MHS Class of 1964 Classmate News
|My mother Bertha was also the second grade teacher
for some in our class. Attached is her obituary, which will be appearing in
Moscow and Lewiston and in much shorter form in Spokane.
|Bertha Windham, 88, passed away early Sunday morning,
February 20, at Aspen Park Health Care in Moscow where she was lovingly tended
for three years. The family wishes to thank her care givers for their gentle
care in ministering to her.
Bertha was born Bertha Doris Marie Pabst on December 27, 1916, in Lookout, ID, (which no longer exists) on the edge of the Camas Prairie to German farmers Mary and Herman Pabst. She tagged along with her dad as he gardened and farmed, and was proud to have her own horse, Sis. She learned homemaking and music beside her mother, who sang as she worked and spent time at the pump organ playing hymns for Sundays worship.
Bertha traveled two miles over the hills to the Gifford school and loved the few times she was able to go on her sled. Especially memorable was the day the sled broke through into the creek, wetting her thick woolen clothes. She spent that day with a woman across from the school, waiting for the clothing to dry over the wood stove.
At 16 Bertha graduated from Gifford High, completed two-year teacher preparation at the Lewiston Normal School and was ready for her first teaching job at Cream Ridge, just north of the Clearwater River. Three years later she met Stanley Windham, a dashing music teacher from Texas, on a street corner in Weippe where both were teachers. It was love at first sight, and they married four months later in 1938. They lived in Genesee in 1941 where Stanley taught, then moved to Opportunity (WA) when he began working in the Post Office.
At the end of WW II they settled in Moscow where they eventually built Evergreen Trailer Park. Bertha re-entered teaching in 1953 at Russell School and continued in second grade at Genesee for 13 years and concluded her teaching career in Boise.
She was a master of the classroom, using a generous overlay of humor added to a natural dignity which commanded the respect and attention of the children, all of whom she loved.
After the death of her husband in 1969, Bertha expanded her horizons by learning to weave, traveling to visit relatives in Germany, taking a tour to the Galapagos Islands, and spending time camping and visiting her children and grandchildren. She returned north to Clarkston in 1983, then to Moscow where she spent her last six years.
An avid outdoorswoman, there was hardly a rock, plant, mountain stream or wildflower in Idaho which she couldnt name or explain the geology of. Many huckleberry bushes gave up their fruit to her nimble fingers.
Music was of prime importance to her from early childhood when she played the organ for church even as she was entering elementary school. Bertha was the star of several musicals at the Lewiston Normal School, a pillar of her church choir, and a regular in the UI summer chorus after moving to Moscow. This love she passed on to all four of her children, active supporters of the musical arts.
Berthas memorial service will be Monday, February 28, 11:00 A.M. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Moscow. The family suggests that memorials be given to the Dorothy Barnes Vocal Scholarship Fund at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music.