Vello Ederma Obituary, Death – Vello Ederma, 88, of Springfield, Virginia, died at home, surrounded by family, on May 11, 2023. Vello Ederma was born in Rakvere, Estonia on August 22, 1934 to John and Klara (Vorteil) Ederma. In 1944, he, his parents, and his brother escaped Estonia to avoid a Soviet invasion.
The family remained as refugees in Germany until 1949, when they were granted asylum in the United States under the Displaced Persons Act. Vello attended Southern High School in Baltimore, where he was a member of the Key Club and Student Government, as well as an editorialist for the school newspaper. He got accepted to George Washington University in Washington, DC in 1952. In 1957, he earned degrees in Foreign Affairs, International Communication, and Journalism. He became a citizen of the United States in 1954 and enlisted in the United States Army in 1958.
Vello spent the next 35 years working for the government as a writer, journalist, and political commentator for Voice of America and the United States Information Agency. After retiring, Vello worked tirelessly as Vice President of the Estonian American National Council and the Estonian World Council to help Estonia strengthen its security and obtain NATO membership for Estonia and the Baltic nations. Vello was also the chairman of the Joint Baltic American National Committee for three terms. Vello received the White Star Medal, the White Star First Class, and the Gold Medal from the Estonian Defense Ministry for his contributions to Estonia’s independence and NATO membership.
Vello was a passionate spouse, father, grandfather, and animal enthusiast. His greatest joy was his family. His daughter remembers her father “always being the Dad to drive us to concerts and the mall.” In the 1980s, he was a soccer coach and volunteer for the Springfield Youth Club. Vello was predeceased by his father, John Ederma, mother, Klara Ederma, and brother, Heino Ederma. Vello is survived by his wife, Marie Ederma, 58, son John Ederma of Springfield, VA, and daughter Eva Ols of Laytonsville, MD, as well as her husband John and grandchildren Connor and Meghan. Donations may be made in his memory to one of Vellos’ favorite charities. Adopt a Stray Cat, Fairfax County Humane Society, Children’s Shriners Hospital, Wounded Warrior Initiative