Cover photo for Ned H Greenwood's Obituary
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1932 Ned 2021

Ned H Greenwood

October 19, 1932 — November 26, 2021

Ned H. Greenwood, 89, passed away Friday, November 26, 2021 in St. George, Utah. He was born October 19, 1932 in Eagar, Arizona the son of William Tell Greenwood and Cleo Mae Burgess.

Ned grew up in Eagar, played football for Round Valley High School and graduated in 1950. He studied geography at Brigham Young University. In 1953 he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Eastern Canada. He then returned to BYU in 1959 to finish his Bachelor’s degree and earn a Master’s in geography. In 1961, Ned was awarded a fellowship at Ohio State University’s Geography Department; where he earned his doctorate in Physical Geography and Soils.

Ned joined the Navy and was assigned to the USS Ranger.  In Portsmouth, Virginia, Ned met his “femme fatale”, Alverta Simpson. The two were married in 1958 at the Manti Utah Temple.

Ned was applying to teach at universities when he was recruited by the CIA; only his wife knew. The Greenwood family moved to Fairfax County, Virginia and in 1963 Ned traveled to the Soviet Union to study water resources.

In 1964 Ned accepted a position at the San Diego State University Department of Geography, where Ned’s grad students in Soils called him “Dr. Dirt.” Since the textbook used in one of his classes at SDSU didn’t cover the breadth of knowledge he wanted to impart to his students, Professor Greenwood wrote his own: Human Environments and Natural Systems (1973).

Many of Ned’s students as well as friends and family, called him “a walking encyclopedia” and would visit with him to hear his wealth of knowledge and stories. He served in many positions in the church, but he particularly enjoyed teaching the Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School.

Ned and Alverta loved to travel and together they visited all seven continents, 70 countries and every state in the US. Beyond globetrotting sabbaticals and other exceptional adventures, Ned spent a summer teaching at the University of British Columbia in Canada and was also awarded a Senior Fulbright Scholarship to the Suez Canal University in Egypt.

In 1964, Ned and Alverta purchased property in Eagar, where the family spent summers in the cool temperatures of the 7,200 foot elevation. In 2004 Ned and Alverta left their San Diego home of forty years and moved to St. George, Utah, but they continued to spend their summers in Eagar.

Ned is survived by his wife of 63 years, Alverta, children, Jay Greenwood, Laraine (Steve) Murdock and 9 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa.

Funeral services will be held Monday, December 13, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. at Burnham Mortuary, 535 North Main Street, Eagar, with visitation one hour prior. Interment will follow the funeral services at the Eagar Cemetery.

A live stream of the services will be available via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 798 3220 4253, Passcode: Greenwood



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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, December 13, 2021

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, December 13, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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