Remembering La Cañada’s James and Audra Edberg

Date of Death

Longtime La Cañada residents James and Audra Edberg passed away in 2021 (James on January 7, Audra on March 11).
Jim was 98 years old, and Audra 93. Like many of their generation, they first moved out to California from the Midwest and East Coast as post-war opportunities expanded.
James was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and following service with the Navy in World War II, he graduated with an advanced degree in engineering from the University of Michigan. After, he worked in Cleveland, Ohio, as a research engineer on supersonic wind tunnels for the National Committee for Aeronautics (predecessor to NASA), then on to La Cañada as one of the original cohort of engineers at the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
At JPL, James became a senior research engineer, managing various NASA research and development programs including Space Power & Electric Propulsion, Chemical Propulsion, and Space Structures, with a stint in Washington, D.C. at NASA headquarters on the planetary programs staff. Notably, James originated, developed and managed the JPL Undersea Technology Program which developed a digital deep-towed submersible platform with innovative imaging technologies.
Audra was born in New York City, persevering through multiple family hardships to graduate with a B.S. in nursing and sociology from Syracuse University, then on to a master’s degree program in Nursing at the University of Michigan, where she met James. They were married in 1952.
In La Cañada, Audra worked as a nurse in several Pasadena schools, then began a 20-year career at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, first as a staff nurse, then primary nurse in the Rehab Unit, becoming rehab nurse manager in 1982.
She also continued to pursue graduate courses in nursing, psychology, and rehab administration, gave lectures and conference presentations, co-authored two articles in nursing journals, and from 1985 to 1992, she served as adjunct clinical professor at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles.
James and Audra are survived by four sons: Peter (Bryna Goodman) of Eugene, Oregon; Mark (Haykham Ekasone) of Silver Spring, Maryland; Roger (Jane) of Moss Landing, California; and Stephen of Davis, California.