Lena Gertsch Morton

16 Aug 1911 - 2 May 2008

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Lena Gertsch Morton

16 Aug 1911 - 2 May 2008
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Lena Gertsch was born 16 August 1911. when Lena became two years of age she was stricken with spinal meningitis. It appeared that she would be a hopeless cripple. The Elders were called upon to bless her, and she had a remarkable recovery. After finishing high school she took a business course at th
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Life Information

Lena Gertsch Morton

Born:
Died:

Evergreen Cemetery

1876-1998 North 2000 West
Springville, Utah, Utah
United States

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Married Mar. 3, 1944
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KarenS

May 27, 2011
Photographer

Catirrel

May 25, 2011

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GERTSCH, Lena (1911-2008) a brief history "of our children" by Conrad Gertsch

Contributor: Mitchowl Created: 1 year ago Updated: 3 weeks ago

Lena Gertsch was born 16 August 1911. when Lena became two years of age she was stricken with spinal meningitis. It appeared that she would be a hopeless cripple. The Elders were called upon to bless her, and she had a remarkable recovery. After finishing high school she took a business course at the LDS Business College, and worked as a bookkeeper until she received a call to fill a mission in the Northern States. Upon returning she married Ermel Morton--a graduate from the BYU. He taught at this college, and later at Ricks College at Rexburg. In 1951 Ermel and Lena were called to a mission in Tonga. Ermel presided over the Liahona College and Lena taught school. Ermel has translated all the four standard works of the Church into the Tongan language. He also translated the temple ceremony for the New Zealand Temple. The Mortons remained on their South Pacific Mission for six years. One child, Richard, was born in Tonga. Besides Richard the Mortons have four other children, namely Lorraine, Allen, Marsha and Annette. At the present time Ermel is a member of the General Church Pacific Board of Education and Lena works as guide patrol leader. They reside at Rexburg. Ermel teaches in Ricks College. This summer he attended the University of Mexico. While there he was offered a scholarship at the University of Indiana to complete his Doctor's Degree.

Our Courtship by Ermel J. Morton, written for his wife's 80th Birthday Celebration

Contributor: Mitchowl Created: 1 year ago Updated: 3 weeks ago

I first met Lena when my sister got married on July 3, 1940. Their reception and dance were held in the old Midway Town Hall and I met Lena there. Following this I corresponded with her some while she was on her mission. When her mother died and she came home to attend the funeral, Joe went to pick her up and he talked me into going with him. This sparked some interest. Soon after the funeral, she returned to the mission field. I went with her family members to the train station to see her off. They were all talking and visiting and she was kissing everyone goodbye when the conductor cried, "All aboard." She was to me at this point so she just shook my hand and climbed on the train as Jerry threw her bags on and away she went. Lena came home from her mission in September, 1943. I had been wondering about dating her and finally decided to do so. She was living in some apartments on 516 So. West Temple at the time, so I went over there ans asked her for a date. Our first date was to the movies at the Centre Theatre. Shortly after this, she moved back to Midway to live with her father, so I would go up there and stay overnight with the family and attend church in Midway. On November 6, I went up and took her over to Heber City to the movie. Afterwards we drove back to Midway and went up on the hill on the way to the Homestead near the Kohler's. I hadn't really planned on asking her to marry me that night and the spirit prompted me so I asked, "How would you like to go to Tonga with me for a mission?" She said, "Yes, that would be fine." We then kissed for the first time. After that we went down and woke up Grandpa Gertsch and told him what had happened and I asked for his permission to marry Lena. He said, "Yes." After that I slept upstairs with Leo and I could hear her telling her sisters in the other room. They were all excited. The next week I gave her an engagement ring and a corsage and the famous "Kissing picture' was taken. Things I admire: I admire that she is strictly honest, forthright, stand up for the right, faithful, industrious, and is always trying to do what is right.

