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Niilo “Ed” Hendrickson

  • Birth 13 Dec 1920 Embarrass, St. Louis County, Minnesota, USA
  • Death 11 Jan 2010 Virginia, St. Louis County, Minnesota, USA
  • Burial Embarrass, St. Louis County, Minnesota, USA
  • Memorial ID 82271548

Niilo "Ed" Hendrickson, 89, born Dec. 13, 1920, in Embarrass, died Monday, Jan. 11, 2010, in Virginia.

Ed was a 1939 graduate of Embarrass High School. He attended Eveleth Junior College and served in the Army in World War II in the Pacific.

Ed graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1947, where he excelled in track for two seasons and was known as "The Fying Finn." He then returned to Embarrass to teach and coach.

In 1948, he started the track and field program at Embarrass High School that became known as the "The Flying Finns." Embarrass had no track, but Ed persevered and built a strong program, which went on to win many statewide honors.

In 1954 Ed went to Edina where he taught and coached over 40 state champions and started Edina's cross-country program. Edina won the state meet in 1969, '70 and '74. Many agreed that Ed had one of the best track minds in the country.

He retired in 1984 after 37 years of coaching and teaching. By that time he had trained more individual state track and field champions than any other coach in the state. Ed cared about his students and athletes and touched many lives throughout his career.

He moved to Virginia in the early '90s to spend the remainder of his retirement close to his family roots. His many honors included induction into the Minnesota Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Edina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.

Ed enjoyed trips to many places around the world. He also enjoyed gardening and reading. He will be missed by his many friends, colleagues and family.

He is survived by his sister, Shirley (Art) Rand of Degraff, Minn.; sister-in-law, Gertrude (John) Hendrickson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gust and Josephine Hendrickson; sisters, Saima Hendrickson, Selina (John) Nikunen, Sylvia (Leslie) Koskela, Sophia (Ernie) Hautala, Synne (Wayne) Maki; and brothers, Henry (Elma), John (Gertrude), Robert (Darlene), Ben (Kay) and Roy.

Interment will be at Waasa Cemetery, Embarrass.


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  • Created by: JudyH
  • Added: 22 Dec 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 82271548
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Niilo “Ed” Hendrickson (13 Dec 1920–11 Jan 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 82271548, citing Waasa Cemetery, Embarrass, St. Louis County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by JudyH (contributor 47396333) .