Edwin (“Eddie”) Andrew Mottern, former St. Maries resident, passed away peacefully, January 14, 2020, at Hospice House in Coeur d’Alene, surrounded by his loving family. He was 84.
Ed was born November 4, 1935, in Coeur d’ Alene, to Joseph and Virginia (Crocker) Mottern. The oldest of six children, Ed was raised in St. Maries, and attended St. Mary’s Academy and St. Maries High School. He graduated in 1953.
Following graduation, he attended the University of Idaho for a few years, before being drafted into the United States Navy. He served as a Seaman on the U.S.S. WASP (CVS-18) from March 1956 until October 1957, and had a great opportunity to see the world. While in Japan, he had the extraordinary experience of climbing Mt. Fuji, and consequently, reached the summit ahead of a group of U.S. Marines.
Following his Navy service, he continued his studies at the University of Idaho, and then went to work for the U.S. Forest Service. Then, at his family’s request, he went to work for the family business, Mottern Ford Sales, in St. Maries, and became a skilled auto parts salesman. Following the closure of Mottern Ford, Ed transferred his skills to several other auto dealerships, including Parker Toyota and Tom Addis Ford in Coeur d’Alene, Bonanza Ford in Cheney, WA, and finally finishing his career with Benewah Automotive for the Coeur d’ Alene Tribe in Plummer, Idaho.
Eddie met the love of his life, Marian, through family connections, and the two were wed in August 1964. They started a family while living in St. Maries, and then moved to Plummer in 1976, where together they raised six children. They joyfully celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in 2004, and only parted upon Marian’s passing in 2010.
Throughout his life, Ed had an insatiable pursuit of knowledge. He was an avid reader and had an extraordinarily vast knowledge of world history, geography, environmental issues, politics, and economics. He had a deep appreciation and adoration for the outdoors, and thoroughly delighted in backpacking and hiking trips with his family. Ed also cherished hiking the Indian Cliff Trail at Heyburn State Park, sometimes multiple times a day. He had a keen enthusiasm for birdwatching, and could often be found with binoculars around his neck. Ed and Marian loved to go on drives just to enjoy the scenery, and Ed was known to wander off to explore the area.
Eddie was one of a kind; a character who liked to embellish a story, just to see if he could pull your leg. His sideways glance and Cheshire grin usually gave him away. He enjoyed telling a few of the adventures he had while working for a short time on a gandy gang, for the Milwaukee Railroad.
Eddie never met a stranger; effortlessly making a connection with everyone he encountered. He enjoyed finding out where someone was from, and likely shared an interesting fact about their own hometown. He always had a genuine, robust greeting for everyone he knew.
Eddie is survived by his six children and their spouses, Jennifer and Brian Smith, Brad and Barb Mottern, Dan and Beth Mottern, Matt and Jessi Mottern, Tim and Crystal Mottern, and Meladi and Michael Lanier; sixteen grandchildren, Carissa (Joey), Sterling, Tanner, Lacey Rose, Samantha, Alex, Aiden, Katy, Emily, Ella, Logan, Madison, Marcus, Allie, Maggie, Grant; and one great-granddaughter, Mia. He leaves behind his sister Judy Bergland, brothers Joseph (Julie), Bruce (Cindy), and John (Bertalee) Mottern; cousins Andy Resor and Candy Pugh; in-laws Norman (Nancy) Bergland, Loy (Wanda) Bergland; Kathleen (John) Epler, Karen Foster, Diane (Guy) Harvey, Pam (Gary) Johnson, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his devoted wife, Marian, his sister Carol Mottern, and his parents.
Ed expressed his sincere gratefulness to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe for the graciousness they extended him throughout the years, especially when Marian fell ill. He was also genuinely appreciative of the love, extended care and assistance his daughter Jennifer, and his son Tim and his family provided him, during his final years.
Ed’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to his early caretakers, Danica and Jenny; the team at the Plummer Wellness Center; staff at both Kootenai Medical Center and Ivy Court, and the staff at Schneidmiller Hospice House.
A Celebration of Life will be planned for the first Saturday in May.