Edwin J. Poehlmann, 95, passed away Dec. 16, 2018. He was born on Sept. 29, 1923, in Dinuba, California, to Edwin August and Helen (Rhodes) Poehlmann.
He married Ruth Marie Pickett in St. George, Utah, on April 4, 1954. Ed and Marie met at a dance at the Veyo Pool. Marie’s brother, Charlie, had invited Ed to the dance knowing that Marie would also be there.
In 1943, at 19 years of age, Ed enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He spent most of the next year at the University of Oregon in Eugene studying pre-meteorology.
In 1945 he was assigned to the Aircraft Direction Finding Group in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, to help pilots find their way (prior to the development of radar) over the Himalaya Mountains. During his service, the group was able to help over 700 pilots get over the mountains and land safely. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
In 1950, Ed received a geological engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines. For the next 12 years he held several mining jobs, searched for uranium in the southwest United States for the Atomic Energy Commission, and was a consulting geologist for several companies.
In 1962, he and his family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he took a position with Department of Energy contractor, EG&G, at the Nevada Test Site. He finished his career with the same company but in Las Vegas as a computer systems engineer.
Ed and Marie and the family spent a lot of time in Pine Valley, outside of St. George. He built a cabin there and the family enjoyed many weekends exploring the area. Ed had a great love of the outdoors that he passed on to his children. He spent a lot of time taking the kids rock hunting and exploring in the hills.
He also loved all creatures and instilled this love of animals in his children. Marie knew that if a stray animal showed up, it would soon be a member of the family.
Ed could fix anything; Marie often joked she’d never get anything new because if something was broken, he would repair it.
Ed was a private pilot and owned his own aircraft.
Ed and Marie retired in 1995 and moved back to St. George. This gave him time to pursue making ceramics and he was very skilled at it. He studied Native American cultures, especially the Navajo culture, and worked to integrate these traditional designs into his ceramic art. He was an avid gardener and cultivated a beautiful rose garden as well as many native wildflowers.
Ed is survived by his four children, Mary Ann Parlin, Edwin E. Poehlmann, Richard C. Poehlmann, and Ruthe J. Smith; three grandchildren; and brother George Poehlmann. He was preceded in death by his wife, mother, father and sister Jeanne (Poehlmann) Sanford.
No memorial service is planned at this time.
Friends and family are invited to sign the Poehlmann’s online guest book at Spilsbury Mortuary online.