Gardening 07

Louise E. Oldham

February 22, 1924 ~ February 18, 2021 (age 96)


Louise “Lou” Watson was born on Feb. 22, 1924. She lived a long and full life and she died on Feb. 18, 2021 - only four days short of her 97th birthday. Lou was born in her family’s home on their homestead with a doctor and nurse assisting her mother. She was the eighth child born to her parents. She was born during the Model T era when indoor plumbing and electrical lighting was just beginning to reach her rural farming town of Paul, Idaho. She lived to see the Space Age, personal computers, all manner of personal conveniences, and the rapid expansion of communication and transportation.

During her youth, Lou worked on the family farm, attended the local schools, and she faithfully attended the local Protestant church. Lou met her future husband, Edwin “Eddie", in school and they became high school sweethearts. Edwin’s family moved away to California, World War II intervened, and Lou went to nurses training in Boise (becoming an RN). They maintained a letter writing correspondence/courtship after Eddie left and it wasn’t until after the war that they were married on Dec. 22, 1946. After marriage, they lived two years in Santa Monica while Eddie finished his education and Lou worked in the hospital. Once Eddie finished, they moved to Boise and remained there for 72 years.

Lou and Eddie had three children, Dixie Turner (John), Lance Oldham (Karen), and Leslie Gourley (Nelson). While the kids were young, Lou stayed home, but worked intermittently as needed in various doctors’ offices. She went to work part time when Leslie began attending school. As time went by Lou was working full-time.

Some of Lou’s interests included photography, sports (participation and watching), gardening, and religion. Lou and Eddie were long-time members of Cole Community Church in Boise. Lou was still working on home maintenance projects for her children into her early 90s. She enjoyed wood working and plumbing projects the most. Her favorite holiday was probably Halloween when in 1973 she began a tradition of taking selfie photographs with her posing in thematic costumes usually based on news events of the day. She would often take several sequential photos and she would make up a brief humorous storyboard to go with them and then mail them out to friends and relatives. She kept it up for 37 years.

After Eddie died in 2017, Lou lived alone in her Boise home until age-related complications made it difficult to remain there any longer. In October 2020, Lou moved to the home of Dixie and John Turner in Broomfield, Colorado. Within a few months of arriving, Lou’s health began to further decline leading to her death. Lou outlived all of her family members and all but two of her many cousins and all of her early long-time family friends.

Survivors include her: three children; four grandchildren, Rebecca “Becci” Grant-Morgan (Chris), Christian Turner (Shannon), Kirsten Larsen (Jay), and Gretchen Gee (Rob); and five great-grandchildren, Ayla Turner, Erik Larsen, Marcus Larsen, Luke Gee, and Logan Gee.

No funeral or memorial services are planned. The family recommends donations to: Halcyon Hospice, 6750 W. 52nd Ave., Arvada, Colorado 80002, 970-535-0870 or 303-329-0870,

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