A Remembrance of Edgar Nave

January 2, 2011


March 4, 1923

Owensboro, Kentucky


January 2, 2011

Brownfield, Texas

This photo of Edgar and daughter Janet is from a meal with friends in 1956.

Edgar was a World War II veteran who participated in one of the greatest human dramas: The Normandy Invasion


Edgar's war experience took him to a landing on Utah Beach three days after D-Day, which would have made it about June 9, 1944. He had traveled to Great Britian on a converted banana ship in late 1943 and spent over six months in England in preparation for the invasion.

Disembarking from the landing craft, they camped a short distance inland and quickly began to build landing strips from metal interlocking planking. Below are two D-Day pictures of Utah Beach from the Naval archives.

Edgar understood the landing strip they constructed to be the first operational fighter landing field in France. They apparently stayed there a matter of a few weeks, but then moved often to airfields constructed close behind the front lines for combat support. They roughly followed the progress of General Patton across France, touching Le Mans, Dijon, Nancy, and Metz.

Edgar had a good bit of duty as a courier, driving a jeep across the roads of France and on one occasion into Germany as far as Frankfurt am Rhein.

This is our family's triumphant homecoming picture on the farm in Arkansas in 1945. Edgar holds Philippe and Rodney on the front steps of the house on the hill. It was a time of celebration we shared with the entire country, and indeed the world!

Below is probably the last picture taken with his two young brothers before he shipped out to Europe. He was gone over two years.

Settled in Newport, Arkansas after marriage to Sue Varble of Owensboro, KY. This 1947 family gathering includes daughter Janet at about six months of age. Working as a journeyman electrician, often on power plants, took him to places like Paducah, KY in 1953.

Rodney and Philippe got to interact with Edgar as they grew up on the farm and in family gatherings in 1954. Other family photos in 1955. In 1958, Leland was born. In 1959 the action centered around the house of Aunt Pearl.

The family got together in 1968 for Christmas.

Our boys got to interact with Edgar's son Paul in 1976 when they lived near Bowling Green, KY and later with daughter Sherri. We had several visits with Edgar and family while they lived in Utica and with Orvetta. One memorable visit was in 1988.

We were able to get Edgar with Paul and Mark together on a short visit in 1995.

All five children were together at Mother's death in 1986. Since we always lived in five different states and sometimes out of the country, convergence was rare. We got together with Orvetta and Edgar in 1987 for the wedding of Beulah's daughter. We also got together for Orvetta's 90th birthday in 1998 and for her memorial service in 2001.

Living around Utica, KY, for several years, Edgar continued to work as an electrician through the union there, mostly on new construction projects. He became a specialist in wiring alarm and protective circuits. I visited one site where he was doing alarm circuits for a big new power plant that was being constructed. As I understand it, worked essentially full time until he was about 76. The younger electricians paid tribute to him with the comment "He's twice as old as the rest of us and does twice as much work."

We made the journey to Brownfield, Texas in 2007 to visit with Edgar and had a wonderful visit there.

For decades, Edgar loved square dancing, and my telephone conversations with him would usually end with me encouraging him to "keep dancing"! Our appreciation and love go out now to his "dancing partner" and companion of these past few years in Brownfield, Phyllis Harbison. Thanks for caring for him even unto his final days.

And thanks to Janet for the care and presence with him these past few weeks there in Brownfield.

And my heartfelt tribute to my older brother, who was sometimes like a father to me but always a hero. As a growing boy, just hanging around him when he was fixing things or building the models he loved was a big impact on my life. He always did it better than it had to be done. I watched his care and craftmanship in everything he put his hand to, and it made me want to do things carefully and well.

Remembrances of Edgar are invited as we collect thoughts in celebration of the life of Edgar. Thoughts may be sent to rodnave@gsu.edu.


The obituary from the Lubbock, Texas newspaper with a little added data:

Edgar L. Nave, 87, of Brownfield died Jan. 2, 2011. Brownfield Funeral Home of Brownfield. ****************************************************************************************

Edgar Leland Nave, 87, of Brownfield passed away Sunday, January 2, 2011 in Brownfield, Texas. Edgar was born March 4, 1923 in Owensboro, Kentucky to Carl and Naomi Nave. He attended school in Newport, Arkansas. He was a WWII Air Force Veteran. He moved to Brownfield in 2003. Edgar loved the senior night dancing and working on computers. Edgar is survived by his caretaker, Phyllis Harbison of Brownfield; 4 children, Janet Nix and husband Gary of Brownfield, Paul Nave of Georgetown, Kentucky, Sherri Nave of Utica, Kentucky, Leland Nave and wife Jeana of Calico Rock, Arkansas; 8 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren; 2 sisters and 2 brothers. His siblings are Dorothy Tirey of Newport, Arkansas, Wanda Hobson of Dunnigan, California, Rodney Nave of Austell, Georgia, and Philippe Nave of Cleveland, Tennessee. The four siblings were able to get together in May of 2010.

Reflection by Mary Sue Nave, Cleveland, TN:

We were pretty sure of the fact that he still lived in KY in 2001 because he came from there to visit us and returned to KY.  Also had KY license plates on his truck - don't know why I remember that but I do.  The time we spent with him then was just outstanding.  We seemed to really communicate and he was so relaxed and seemed to be having such a good time, as we were also. Edgar was so fascinating when he would tell of his "adventures" working in unique places and situations, etc.  We never tired of hearing them.  And the neat thing was he was never "blowing his own horn" just relating very calmly and with no fanfare things he had experienced.  Some of them were totally amazing!  Guess we are talking memories.

January snow

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