Elizabeth Erni is celebrating her 95th birthday with her family. She was born on March 24, 1924 in Heimiswil, Bern, Switzerland the only child of Gottfried and his third wife, Elisabetha Fuchs Aebi. She has one living sister, Verena Aebi Stalder, who is 100. Her other siblings, Rosalie Aebi, Karolina Aebi Burkhalter, Jakob Aebi, Roeseli Aebi Fries and Fritz Aebi, are deceased.
Elizabeth immigrated to the United States on the original ship Queen Mary in March of 1950 so she could join her fiancee, Theophil Erni, who had obtained employment in Idaho Falls, Idaho. They were married in the Idaho Falls Temple in October 1950 and eventually settled in Logan. They were blessed with a daughter and three sons. Their children and spouses are: Martin and Darlene Erni, Konrad and Rosie Erni, Bernard and Gina Erni and Christine Erni Lord. She has eleven grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 2010.
Elizabeth earned a horticulture degree and passed her certification exams while in Switzerland. She had a remarkable “green thumb.” Her orchard, vegetable and flower gardens were enviable. She also planted and cared for a flower garden in the 5th -18th ward meetinghouse for many years. She enjoyed sharing her produce and flowers with neighbors, family, and friends. She and her husband were longtime Garden Club members.
Although her first priority was raising her family, Elizabeth was also employed by JC Penney’s, Utah State University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After retirement, she spent hours crocheting or knitting afghans for family and friends and for patients at Sunshine Terrace. She also crocheted bandages for lepers and made countless hats for cancer patients at the hospital and baby booties and hats for newborns in her ward.
Throughout her lifetime, she pursued various educational endeavors and cultural activities. When she arrived in Logan, she taught herself English by reading the Heidi story in German and English. In 1959, she passed the exam to become a naturalized citizen of the United States and was proud to be sworn in as an American. She and her husband taught ballroom dancing for many years to youth and adults in the Cache East Stake and helped execute regional dance festivals and Gold and Green Balls. She enjoyed attending concerts, plays and sporting events especially those involving her children and grandchildren. She was an excellent cook and loved to share her Swiss cookies and ethnic foods with family and friends. She attended numerous community and extension classes including USU’s Senior University. Even though she has low vision, Elizabeth is an avid reader and has learned to use an iPad. Lifelong learning is an important aspect of her life.
We love you, mom. Congratulations on a long and productive life.