History of Lena Gertsch Morton written by Annette M. Bracken on the occasion of her 80th Birthday

Contributor: Mitchowl Created: 1 year ago Updated: 3 weeks ago

Born August 16, 1911, Lena Gertsch Morton, today celebrates her 80th birthday. Who is she? What has made her the woman s he is today? To appreciate the person she is today, we must look at her past. Lena was born to Swiss emigrants, Conrad Gertsch and Elise Durtschi Gertsch. Both emigrated because they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Conrad came from a small Swiss mountain town called Wengen. Even today there are no roads to Wengen. It can be reached only by foot or by train. In the late 1800's the people of Wengen earned their livelihood from cows and cheese and were beginning to earn money from tourists. Conrad would herd cows in the Swiss Alps, and would also earn money guiding tourists in the summer. One day when Conrad was herding goats, a stranger approached and asked if he could tell him where his father, Conrad Sr., lived. He showed him the path that led to his home. When Conrad returned home that night, the man, Conrad Abegglen from Midway, Utah, was still there. He returned many times to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the family. It was a year before they decided to join the Mormon Church. Conrad was baptized on December 16, 1890 when he was 13 years old. In the daytime Elder Abegglen had found a place where Conrad could be baptized in the Black River. Then because of persecution the members of the Church received, they returned in the night to baptize Conrad. The ice had to be broken to immerse him in the water. A year later the Gertsch family made plans to emigrate. When the Gertsch family had an auction to sell their possessions, four ministers came pleading with them to stay. They warned them that the Utah Mormons would marry their daughters and kill the rest. But Conrad and his family believed the Elders had borne a true testimony and stayed firm in their desire to emigrate to America. As they left they sang "O Babylon, oh Babylon, We bid thee farewell, We're going to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell." When Conrad arrived in America, he and his family moved to Midway, Utah and his father bought a lot from John Morton, Jr. and built a log home on it. Ten years later, in March of 1902, Conrad returned to Switzerland as a missionary. When he returned from his mission, he worked as a night-watchman and miner in the Park City mines. Elise Durtschi was born in Faulensee, Switzerland. The town lies on the banks of the Thunersee Lake. Elise lived in a double house, with a baker in the bottom part. As a child she played, did chores and learned to knit stockings. When she was a little older, she and her older sister, Lena, had to deliver bread and rolls each morning to a hotel 4 miles away. To deliver the bread they used a little cart that had straps on the shoulders which were used for pulling. After Elise graduated from the district school, she went to Vevey for a year to learn French. After her time there, she returned home and worked for a German woman doctor at a Water Cure institution. Then during the next 4 years, Elise worked during the summers at a hotel in Murren, which is a town on the opposite mountainside from Wengen. During the winters she worked at a hotel in Monaco. It was about this time Alma Burgener came and preached the Gospel to Elise and her family. He brought other Elders with him on different occasions including Conrad Gertsch who she later married. When Elise heard the story of the First Vision of the prophet Joseph Smith it sounded like a fairy tale, but soon she studied and prayed and gained her own testimony of the truth. Before the Durtschi family was baptized, and while Elise was in Monaco, her mother died. Elise's mother had been the first to believe the Elder's message. That next spring, Elise was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her family had a desire to emigrate to Utah. Elise did not come with them as she had a contract to fulfill in Monaco, so she came all alone a month later. Elise helped her father in Utah with the housework. Conrad Gertsch courted and married her on June 7, 1907 in the Salt Lake Temple. They bought a home in Stringtown for $1525. Their first child, Conrad Robert, was born there, but he died 11 days later because of jaundice. Jeremiah was born the next year in 1909. For $600 John Morton, Jr. offered to sell the lot and house which adjoined Conrad Sr.'s home. They bought them. Lucy was born next and then Lena. When Lena was two, she had spinal meningitis. It left her with her feet paralyzed. The doctor told them she would never be able to walk again. Conrad and Elise sent her name to the temple prayer roll and also had the Elder's administer to her. Through the family's faith, Lena regained the use of her feet. When Lena was two, her father went on a 6-month mission to the Northern States. Lena's earliest memory is of when her father returned and brought both she and her sister, Lucy, a china-head doll. Lena had a happy childhood. Her cousins the Huber's, Probst's and the Bosses' all lived nearby and fun times were had playing with her cousins. Her Grandma Gertsch lived next door. Lena would go to visit or help her. She always had a blue cup filled with lemon drops that she would give them when they helped her. Lena learned to speak some Swiss German from her grandmother. Sometimes her Aunt Lena and Uncle Alma who lived in Duschene would come to visit. Usually Grandpa Durtschi lived with them in Duschene but he lived with Conrad and Elise for a short period of time. One Christmas he made Lucy and Lena a doll buggy which was the envy of the neighborhood. At Christmas they would make bratzelies on the coal stove with a bratzelie iron brought from Switzerland. They would get a