remained a great blessing to her in her later years, as were the many new local friends whom she had come to know.

Arrangements are by Bell Brothers Jarvi Dowd Funeral Home.