|Edna Catherine Bowen Robertson
Edna Catherine Bowen Robertson 1919 - 2013
Edna C. Robertson died February 3, 2013, at the age of 93 in
Eugene, Oregon, of age-related causes.
She was born in Hampton, Iowa, October 24, 1919, to Anna
Elizabeth Stewart Bowen and Benjamin Kemp Bowen. She
was the fourth of five children, and the only girl. Born during the
1918-1919 flu epidemic, she lived through the Great
Depression and World War II, and always said the war was
Edna's family moved many times in her childhood, living in
Iowa, New Jersey, Minneapolis, MN, Philadelphia, PA,
Washington, D.C., and La Crosse, WI. The Depression played
a large role in the family's fortunes. She graduated from Western High School (1938)
in Washington, D.C., where she continued with a two-year scholarship at the Corcoran
Art Gallery School. She furthered her education with classes at the Chicago Art Institute,
where she also worked as a model for artists and fashion illustrators.
Edna met Alan Herbert Robertson while they both lived in an artists' commune in
Chicago's Near North Side, and they married August 19, 1942, in Waukegan, Illinois.
When Alan entered the army during World War II, Edna followed him to camps in
Brigham City, UT, and Pomona, CA. While he was stationed overseas, she moved to
Albuquerque, NM, to live near her parents. After the war Alan and Edna raised their two
daughters in Chicago, before moving to Santa Fe, NM, in 1957.
Edna's career blossomed at the Fine Arts Museum of New Mexico, where she worked
for 20 years, primarily as Curator of Collections. Her job was very fulfilling, as it blended
her two great loves, art and museums. She formed many friendships in the arts
community, and wrote several museum publications as well as the book Artists of the
Canyons and Caminos. After retirement Edna was honored as a "Living Treasure of
Santa Fe" and joined the First Presbyterian Church, where she became an elder.
In 1994 Edna moved to Eugene, OR, to live near family. She found many new friends in
her activities with the YMCA, the Obsidians, and the First Congregational Church. She
loved the Oregon Coast, and celebrated her birthday there every year. She lived in her
own house until age 93.
Edna was fiercely independent, quick-witted, deeply philosophical, and a gifted artist
and musician. An avid reader and gardener, she was generous with her time and loved
sewing and knitting for friends and family. She volunteered for many causes in both
Santa Fe and Eugene. Always a cat lover, she had many feline companions during her
Edna is preceded in death by her husband Alan, and her brothers J. Carl, Robert E.,
Donald H., and Benjamin S. Bowen. She is survived by her daughters Sarah Ann Nestor
and Katherine Jean "Kate" (Steven "Zeke") Pryka of Eugene, her grandchildren Michael
M. (Malkah) Nestor, Nicholas I. (Cindy) Seigal and Anna R. Pryka, as well as
great-granddaughters Hatty, Eva, Esme, Audrey, and Piper.
Her family will hold a private burial of her ashes. Donations in her memory may be made
to the Eugene Public Library for Audio Books or to any other local charity.