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Hilda Durtschi & Fred Weston

Fred and Hilda Durtschi Weston
Fred and Hilda Durtschi Weston
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Given by Mary Weston -
Copyright by the Weston Family, 2001

        I deem this an honor today to be able to represent two of the best friends and relatives that I have had. I have had contact with them ever since coming to the Valley in '34 and I hope that I will be able in the short time I am alowed to give this talk, to take the things from their lives that I feel are so important.
        Bruno Fred Waschlowski was born the 13th of July 1904 at Berlin, Germany, the second child of Friedrich Albert Waschlowski and Wilhelmine Kostrzewa. He was christened in the Lutheran Church.
        [Changing to the first person quoting Fred where he begins his story in his younger life,] "Our home was blessed again with another brother called Karl that was saddened by the death of our mother at Karl's birth. My father's mother took me to East Prussia and gave me a good home until her passing in 1912 and then I returned back to Berlin to live. My father had remarried so there was a sister and two brothers to welcome me home. Another brother, Walter, was born three months after I returned. We were a happy family and enjoyed being with each other. Even though my father had remarried, I never felt that we were half brothers or sisters or that I had a stepmother. I always felt that she was my mother and was treated as a son by her.
        "It was my responsibility to care for the children in the daytime. So many times I took them for a ride in the family baby buggy. There would usually be two in the buggy and others hanging on. We enjoyed reading or I enjoyed reading about the Wild West and always wanted to meet the Sioux Indians and shake hands with Buffalo Bill. He knew something about all the different tribes of Indians so we had many accidents either running into someone or running off the edge of the sidewalk and tipping over as I held the book in my hand. We spent many hours in the park letting the children play in the sandboxes, and there would hardly be a day that one of the children didn't stray away and the policeman would take them to the police station and mother would have to go get them. When they were old enough for Kindergarten I had to see that they got home safely."
        Fred was very talented as an artist and liked to sketch the Indians as well as many other things.
        "When I finished grade school my mother arranged to have me go back to East Prussia to learn the trade of a gardener. During the four years of school we worked with war prisoners from Russia, Italy, and England but we got along very well. It was during this time that the First World War ended and our family at home was joyous over the fact that now our father would come home. It wasn't until two months later that we received word that our father had caught the flu while the troops were on their way back from Russia to Germany and he had died. His body was never returned. This made us very sad as we remembered our father as a happy man who loved to play the accordion and sing with the children. After the war I returned to Berlin after I was able to prove that I was still a German citizen because East Prussia was cut off from Germany and Poland took over.
        "After the war our home was one of the first homes open to the Mormon missionaries. My mother was very good to the missionaries and invited them often for meals. When I returned home my mother and family had been baptized by Brother David Hirschi of Salem, Idaho. This was the first encounter I had with the Mormons. Brother Hirschi explained the gospel to me but I hesitated because I wanted to study it more first. Brother Hirschi was released and returned home before I decided I was ready for Mormonism. I was baptized the 12th of June 1922 and confirmed the same day. After Brother Hirschi returned home he appreciated so much what my mother had done for the missionaries in feeding them and arranging meetings at her home that he began writing letters to her to encourage her and her family to come to America.
        "About this same time my Uncle Otto Maltsch(?) and his family had decided to come to America. So my mother helped Paul and I to come with them and also the Durtschi brothers and Elizabeth Durtschi sent money for transportation as they needed help on the farm. My uncle stopped in Salt Lake and we came on to Salem and stayed with the Hirschi family for a week. Then Paul and I came by train to Driggs where we were met by Uncle John Durtschi and we went to his home where Paul worked for several years and then went as a mechanic at the Ford Garage in Driggs. I worked for Elizabeth Durtschi, a widow. I have always been so thankful to my Heavenly Father that he gave me the courage to leave my home and friends and come to America for the Gospel.
        "James Rigby was the Bishop at this time and he took an interest in me and encouraged me as I was trying hard to learn this language. He also helped me with the priesthood so that by December of 1927 I was made an Elder by Bishop Alfred Durtschi who was Bishop then. After Paul and I arrived in Idaho, we decided that we would work hard and save our money and then we could help some of the other members of our family over. So in 1927, my sister, Gertrude, and brother, Otto came to Idaho. That should have been in 1928. They in turn worked to have the mother and Earnest come. Walter came some time later.
        "In 1933 I took out my citizenship papers and it was at this time that the brothers decided to have our names changed to Weston. During the nine years that I had been working for Elizabeth Durtschi I began to take notice of the beautiful daughters she had and how well trained they were. They weren't afraid of work and the life on the farm. So I began to court Hilda because by this time I wanted a home of my own and to have someone to talk my problems with. Hilda seemed to be the one that would fill this niche in my life, so I proposed to her and we became engaged. On the 22nd of June, 1934, we were married in the Salt Lake Temple." (And thinking about this I'm sure that Fred didn't realize that he was going to be like Isaac, you know, and work that many years for his wife--seven years.)

