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Lena Lucile Durtschi Edlefsen

Lena Lucile Durtschi Edlefsen
Written and copyrighted by Kristine Edlefsen Day
Double wedding of twins, Lucy & Lucile
The twins had a double wedding. L-R John Phillips, Lucy Durtschi, Lucile Durtschi & Jesse Rowley Edlefsen, 19 May 1948

Lena Lucile Durtschi was born on February 13,1924 in Driggs, Idaho to Alfred Durtschi and Ida Aeschbacher Durtschi. Shorty after her birth, her twin sister Leah Lucy came into the world. They were the youngest children with siblings Arnold, Isabel and Walter. They were recognized for the beautiful red hair.

Mom and Aunt Lucy grew up with twin cousins Betty and Barbara Deursch born one month earlier to Aunt Lena, grandma’s sister.

Mom writes in her history:
When I was two years old, according to my Mother, I became seriously ill. There was a hospital in Driggs where I was taken. The doctor said I had pneumonia. My mother stayed with me at the hospital. I remember her telling me that it was February and very cold. The nurse at the hospital kept the window opened believing that the fresh air was good for me. But my mother knew better and told her to shut the window as I was getting increasingly worse. However, the nurse would not shut the window, truly thinking the fresh air was beneficial, but my mother insisted that she close the window. Finally, the window was closed and it was only a short time after this when my mother could see that I was improving.”

Lucile attended school in Driggs, Idaho. She says in her history, “Lucy and I were probable 6 ½ when we started school in First Grade. Miss June Strong was my first-grade teacher. She was very nice to us. But some of the boys in class would tease us about our red hair. And of course, freckles come with red hair most of the time. It really wasn’t very much fun for us. I was terribly shy and I hardly talked to anyone. I loved spelling and music class. Prof Murdock was the Music teacher for the entire School District. He would teach us to sing songs, play musical games, little fun dances. I think he was every ones favorite teacher because we could relax and unwind from our school work in his class.”

Lucile learned to play the baritone and the violin.

She continues in her journal: “Our family loved music, our father (even though he didn’t sing much) always encouraged us to sing at home. Our mother was our inspiration. She had the most beautiful voice and she taught us how to sing. I remember her singing as she went about her work in the kitchen. She was always singing. She taught us how to sing. We were probably about four years old, and we were already singing Swiss songs that our Mother taught us. At that age it’s easy to learn another language. It seemed normal to us.”

They rode in a horse-drawn wagon in the summer and a sleigh in the winter to school and church. She’s told us that sometimes the sleigh would tip over and they would all have to get out and tip it upright. In the winter they stayed warm, in the sleigh, with a wood stove and with heated rocks.

She often talked about the swimming hole. Here is what she says about that:

“Papa dug a swimming hole in the pasture after we had grown up some. We learned how to dog paddle so it was safe for us to get into deeper water. We had a lot of fun, but the water never got very warm. Just the top few inches were comfortable, but under that, it was cold. We did most of our swimming during the weekends when we went over to our cousins, the Duersch family. They had a big swimming pool. And it was fun. However, the girls always swam by themselves. The boys, when they thought it was their turn, would start shouting so we would know they were coming up to swim. The girls would say, “We have to go now, the boys are coming.” The boys didn’t wear any suits in the pool. Did we ever rush to get out. We ran as fast as we could down the pasture, to the house. The boys always gave us plenty of time to swim, so we never felt cheated when we had to leave. Besides, the water was cold, and we were ready to get warmed up.”

Numerous times mom spoke of the time she was thrown from her horse and her leg was tangled in the reins and she was dragged a long distance before finally escaping. Her knee was dislocated and she walked home having to put her knee back into place several times along the way. She said she suffered from that bruised leg for most of her life.

She attended High School in Driggs. She writes: “When Lucy and I were Juniors, our parents decided that it was time to let us stay in Driggs when school started. That year we stayed in the Harris Cabins, in Driggs. Each cabin had two rooms. Lucy and I lived in one room and Verna Little and Veda Fullmer lived in the other. Once in a while we would get together to play games, or just visit. We would always go home on week ends. It was nice for us now because we were able to go to the school dances, and other fun activities we weren’t able to participate in before. During my Senior year we lived with our twin cousins, Betty and Barbara Duersch. It was fun to live with them. We developed lasting friendships with them.”

After she graduated from High School in 1942, and after her brothers joined the military during WWII, Lucile and Lucy joined Isabel in Salt Lake City working at the Remington Arms Factory. She constructed wooden boxes for the bullets.

Lucy and Lucile served a mission to the California, North Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latte Day Saints in 1946 and 1947.

On May 19, 1948, Lucile married Jesse Rowley Edlefsen in the Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple. Lucy married John Phillips the same day and the two couples enjoyed not only a double wedding but they both went to Sun Valley Idaho on their honeymoon.

Lucile gave birth to seven children, David, Mary Alice, Daniel, Kristine, Diane, Matthew and Philip. She loved her children with all her heart and found great joy spending time with them.

Jess and Lucile lived in California and Utah while dad finished school and eventually settled in Rigby, Idaho, where her children grew to adulthood.

Lucile had many talents and hobbies. She especially loved music. She had a beautiful soprano voice. She had many opportunities to sing. She also played the violin and loved playing with Mary Pieper and many church meeting and activities.

She was known throughout Rigby for her beautiful wedding, birthday and occasional cakes helping to supplement the family income.

She made numerous beautiful quilts. Some you see here today and many others given to family and friends. She and Lucy spent many enjoyable hours together making quilts. She donated quilts for the Durtschi family reunion fund.

She was a member of the Rigby Art Guild and loved to paint. She also volunteered her time as a 4H leader.

We always had healthy food to eat. Mom could create a nutritious meal using what she had in her food storage. She cooked from scratch, baking wonderful whole wheat bread, and utilizing her canned food that she grew in her garden. Besides the garden at her own home, which produced gallons of strawberries and raspberries, she borrowed 2 neighbors gardens which yielded bushels of green beans, corn, potatoes, carrots etc which was then preserved.

She was a very thrifty woman who sewed her children’s clothes, (until they knew the difference), cut their hair, (or at least tried) and made due with what she had on a measly teachers salary.

Lucile was never afraid to get her hands dirty and she always worked hard but her greatest contribution in this life was the countless hours and years she spent caring for people in her home. She cared for her aged parents, father-in-law and his sister Margaret along with neighbors, her husband and her twin sister Lucy.

She loved serving in the Church and served in many church callings. She especially loved serving in the extraction program which extracts names for temple work.

She was always amazed that a little girl from Driggs, Idaho, had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world. She traveled around Europe and had the opportunity to visit her fathers home in Switzerland. She also was able to visit her son, David, in Korea and her daughter Kristine while living in Ecuador.

Durtschi.com Admin: mark@durtschi.com

Page Updated: 6 July 2022