YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) — Ed Nixon, the younger brother of President Richard Nixon who spent years promoting his brother's legacy, was remembered at a memorial service as a Navy aviator, geologist, global energy expert, husband and father, the Orange County Register reported.
The youngest and last surviving brother of the president died Feb. 27 at a nursing home in Bothell, Washington. He was 88.
The Sunday service, attended by about 200 people at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, featured a gun salute and a flag presentation.
Ed Nixon's two daughters, Amelie Peiffer and Elizabeth Matheny, and two granddaughters, Jilly Matheny and Karina Johnson, were in attendance, as was Melanie Eisenhower, President Nixon's granddaughter.
Ed Nixon was born in 1930 after Frank and Hannah Nixon had moved their family to Whittier, California. He was the only Nixon boy not born in the Yorba Linda home now part of the library grounds.
Maureen Drown Nunn, who served with him on the Nixon Foundation's board, recalled him telling a story about being 9 years old and taking a 39-hour train ride to Detroit with Richard, then 26, to pick up a new 1939 Oldsmobile from the factory. On the drive back to California, his brother made it a point to stop at many of the country's natural wonders and historic sites.
"Ed was so inspired and so transfixed, that he decided to become a scientist," Nunn said. "He was so smart and so creative and so passionate about the role science and geology can play in the extracting of natural resources as potential for alternative energy sources."
Ed Nixon worked on his brother's presidential campaigns in 1968 and 1972 and served as co-chairman of the Nixon re-election committee in 1972.
After the president's visit to China in 1972, a key first step in establishing relations between the two countries, Ed Nixon made more than 30 diplomatic trips to the country. Zhang Ping, consul general of the People's Republic of China in Los Angeles, was also among the guests at the memorial.
Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com