tree on Christmas Eve and decorate it with cookies they made. In 1918 Conrad Gertsch was appointed town marshall. At that time there was a rough element in Midway. Some who did not like Conrad, burned his barn down. Clara Huber was returning from a dance late one night and spotted the flames. They mistakenly thought the house was on fire and evacuated the house. After everyone was evacuated, they realized that Lena was mission. Where was Lena? Carefully bottoning up her shoes! One summer Lena went to Provo to pick strawberries. She was so shy she didn't speak a word the whole trip there by wagon. After Lena graduated from high school, she went to Salt Lake to work as a housegirl. She first worked for the Schiller's. Mr. Schiller owned a cleaning business. Lucy had been working for the Warner family, but went on a mission, so Lena took her job there. Next she worked for the Stewart's and while she worked for them, she attended LDS Business College. These were fun years. She had many good friends and fun times in the Salt Lake 6th Ward. After she graduated from LDS Business College, she got a job at Salt Lake Leather Co. She worked there until she was called from the 6th Ward to go on a mission to the Northern States in 1941. Her mission president was Leo Muir. She served in such places as Saginaw and Grand Rapids, Michigan, Indianapolis, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. While Lena was on her mission, her mother died October 15, 1942. She came home from her mission for the funeral. When she was home, she again met Ermel Morton who was a brother to her sister-in-law. When she went to the train to return to her mission, she kissed everyone goodbye--until she got to Ermel. She gave him a handshake. It wasn't long after her return from her mission, however, until she began to be courted by Ermel Morton. One night he proposed to her by asking her if she would go to Tonga with him. They woke up her father late that night to announce they were engaged. Now the handshake turned into the famous engagement kissing picture! They were married on her mother's birthday, March 3, 1944 in the Salt Lake Temple by George Albert Smith. Ermel worked at the Salt Lake Telegram when they were first married and Lena worked at the state capitol for the State Health Department. Soon they were expecting a baby. Ermel got a teaching job at Brigham Young University. A daughter was born December of 1944, and a son followed in March of 1946 at Provo, Utah. Soon after, Ermel got a position teaching journalism at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. They moved into the Rexburg 4th Ward in the housing affectionately known as the 'lambing sheds' because of all the little 'lambs' born there. Their daughter was one of the little lambs born while living there. She was premature and only weighed 5 lbs. 5 oz. She was born in March of 1946. Ermel was in the Seventies' Quorum presidency of the 4th Ward. It was during this time that Ermel and Lena were called on a 2 1/2 year mission to the Tongan Islands. It later stretched into a 6 year mission. Ermel was given a leave of absence from his teaching position and the family readied to go. When the family went to get their inoculations, their oldest daughter was fearful of the needle. The nurse drew Mickey Mouse on her arm and said, "Let's feed Mickey." Their daughter screamed, "Let him starve, let him starve!" In Tonga Ermel was principal of the Church school, Liahona High School. Lena taught English and helped in the store. Missionaries lived with the Morton's. Lena had housegirls to help her with the children and missionaries, but she was in charge of planning the meals for the missionaries although the housegirls cooked them. She was almost like a mother to the missionaries. Ermel taught Lena and the other missionaries Tongan. Lena's first sermon in the Tongan language was at a funeral in the pouring rain. Each Sunday Ermel and Lena went to the different Tongan villages preaching and teaching. Many challenges were faced and met in Tonga. Besides the many responsibilities, other things happened. Once Lena was bit by a centipede and was up all night in pain. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip of England came to visit. Ermel and Lena were invited to the feast. Lena needed a hat for the occasion and had to send to the United States for one. When Prince Phillip read the Sunday School lesson in the Wesleyan Church on Sunday, they were a little late and had to sit on the front row. Each New Year's Day they went with the missionaries to Velitoa Island. It was a small island connected to another one by a sand bar which could only be crossed at low tide. They had fun picnics there. Elder LeGrand Richards, the apostle, came to visit for the dedication of Liahona. Ermel and Lena had ordered a new bed. It had arrived in Tonga, but they kept it at the mission home so Elder Richards could use it while there. He came out to Liahona and asked to lay down for awhile on Ermel and Lena's kapok bed. There was a big difference in height between the two sides with one being higher than the other. When he awoke, he told them they had better ask for a new bed!