Life Sketch of Hilda Clara Durtschi Weston

        I can say like Nephi of old, "I was born of goodly parents." I was born January 22, 1913, the third girl in the family to Edward and Elizabeth Muetzenberg (Durtschi). Later on, LaVerne joined our lovely family. We had many wonderful times together. In 1919 I entered school at Alta, Wyoming and during the summer of my fifth year in school all the families moved that had children my age so I was left alone. So they gave me two weeks probation to see if I could keep up. I was determined to do this and I passed the following spring to the 7th grade. I was very active during my high school years graduating from Seminary and during my Senior year I did the typing for the class paper, "The Tattler." I was also chosen to give the Valedictorian address. I received a scholarship so I entered Ricks College that fall. While there, I worked for my board and room so I was able to finish college without much help from home.
        In February of 1922 our family became sick with an epidemic of flu. My father took care of us until his strength was exhausted and he became sick. He got pneumonia which caused his death. This was a sad event in our lives as a family but as far as my life was concerned, it meant many hours of hard work especially in the summertime on the farm. But I can see now in viewing the past how much good these experiences gave me, how it helped me to be better appreciative of life and the things I have.
        I taught school in Alta, Wyoming from 1933 to 1958 when I decided that my family needed me more at home. In June of 1934, Fred and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple. My mother went with us to the temple and then we took her to Midway so she could see some of her old friends because she hadn't been back since she and father left there in l909."
        Fred and Hilda began housekeeping in the upstairs of her mother's home. They were so proud of the new coal and wood stove which has served them all these years. They bought things as they could afford them. They didn't believe in going in debt. In 1939 they began to build their own home on the southeast corner of the home place. Later they purchased land and were pleased with their accomplishments.
        As the children came along, this added to their enjoyment and were loved each one as they grew and developed. They were taught the value of work and having a goal to work for. They felt pleased with what they had been able to accomplish yet were modest about it and not boastful.
        Besides their family, the next greatest thing in their life was the spiritual part of their lives as they have been so active in Church. Hilda was President of the YWMIA, Secretary of the Relief Society, teacher in Sunday School, teacher in Relief Society. Each job was a new challenge. At home, their farm produced well. She always felt that if the job was worth doing, it was worth doing right.
        Fred has also been active in Church. He was the Seventies President, Secretary, ward teacher, home teacher and Assistant Ward Clerk for Home Teaching. He was the Sunday School Coordinator for several years and I remember many times he would come over to our home after meetings and tell me about different little things that happened in the Sunday School. He felt good about the things he was doing. He enjoyed working with the young people, to see their growth in the Church. They also accomplished genealogy work, temple work and he was the financial clerk which he was still faithfully doing at the time of his passing.
        "Don't worry about worldly things where moth and rust dost corrupt, but build up treasures in heaven." These are the things they were concerned about. Money didn't mean anything to them except for the necessities of life. I think their greatest enjoyment was the things they did for other people. I would dare say there are very few people whose lives haven't been touched in one way or another in and out of Teton Valley. They took time to stop and speak to people or give a helping hand. They did it as the Lord commanded us to do--to look after the widow, the orphan, the needy and the lonely.
        Hilda felt it was time for Fred to take life easier, so she encouraged him to sell the milk cows which he did, but he always missed them. They loved animals and were kind to them. They were honest in their dealings with people and were dependable which is a great attribute.
        As I look back over this past summer, it seems that each of the events that have taken place has been a climax to this day. I remember the day that Hilda told me they were going to Europe and how excited and thrilled she was because this was something she had always wanted to do. They spent 15 days on their trip and on their return home, they stopped in Colorado where Marlin and Nancy met them. The next day was conference and Fred had the privilege of ordaining Marlin an Elder. He mentioned many times how this had climaxed the trip to Europe.
        During the summer they have been able to see all their families at their homes and each of them has treated them royally. Hilda has the genealogy and life histories up to date. Her household was in order, even up to finishing the pole fence along the driveway and getting the linoleum laid in her kitchen. How nice it would be if each of us could say, "My work is finished; I am ready to go."
        To this union was born five children: Rondo of Los Altos, California; Dennis of Granger, Utah; Mrs. Mike (Evonne) Herzoff of Ogden, Utah; Marlin of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Cloy of Pocatello. They have seven grandchildren. Fred has three brothers and one sister: Paul, Earnest and Otto of Driggs, and Mrs. Nephi (Gertrude) Berg of Salt Lake City, Utah. His parents and two brothers preceded him in death. Hilda has two sisters and one brother: Mrs. Knowlin (Bertha) Hansen of Pocatello; Armin Durtschi of Idaho Falls; and Mrs. Bill (LaVerne) Darrington of Declo, Idaho. Her parents and a brother and sister preceded her in death.
        Isn't it wonderful that these two great individuals could finish their life's work together and go hand in hand to the eternities as they were always together in this life. No greater gift can any man ask.

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Page Updated: 8 Apr 01