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immortalmorpheu
05-01-20, 23:09
Edward Francis Seeborg, 100, passed away September 3, 2014. He was born October 22, 1913, in Astoria, Oregon, to Victor and Fanny Seeborg, both immigrants from Finland. Victor worked as a fisherman, school custodian and retail merchant while Fanny worked for many years in the fish canneries that lined the Astoria waterfront. The first language Eddie learned was Finnish and he spoke only a smattering of English before he began attending elementary school in Astoria in 1919.
Eddie’s school years were busy ones. At Astoria High School, he was on the debate team, was a sports reporter for both the student and city newspapers, was a Senate page in the Oregon State Legislature for six weeks in 1929, and was Student Body President during his senior year. He graduated from AHS on May 15, 1931.
Eddie met his future wife, Laura Terho, while both were attending AHS. Unlike Eddie, who had thirteen brothers and sisters, Laura was an only child. But she did have something in common with Eddie both of her parents had also been born in Finland. After a three-year courtship, they were married on April 18, 1934. Their marriage produced two children, Lawrence (1940) and Monica (1942). Eddie and Laura remained together until Laura’s death on February 20, 2009. They would have celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary less than two months later.
Lacking the funds for college tuition, Eddie began his working career as an assistant cereal chemist in an Astoria flour mill. This was followed by a position in a Wilbur, Washington, milling and baking lab from 1936 to 1941, and worked as a cereal chemist for Centennial Four Mills in their Tacoma and Spokane, Washington labs. In 1948, Eddie began working as a research cereal chemist for the Western Wheat Quality Lab in Pullman, Washington, where he remained until 1959. While there, Eddie was invited to speak in Finland about his research work in Pullman. The audience was delighted to hear him present his paper in Finnish!
In spite of his busy work schedule, Eddie managed to find time for college studies. In 1956, he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree, in Pullman, from the State College of Washington, now Washington State University.
In 1959, Eddie was hired by the Foreign Agricultural Service division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. Eddie’s first assignment was to convince the Japanese milling & baking industry that the United States could provide wheat equal to, or better than, the quality of wheat then being purchased by Japan from Canada. Eddie supervised milling and baking tests of U.S. wheat in Japan and, within a couple of years after the successful completion of these tests in 1962, Japan became the world’s number one importer of U.S. wheat.
Eddie retired from the USDA on December 31, 1974, and continued to live in the D.C. area until he and Laura moved to Utah, in 1991. For sixteen years, they shared the Sandy home of Lawrence and his wife, Barbara, until Laura’s increasing arthritis-related infirmities necessitated a move, with Eddie, to an assisted living apartment in 2007. Eddie remained there until his death in 2014.
Eddie is survived by a sister, Judith Walker, of Vancouver, Washington; his son Lawrence, and daughter-in-law, Barbara, of Sandy, Utah, and their children, Mykel & Ryan; daughter, Monica Hansen, of Draper, Utah, and her children, Kirstin, Kipp, Kylee, Ketra & Kade. Also surviving Eddie are 15 great-grandchildren.
A family gathering to celebrate Eddie’s life was held in Sandy, Utah. Those wishing to honor Eddie are invited to send memorial contributions to the Clatsop County Historical Society, P.O. Box 88, Astoria, OR 97103.