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Merced Sun-Star
December 12, 2002

Edyna Sischo-Nownejad
May 1, 1930 - Dec. 1, 2002

Edyna Marie Sischo-Nownejad, who touched many lives on earth as artist, teacher, charity advocate, daughter, mother, wife, intellectual, and global activist, passed away on Dec. 1.
 Edyna, the daughter of the late Judge R.R. Sischo and E. Lurena Sischo, was born May 1, 1930. She was reared in Merced and graduated with honors and great distinction from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Fine Arts, History, and Education. She did graduate work in Paris, France at the Academia Julian, La Grande Chaumiere, and the Sorbonne. She taught American High School in Paris, and then was Chairman of the Art department at the American College of Beirut (the Beirut College for Women.) She also taught at the Iran American Society in Iran. She earned a Masters degree in Graphics from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. She was an American delegate to the Cultures Conference at the University of Algiers.
Her art work toured the capitols of the Middle East with the U.S.I.S.., Edyna traveled to more than 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America. She spent summers of study in Italy, Greece, Russia, India, Egypt and led tours to Mexico, Guatemala, China, and India. Her paintings have been exhibited in one-person shows throughout the world. Her art is also part of public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. She painted prolifically throughout her career as an Art and Humanities instructor at Merced College and through her retired years. Her paintings include historical figures and symbols from all world cultures, mandalas, large nudes, colorful landscapes, abstracts, and portraits of family and friends.

In recent years, her art emphasized the Mandala design. This circle in a square design derives from ancient Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist art and has been an archetypal symbol of the Orient used as a vehicle for meditation. She has several hundred mandalas and other paintings in her collection that her children will continue to exhibit and promote throughout the world. To stay in touch with the art collection of Edyna Sischo-Nownejad, those interested may send mailing address and e-mail to:

She is survived by her husband, Frank Spruhan of Merced; her brother, David Sischo of Wawona; and her two children, Gita Marie Nownejad, M.D., of Merced, and Cyrus John Nownejad, J.D., of Beverly Hills. A memorial service is scheduled Dec. 15, 2002 at 2 p.m. in the chapel/auditorium at the rear of 637 W. Main St. in Merced, adjacent to the Multicultural Arts Center. The entrance is through the Arts Alley and parking is available in the multilevel lot on 18th Street.
Donations may be made in honor of the artists to Merced Friends of the Library or the Merced Public Library.