Eivind Rynning

Obituary of Eivind P. Rynning

Eivind Prydz Rynning passed away on July 8, 2021, in Canandaigua Lake, in the U.S. state of New York, from a cardiac event while training for an exploratory ski expedition across Greenland. He was seventy-eight years old. Memorial services will be held in New York, Maine, and Norway. Born in Tynset, Norway, on February 26, 1943, he was the first son of Eivind Freng Rynning and Augusta Blankenborg Prydz, the daughter of Olaf Peter Blankenborg Prydz, high court attorney and insurance director of the Norwegian Whalers’ Association, in Sandefjord, Norway, who facilitated the hydrographic charting of Antarctica, including Prydz Bay. His father, Eivind Freng Rynning, was also an attorney, who practiced primarily in Larvik, Norway, where the family moved after the Second World War. After graduating from Larvik Hoyere Skole in 1961, Eivind Rynning earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and also served in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. In 1966, he received a Rotary Scholarship to study at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was awarded a Master’s of Science in Industrial Management in 1968. He subsequently earned a further Masters of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in 1971. Mr. Rynning married Virginia Lea Busser, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in September 1969. He moved to Viul, Norway, with his wife and stepchildren in 1971, and served as the regional director of Keyes Fibre Company, a worldwide molded-pulp packaging corporation, pioneering the use of recyclable products. Following the birth and early education of his two sons, the family relocated to Weston, Connecticut, in the United States, in 1982. Over the following decade, Mr. Rynning served as Vice President of Keyes Fibre Co.’s International Division in Stamford, Connecticut, including a residency in Mexico City where, in addition to his work for Keyes, he earned a Diploma in Mexican Literature from the Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology in 1994. He pursued additional language studies in German, French, Portuguese, Japanese, and Russian. His later professional work included partnership in Pactiv Evergreen, in Lake Forest, Illinois, and directorship of Commodore Technology in Bloomfield, New York. He divided his time during this period between South Bristol, a town in New York State near Canandaigua Lake, and Portland, Maine. Complementing his business accomplishments, Eivind Rynning was a passionate outdoorsman and sports enthusiast. He was a junior champion in the Norwegian Gymnastics Federation during secondary school, and he taught gymnastics in Norway during the 1970s. Prior to his academic and technical studies in the United States, he was also an avid backcountry skier, rock climber, and mountaineer–lifelong passions which he imparted to his family. He engaged in expeditionary pursuits throughout his life, training for them vigorously through nordic ski marathons and triathlons involving biking, running, and swimming. In keeping with his Prydz ancestry, he held a special interest in polar exploration. In 2006, he retraced Norwegian explorer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridjof Nansen’s 1888 crossing of the Greenland Ice Sheet. In 2011, he was a member of the Norwegian centennial expedition to the South Pole that commemorated fellow Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s legendary ski and sledge journey to the geographic South Pole in 1911. He subsequently participated in an expedition from Svalbard to the North Pole in 2013. Apart from his polar expeditions, Mr. Rynning also summited some of the world’s highest mountains, including Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Denali (McKinley) in Alaska, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and the active stratovolcano Popocatépetl in Mexico. His enthusiasm for exploration and adventure never flagged, and he died doing what he loved best while training for yet another expedition to the Arctic. He is well known for sayings such as, “when you get to my age, you just have to go faster!” Eivind Rynning is survived by his wife, his children and stepchildren, as well as by his sister and grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and younger brother. Photo: Eivind Prydz Rynning, on the summit of Store Skagastølstind, Hurrungene, Jotunheimen, Norway, July 1976.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Eivind
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