Edna Strand was born to Norwegian immigrants in Minnesota. She attended college at Penn State, where she became the first woman to join the ski club. Edna organized the first Penn State ski championship and took the state downhill and slalom titles in 1941.

In 1942, Edna and her husband moved to Old Dillon in Summit County, Colorado to follow their dream of developing a ski mountain. They soon purchased a 80-acre property in Keystone for $3,000. After they assisted with the opening of Arapahoe Basin in 1946, their residence, which is now the Ski Tip Lodge, was changed to a ski lodge for visitors who were discovering the new alpine skiing sport and where Edna fed and housed crews working on the trails and lifts at Arapahoe Basin. Edna was the first female ski instructor at the Arapahoe Basin Ski School.

In 1948 Edna became the Summit County Clerk and Recorder, where she said she learned finance skills that helped her and Max establish Keystone in 1970. Edna spent her time doing what she loved, skiing. She taught skiing and competed and at age 65, Dercum was the oldest woman competitor in the world from 1938 through 1989, Edna won over 75 gold medals.

In 1980, Edna was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. She was the oldest active woman ski racer in the world and was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1991. She continued skiing well into her 80s.

Edna was known for her quick wit, funny stories, and caring nature. She was an author and helped shape the Summit County community.