Vello Ederma, 88, of Springfield, Virginia passed away on May 11, 2023, in his home surrounded by family.
Vello was born on August 22, 1934, in Rakvere, Estonia to John (Juhan Hillar) and Klara (n. Vorteil) Ederma. He along with his parents and brother fled Estonia in 1944 to escape the Soviet invasion. The family lived as refugees in Germany until they were able to immigrate to the United States under the Displaced Persons Act in 1949.
Vello landed in Baltimore and graduated from Southern High School where he was the editorialist for the school newspaper and a member of the Key Club and Student Government.
In 1952, he was accepted to the George Washington University in Washington DC. He would graduate with degrees in Foreign Affairs, International Communication, and Journalism in 1957. In 1954, he became a US citizen and was drafted by the US Army in 1958.
Vello spent the next 35 years working for the government for the Voice of America and the United States Information Agency where he worked as a writer, journalist, and political analyst.
After his retirement, Vello worked tirelessly as the VP of the Estonian American National Council and Estonian World Council to do his part to assist Estonia in strengthening its security and to help Estonia and the Baltics achieve NATO Membership. Vello also served as a 3-time chairman of the Joint Baltic American National Committee.
Vello was awarded Estonia’s White Star Medal, Estonia’s White Star First Class, and the Estonian Defense Ministry’s Gold Medal for his work towards Estonia’s Independence and NATO Membership.
Most importantly, Vello was a loving and dedicated husband, father, and grandfather, as well as an animal lover. His family was his greatest joy. His daughter recalls her Dad “always being the Dad to drive us to concerts and to the mall“. He spent years as a soccer coach and volunteer for the Springfield Youth Club in the 1980s.
Vello is preceded in death by father John Ederma, mother Klara Ederma, and brother Heino Ederma.
Vello is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Marie Ederma, son John Ederma of Springfield, VA, and daughter Eva Ols, her husband John and grandchildren Connor and Meghan of Laytonsville, MD.
Remembrances can be made in the form of donations to one of Vello’s favorite charities:
Alley Cat Rescue Humane Society of Fairfax County Shriners Hospital for Children Wounded Warrior Project Demaine Funeral Home