Edith Walters, our beloved mom, grandma, great-grandma, and great-great-grandma, peacefully joined her Savior shortly after celebrating her 99th birthday.
Grandma (she insisted everyone call her Grandma, even if you had just met her) was an example of Christ-like love and charity. Her door was always open and the kitchen counter had plates of homemade brownie bars or snitchen ready to welcome whomever might drop by. She had a deep and abiding faith which she saw in the beauty of God’s creation. From a small town in Iowa, she was able to see the country and the world with her beloved Jerry by her side. She leaves a legacy of love of family and faith and we will deeply miss her.
Edith was born in Iowa Falls, Iowa, Nov. 17, 1921 to Florence and Kleber Huff. She was the second of six children. As a young girl she learned how to make pies from her Aunt Pearl which they sold to help earn extra money for the family. She graduated from Iowa Falls High School. Edith met Gerald Walters, an employee at her dad’s service station. The two fell in love and were married Oct. 5, 1940.
They settled in Eldora, Iowa, and started a family. Jerry had issues with his lungs and a doctor suggested a drier climate might help. In the early 1950s, they found an old bus and loaded up their three children, Betty, Dave, and Ron, and headed to Idaho. They settled in Aberdeen and Jerry began working on the Westfall family farm. In 1952 they began their own business, Jerry’s Oil, a service station and bulk fuel operation. Jerry managed the station and delivered fuel to the area farmers while Edith kept the books and managed home and family, which now included two more sons, Larry and Kirk. In 1976 Jerry and Edith retired when they sold the business to their son, Larry, and employee Roland Isaak.
After retirement Edith and Jerry hit the road in their fifth wheel to see the country. Sometimes their other kids would have to call Larry at Jerry’s Oil to find out where Jerry and Edith were based on the charges on the credit card bill. They travelled all over the country, visiting national parks, driving the Alaska Highway, and making friends wherever they went. They also spent a great deal of time at their second home, a condo overlooking the lake in Cascade. Summers were spent entertaining grandkids a week at a time with no parents allowed.
Grandma loved to host afternoon tea parties on her tiny china set with special snacks and drinks. She also taught countless lessons in baking bread, kneading the dough by hand, and then delivering fresh loaves to friends. There were days spent picking huckleberries which then became delicious cobblers served with homemade vanilla ice cream from the hand cranked ice cream freezer. Every afternoon would be spent at the beach with Grandma, swimming out to the edge of the swimming hole.
Grandma shared her faith easily, reading devotion and praying each day after breakfast and spending time at her piano playing and singing favorite hymns. Edith and Jerry were able to give back through their involvement with the Wheelchair Foundation. They were able to travel to many countries and give away wheelchairs to those in need.
Grandma was always active and involved in her kids’ and grandkids’ lives. She was a Boy Scout den mother for her sons and proudly wore her Girl Scout uniform to her granddaughters’ meetings. Grandma and Grandpa would travel often to visit family, trying to be there for holidays, birthdays, sporting events, dance recitals, horse shows, and band concerts. With a family spread from Vermont to Hawaii they were always on the go.
As Jerry’s health failed, they spent more time at their home in American Falls. Grandma would host family dinners and had an open door for sourdough pancakes on Saturday mornings. After her beloved Jerry’s death in 2002, Grandma kept racking up frequent flier miles, visiting grandkids and great-grandkids at college or in their new homes.
Family was the most important thing to Edith. Nothing made her happier than to have the family gathered together, whether to celebrate a holiday, a family milestone, or simply having Sunday dinner. She loved to sit back and watch the extended family that she and Jerry had created and spend time telling stories, playing games, and sharing memories.
Edith is survived by: three children, Ron Walters and Randall Dickson, Larry and Barbara Walters, and Kirk and Loretta Walters; son-in-law, Roy Ruff; daughter-in-law, Lucette Walters; eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren; and countless adopted grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, her sister Frances, her brothers Leslie, Melvin, Clifton, and Clifford, her husband Jerry, her daughter Betty Ruff, and son Dave Walters. The family wishes to thank the staff at Touchmark Elkhorn in Meridian, Interim Health Care, and Keystone Hospice for their steadfast care for Edith in her final days.
Instead of a funeral, Edith requested a get together to share memories and stories. Please join us to share your memories in Cascade, July 29, at 12:30 p.m. at Van Wyck Campground and in Aberdeen, July 31, at 11 a.m. at Homestead Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Edith’s memory can be made to Luther Heights Bible Camp, 707 W Fort St, Boise, ID 83702, Trinity Pines Camp, 55 SW 5th Ave, Meridian, ID 83642, or the Palisades Camp Program of First Mennonite Church, 381 W Washington Ave, Aberdeen, ID 83210. Grandma said, “Every child or young person should have a week of church camp — no tv, cellphone, iPad, or such. Really get close to God, many take Him as their own Savior there. I value the volunteer times I’ve had there.” Edith’s faith and her family were the cornerstone of her life. Although we will miss her here, we know she is rejoicing in Heaven with her Savior and her family already there.
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