--not realizing he was sleeping on it at the mission home in Nuku'alofa. President David O. McKay came to visit Tonga. The Tongans prepared feasts and dances for him. When he went to Vava'u he took Ermel and Lena with him. Ermel was interpreting for him when he had the vision of a temple in the Tongan Islands. While in the Tongan Islands, Lena gave girth to her 4th child in June of 1952. Before he was born, their oldest son was a little curious. He asked if the baby would have brown skin like the Tongans. The new baby was a little towheaded boy. When it came time to leave in February of 1957, the Tongans serenaded them all night on the eve of their departure. As they left, they all sang "God be with you till we meet again." When they reported their mission in church in Midway on their return home, their youngest son was so used to being barefooted, he took off his shoes while on the stand. Two months after their return, their last daughter was born in April of 1957. Their second daughter had chicken pox at the time and so the new baby went to stay for a few days with the Wilding family in Sugar City. Lena was busy on the home front settling in again. Ermel completed the translation of the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and the temple ceremony into Tongan. He also went to the University of Mexico to study Spanish. Then in 1959 he took the family to Bloomington, Indiana to work on a PhD. in Linguistics. Ermel was on 1/2 salary from Ricks and had a Fellowship at Indiana University to help with the costs, but still money was tight. Lena has always been a good money manager and they managed to provide. One Christmas in Indiana she took a seasonal job at Penney's until her youngest daughter became too affected by her absence. After two years they moved back to Rexburg. Lena was made president of the 6th Ward Relief Society. She held this position for over 5 years. During that time she was in charge of a yearly bazaar. Countless hours were spent preparing for that. In those days the Relief Society earned all their own money for operating expenses through the year, so the bazaar was an important money maker. Each month there would be a homemaking day with a quilt to be worked on. Quilting quilts was a fundraising project too. There were also many hours spent in service; washing clothes, cleaning houses, taking meals to those who were sick or whatever the need. During this time Lena decided it was time to learn to drive. She took driving lessons and received a license. Ermel took a second job as a reporter for the Rexburg Standard and Journal newspaper. During the summer of 1964 they started building a home on Harvard Avenue. During the potato harvest they painted and by Christmas they had begun living in their new home. Lena's father became ill and in need of more help, so Lena would go down to Utah often, sometimes for a week or two to help clean house and to care for Conrad. On January 25, 1969 he died. He was almost 92 years old. The roads were very snowy so the trip to Utah for the funeral was treacherous. The next few years her children began to go and come from missions for the church: her oldest son went to the Southern States in 1965, her oldest daughter went to Chile in 1967, her second daughter went to Hawaii in 1969 and her second son went to the New Zealand North Mission in 1971. Just before Conrad's death in 1969, Ermel was called to be in charge of a new language training mission at Ricks College for the missionaries going to the Scandinavian countries and Holland. Lena was the mission mother. She helped elders who didn't know how to wash, prepared Thanksgiving for many of them as well as going on Yellowstone trips with them. She was a real help for the sisters and made them all feel at home. About this period the children also started to get married. In the summer 1971 both of her two oldest children were married. The years following these weddings were happy years filled with fun Christmases, vacations, new grandchildren and lots of laughter. On June 5, 1976 the Teton Dam burst. Lena's home was situated on top of a hill so her home was safe from the flood waters. Ermel and Lena were at the temple that morning in Idaho Falls and had to take the back roads over the dry farms to get home. Even though her home was safe, she spent many hours washing muddy clothes for some of the flood victims. Ermel's health was not good at this time and that fall he had surgery. He was released from being mission president in May of 1976. In 1980 Ermel retired. Ermel and Lena became temple workers and Ermel was called as a patriarch. They put their papers in for a 12 month mission. The bishop forgot to mark the '12 month' box, so they were called to the Seattle Washington mission for 18 months. Just before they were to leave, Lena came down with hepatitis. They had to postpone the date of their departure until she was well. In Seattle they served under President Dale Hanks and President LaMar Bradshaw. They worked also with the Asian and the Hispanic people and made many friends. On their return they worked in the name extraction program. Ermel became seriously ill and Lena spent much time nursing him back to health. Now Lena is 80 years old. How fitting that just 3 weeks ago Lena was honored, along with Ermel at the Tongan Centennial Celebration. President Monson asked them both to stand as he acknowledged their service and contributions to the Tongan people. So, how would we describe Lena Gertsch Morton? Serving, giving, loving Stead, calm, given to detail Fun, mischievous, laughing, always proud of her son the mortician. [*Note: this was an inside family joke.] Careful, orderly, frugal Makes you feel welcome and at home Helpful, looks for the best in all, appreciative, has a love of her heritage, feeding, nurturing, healthy as a horse, interested in new things, keeps in touch Thoughtful, humble, has a deep abiding faith, an example to us all As a fitting close to this 80th birthday celebration we read a line from her patriarchal blessing, "I bless you that you may live to a ripe old age, surrounded with friends and with loved ones, who will seek your companionship and seek to be with you because of the good which they receive from you." We love you Lena Morton, you are our sister, wife, mother, aunt and friend. You have filled our lives with much happiness and love. May you be blessed with many more happy years with us all. [The names of her children were included in the original history but have been removed in this version for privacy sake]

