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Phillip Maurice Elvrum: 1929-2024

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Feisty at 94, wearing his Devils Lake T-shirt, with his family singing all of his favorite songs, Phillip Maurice Elvrum passed peacefully on January 5, 2024. Phil liked to introduce himself saying he was born in Devils Lake, North Dakota, on December 7, 1929, to Ethel and Philip Elvrum.
Then he wanted to know if you had ever been to that farming metropolis. Phillip met his wife Georgia Mae (Belford) when they were 15 years old. It was his good fortune to have her guide him along, tempering his exuberance and laughing at his wild sense of humor while they dreamt of their future in the big world.
Together they created a wonderful life, moving to Washington after Phillip returned from his Army years in the Korean War. After graduating in 1955 with a master’s degree in education from Western Washington College of Education, they headed with their two children to Edmonds School District.
He taught at Lynnwood Junior High, was a counselor at Meadowdale Junior High, and vice-principal at Edmonds Junior High, closing that school as its last principal.
When that building transformed into Edmonds Center for the Arts, Phil and Georgia were avid supporters. He moved on as final principal of Mountlake Terrace Junior High and then finished his educational career as principal of Brier Terrace Junior High.
He was thrilled when former students recognized him around the community. His love of music led him to the Cascade Symphony Board with several years as the president.
The Elvrums built their home in Alderwood Manor, moving in the day the Century 21 World's Fair opened in 1962. After Phil and Georgia retired, they spent the next 30-plus years working in their beautiful yard, traveling the world, spending months at a time in Kona, and going several times a year to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Mainly, they focused on their family, especially their beloved grandchildren. They cherished their grandchildren – reading, travelling, singing and laughing together.
After retiring, Phil spent over 30 years as a very jolly Santa at Northgate, Aurora Village, Everett Mall, Alderwood Mall, and many years at Lake Forest Park Town Center. Phil is distinguished as the last of the legendary Frederick and Nelson's Santas.
Phil was predeceased by Georgia (2014) and is survived by daughter Sue (Steve Glass) Alderwood Manor; son Flip (Janet Lowman) Anacortes; grandchildren Phil Elverum, Hannah Elvrum (Barry Miller), Chaya Glass (John Barnes), Izak Elvrum (Katy Hancock) and Cora Glass(Forrest Perrine); great-grandchildren Maggie and Audrey Miller, Agathe Elverum, Max and Georgia Barnes; sisters Joan Bedlington of Bothell and Ethel Siemens (Jack) of Harlem, Montana; brother Donald Elvrum of Bloomington, Minnesota; and numerous nieces/nephews, and great-nieces/nephews.
The whole family has appreciated all of the dedicated caregivers who helped Phil in his last years. Thank you for your steadfast compassion and patience.
Phil was a staunch Democrat and a proud Norwegian with a loud singing voice. He loved whistling, poetry, American history, eagles, music, theater, cookies, growing tomatoes, cowboy movies, Georgia's cooking, reading, and Ole and Lena jokes.
He was curious about the world but returned often to North Dakota, spending time with family. Phil's sense of humor and abundant generosity will be missed by his "people."
An open house honoring Phil will be held in the lobby of the Edmonds Center for the Arts in the principal's office (now the Lobby) from 3-6 February 21.
Memorials can be made to Invest in Youth investinyouth.org. Buy a humorous book and read it to a kid.