THE 1950's AND AFTER
The fifties, sixties, and seventies brought an added refinement, a greater sense of inner peace, and a greater feeling of well being for the children of Edward, Sr., and Rosina Durtschi. If Edward and Rosina were counted as the first generation, the fourth and fifth generations were rapidly coming into being. Old age was gradually creeping up on the second generation. One by one they passed from this sphere to a much better one. But wait! We are getting ahead of the story.
Alfred was released 25 years and 4 days after he was called to be Bishop of Pratt Ward on March 25 1951. Alfred gratefully acknowledged, "My wife has been a wonderful bishop's wife. She faithfully stood by my side through all the years, helping in every way she could. She was a wonderful mother to our children and always active in the Church. She spent hours teaching our children music, especially singing. Those were some of the happiest days of my life. I loved to hear them play their instruments and sing together."
Alfred was called on a mission to Switzerland in October of 1953. He recalled, "I entered the mission home on November 4th. While I was on my mission, we not only taught the gospel by word of mouth, but by deed. We helped a sick farmer get his hay harvested when he was unable to do it himself. In Interlaken, we helped the members put up their hay. We cut the hay with a scythe and raked it up with a hand rake. A widow needed help to plow and we helped her do it. These acts, and others, helped us in our missionary work." Alfred was released January 15th, 1955. On January 19, 1956, he was called to another stake mission and was released from that on January 22, 1959.
Fred Feuz had a massive heart attack which took his life in August of 1951. He was buried in the Jackson cemetery, far from the land of his birth. But he is at home under his beloved Quaking Aspen. His love of nature and philosophy of life sustained him to the end.
Fred's death left Caroline alone to make arrangements for the move from their old ranch on Spread Creek to the new home up on the Buffalo River. Before these plans were finalized, her brother, Alfred, and an old friend, Conrad Gertsch, came for a visit. It was Conrad, who years ago converted Caroline's family to the Church in Switzerland. She had also become a believer at that time, even though she did not formally join the Church with the rest of her family. On his return from his mission, Conrad had married Caroline's cousin, her Uncle Fred's daughter. He had raised a family of his own, and then been widowed.
The old spark was re-lit, and in a short time they decided to be married. Caroline was baptized in the LDS religion. Then she and Conrad were married in the temple in Idaho Falls in January, 1953. Caroline was sealed to her father and mother at the same time. And it was a great comfort and joy for her remaining brothers and sisters to know that with Caroline's sealing, the entire family now might all be together again if they lived worthily.
Lena, Fred and Caroline's oldest child related, "Mother was so eager to embrace her new life that she left the now deserted old Feuz ranch without even taking the little Singer sewing machine. Conrad took her to Utah, where he had spent most of his life. At one time or another, all of her children visited her and her new husband. They were amazed at how happy she was with Conrad. However, it wasn't that amazing when you remembered how adaptable she had always been. She always met every situation with a happy sense of humor. She had longed for years to be part of the LDS religion. She enjoyed 10 years of this life, so different from the busy, hard years on the Wyoming ranch. Conrad's children made her so welcome, and many of the Durtschi family lived close by. She had time to enjoy this, plus the kinder climate of Utah. These were her happiest years. She passed away in peace, in September of 1963, and is buried in a beautiful cemetery above Heber."
"I wanted to see my old home again, the one I was born and raised in. I wanted to see more of Switzerland. I hadn't had a chance to see much of it when I was a girl. In 1955, I went to Europe with a group of 21 people." Clara continued, "Before we left on our trip, the people of my ward surprised me with a nice party and dinner program. They gave me nice presents, things I would need for the trip. My children also had a dinner for me and gave me clothing I needed and then they took me to Salt Lake to catch the airplane. I went to the dedication of the new Swiss Temple. It had been built not far from where I grew up as a child. That was surely a thrill. I was gone five weeks on a most wonderful trip. I enjoyed it immensely. Being a widow of many years, the thing that made me feel especially good was that I could pay for the trip with my own money and didn't have to beg."
From Clara's home in Linden, she had a beautiful view to the west, looking down over orchards and farms. Beyond this were the lake and mountains to the west, and beautiful Timpanogos on the east. Clara remembered, "In the evening, I enjoyed looking down on all the lights of American Fork, Lehi, and part of Pleasant Grove. I also had space to make a garden and have flowers.
"I have been a visiting teacher for 42 years," Clara continued, "While I lived in Idaho, I was counselor for eight years and Relief Society President for a few months. I never worked in Primary. My service for this organization was taking care of little children so their mothers could fill responsibilities as officers and teachers. I have also tended children for the Mutual officers.
"I hope I am worthy to receive the wonderful blessing which Christ promised to all in the 19th Chapter of Matthew, 29th verse: 'And every one that has forsaken father and mother or brethren or sisters or houses or lands for my name sake shall receive one hundred fold and shall inherit everlasting life'. I left them all for the Gospel's sake. In all these 50 years of trials and sorrow I have never doubted for one minute that this was the only true Gospel. My testimony is that the Latter-day Saint Church is the only true Church, that God lives and watches over us and that Jesus the Christ is our Savior."
Clara died from pneumonia on November 27th, 1969 at home in Linden, Utah. Funeral services for Clara were held Sunday, November 30th in the Lindon Ward Chapel and December 1st at the Teton Stake Tabernacle, in Driggs. Interment was at the Pratt Ward Cemetery, Alta, Wyoming.