GERTSCH, Lena (1911-2008) a brief history "of our children" by Conrad Gertsch

Contributor: KarenS Created: 4 months ago Updated: 4 months ago

Lena Gertsch was born 16 August 1911. when Lena became two years of age she was stricken with spinal meningitis. It appeared that she would be a hopeless cripple. The Elders were called upon to bless her, and she had a remarkable recovery. After finishing high school she took a business course at the LDS Business College, and worked as a bookkeeper until she received a call to fill a mission in the Northern States. Upon returning she married Ermel Morton--a graduate from the BYU. He taught at this college, and later at Ricks College at Rexburg. In 1951 Ermel and Lena were called to a mission in Tonga. Ermel presided over the Liahona College and Lena taught school. Ermel has translated all the four standard works of the Church into the Tongan language. He also translated the temple ceremony for the New Zealand Temple. The Mortons remained on their South Pacific Mission for six years. One child, Richard, was born in Tonga. Besides Richard the Mortons have four other children, namely Lorraine, Allen, Marsha and Annette. At the present time Ermel is a member of the General Church Pacific Board of Education and Lena works as guide patrol leader. They reside at Rexburg. Ermel teaches in Ricks College. This summer he attended the University of Mexico. While there he was offered a scholarship at the University of Indiana to complete his Doctor's Degree.

Our Courtship by Ermel J. Morton, written for his wife's 80th Birthday Celebration

Contributor: KarenS Created: 4 months ago Updated: 4 months ago

I first met Lena when my sister got married on July 3, 1940. Their reception and dance were held in the old Midway Town Hall and I met Lena there. Following this I corresponded with her some while she was on her mission. When her mother died and she came home to attend the funeral, Joe went to pick her up and he talked me into going with him. This sparked some interest. Soon after the funeral, she returned to the mission field. I went with her family members to the train station to see her off. They were all talking and visiting and she was kissing everyone goodbye when the conductor cried, "All aboard." She was to me at this point so she just shook my hand and climbed on the train as Jerry threw her bags on and away she went. Lena came home from her mission in September, 1943. I had been wondering about dating her and finally decided to do so. She was living in some apartments on 516 So. West Temple at the time, so I went over there ans asked her for a date. Our first date was to the movies at the Centre Theatre. Shortly after this, she moved back to Midway to live with her father, so I would go up there and stay overnight with the family and attend church in Midway. On November 6, I went up and took her over to Heber City to the movie. Afterwards we drove back to Midway and went up on the hill on the way to the Homestead near the Kohler's. I hadn't really planned on asking her to marry me that night and the spirit prompted me so I asked, "How would you like to go to Tonga with me for a mission?" She said, "Yes, that would be fine." We then kissed for the first time. After that we went down and woke up Grandpa Gertsch and told him what had happened and I asked for his permission to marry Lena. He said, "Yes." After that I slept upstairs with Leo and I could hear her telling her sisters in the other room. They were all excited. The next week I gave her an engagement ring and a corsage and the famous "Kissing picture' was taken. Things I admire: I admire that she is strictly honest, forthright, stand up for the right, faithful, industrious, and is always trying to do what is right.