"If I had any vices at all," Fred continued, "surely one was the worship of food. Many people have been accused of worshipping their bellies more than their god. Now I don't believe this was the case with me, but food probably came in a close second. One of the little things I did while writing in my journals was to mention what I had to eat on a particular day. I really appreciated good food and was extremely grateful when I was permitted to partake of some special meal.
"One of my famous concoctions was my mason-jar beverages. Just about anyone who ever visited, particularly during my later years in Salt Lake, would get one. I'd usually begin by juicing some lemons and oranges. Then I'd pour the entire juicings, seeds, pulp, and all into the jar or pitcher. Then came the other ingredients such as a package of Jello, some brown sugar, maybe some honey, perhaps something else, and finally a dab of water if there was room. Then came the search for some glasses to serve the drink in. Usually the glasses would be of the enormous variety holding about 24 fluid ounces. (I didn't want anyone go away thirsty.) The guests reaction to all of this was mixed. But usually everyone agreed that the end result was quite palatable and surely healthy.
"Two of my favorite food substances were whole wheat flour and olive oil. These two things were often mixed together with a few other ingredients to make a sort of salad. I had a bad stomach, and many of these new dishes I developed helped. Others wondered if they were not the cause of some of my digestive problems when I suffered with a stomachache.
"I fasted frequently, and often for long periods when it was warranted. Most of my fasts were in someone else's behalf. If I knew of someone in need of a blessing, I would usually fast for them. Averaged out, I fasted about weekly. I have fasted many many times for my children, in times of illness as well as health. Often the Lord showed me someone in need in my dreams. So I would fast for that person. There were some people who sometimes chided me for such frequent fasting, telling me that I was unwise in doing it so often. But I fasted for personal reasons and am convinced of its value. It was a very real part of my religion.
"Both Ruth and I often expressed the hope that in the next life our differences could be worked out. We had always truly loved each other. I suppose we will until the day we die, and then surely, thereafter. Ruth spoke in her last years of a dream and hope she had. She hoped I would be waiting for her on the other side of the veil in a Swiss chalet of just the type I had always desired to build for her. Those years during the fifties and sixties were lonely years, and often a time of great sadness for me. After many years of dreams and seeing what the fruits of them were, I started to pray and fast more than ever to find out what the truth of them was. I found disturbing passages in the Bible. A good example is in the book of Luke, 'For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather grapes.' My dreams had not always brought sweet fruit unto the Lord, but at times thorns. Had I possibly misinterpreted some of my dreams? But I was so sure I knew what the Lord was trying to tell me."
In 1973, Fred Durtschi moved in with his son, David, and David's wife, Mary, at Shreveport, Louisiana. "My grandchildren were very dear and a source of great pride," Fred recalled, "so I had a fine opportunity to spend some time with at least some of my little descendants. Grant was my favorite, I suppose because both Grant and I came to the David Durtschi family at about the same time. Even though I was quite hard of hearing, I would awaken immediately when Grant would make just a peep. Then I would help Mary out by changing his diaper. We both slept in the same room so in the morning Grant would carry on a one-sided conversation with me when he awoke."
Fred stayed in good physical condition until that Christmas Eve in 1974 when he was taking his second walk of the day. He was on the way to the store to buy some Christmas gifts for his grandchildren. He fell down, and was gone. The coroner said he probably died virtually instantly. It is a great blessing that after all of the hard times and disappointments of his life, he was spared the final agony of a long period of declining health and confinement to bed. Fred's children took him to Teton Valley to be buried with his family. He rests near his other family members in the Pratt Ward Cemetery.
"The children came to visit as often as they could and sometimes some of the grandchildren stopped in to see me. It was nice to know they thought of an 'old grandpa' once in awhile. As of 1978, Ida and I had 43 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. It was quite a posterity.
"My precious wife, Ida, was finally taken home after many years of poor health. She passed away on the 17th of February, 1978 at Isabel's home, where we have been living since we came back from Rigby after the flood. Isabel took such loving care of Mama for so long. I have missed her an awful lot but it won't be long until I will be reunited with her. That will be a very happy day for me."
By 1980, Alfred was becoming more and more amazed at how old he was getting. His patriarchal blessing stated that he would live as long as he desired here upon the earth. The time now approached when more than anything in the world he wanted to go and be with his sweetheart, Ida. In his last, years he looked at life as a bondage. He was prepared to go. He even had his funeral paid for and some of the other arrangements made. Then on the 8th of March, 1980, four months before his 94th birthday, his prayers were answered. That morning, he took extra care in cleaning his room. He picked up his books, papers, and put his room in order. After he finished, making his bed he went and took a bath. After he had finished he collapsed and was gone. A great man once said, "I look upon death as the greatest adventure of this life." And no doubt it was so for Alfred, as his beloved Ida waited in anticipation to welcome him home on the other side of the veil. Alfred was buried beside his sweetheart on that hill overlooking a small valley, nestled in the heart of the eternal Tetons, in the Pratt Ward Cemetery.
This work Copyright 1987 for the Durtschi Family by Mark Durtschi.
Durtschi.com Admin: firstname.lastname@example.org