History of Lena Gertsch Morton written by Annette M. Bracken on the occasion of her 80th Birthday

Contributor: KarenS Created: 4 months ago Updated: 4 months ago

Born August 16, 1911, Lena Gertsch Morton, today celebrates her 80th birthday. Who is she? What has made her the woman s he is today? To appreciate the person she is today, we must look at her past. Lena was born to Swiss emigrants, Conrad Gertsch and Elise Durtschi Gertsch. Both emigrated because they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Conrad came from a small Swiss mountain town called Wengen. Even today there are no roads to Wengen. It can be reached only by foot or by train. In the late 1800's the people of Wengen earned their livelihood from cows and cheese and were beginning to earn money from tourists. Conrad would herd cows in the Swiss Alps, and would also earn money guiding tourists in the summer. One day when Conrad was herding goats, a stranger approached and asked if he could tell him where his father, Conrad Sr., lived. He showed him the path that led to his home. When Conrad returned home that night, the man, Conrad Abegglen from Midway, Utah, was still there. He returned many times to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the family. It was a year before they decided to join the Mormon Church. Conrad was baptized on December 16, 1890 when he was 13 years old. In the daytime Elder Abegglen had found a place where Conrad could be baptized in the Black River. Then because of persecution the members of the Church received, they returned in the night to baptize Conrad. The ice had to be broken to immerse him in the water. A year later the Gertsch family made plans to emigrate. When the Gertsch family had an auction to sell their possessions, four ministers came pleading with them to stay. They warned them that the Utah Mormons would marry their daughters and kill the rest. But Conrad and his family believed the Elders had borne a true testimony and stayed firm in their desire to emigrate to America. As they left they sang "O Babylon, oh Babylon, We bid thee farewell, We're going to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell." When Conrad arrived in America, he and his family moved to Midway, Utah and his father bought a lot from John Morton, Jr. and built a log home on it. Ten years later, in March of 1902, Conrad returned to Switzerland as a missionary. When he returned from his mission, he worked as a night-watchman and miner in the Park City mines. Elise Durtschi was born in Faulensee, Switzerland. The town lies on the banks of the Thunersee Lake. Elise lived in a double house, with a baker in the bottom part. As a child she played, did chores and learned to knit stockings. When she was a little older, she and her older sister, Lena, had to deliver bread and rolls each morning to a hotel 4 miles away. To deliver the bread they used a little cart that had straps on the shoulders which were used for pulling. After Elise graduated from the district school, she went to Vevey for a year to learn French. After her time there, she returned home and worked for a German woman doctor at a Water Cure institution. Then during the next 4 years, Elise worked during the summers at a hotel in Murren, which is a town on the opposite mountainside from Wengen. During the winters she worked at a hotel in Monaco. It was about this time Alma Burgener came and preached the Gospel to Elise and her family. He brought other Elders with him on different occasions including Conrad Gertsch who she later married. When Elise heard the story of the First Vision of the prophet Joseph Smith it sounded like a fairy tale, but soon she studied and prayed and gained her own testimony of the truth. Before the Durtschi family was baptized, and while Elise was in Monaco, her mother died. Elise's mother had been the first to believe the Elder's message. That next spring, Elise was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her family had a desire to emigrate to Utah. Elise did not come with them as she had a contract to fulfill in Monaco, so she came all alone a month later. Elise helped her father in Utah with the housework. Conrad Gertsch courted and married her on June 7, 1907 in the Salt Lake Temple. They bought a home in Stringtown for $1525. Their first child, Conrad Robert, was born there, but he died 11 days later because of jaundice. Jeremiah was born the next year in 1909. For $600 John Morton, Jr. offered to sell the lot and house which adjoined Conrad Sr.'s home. They bought them. Lucy was born next and then Lena. When Lena was two, she had spinal meningitis. It left her with her feet paralyzed. The doctor told them she would never be able to walk again. Conrad and Elise sent her name to the temple prayer roll and also had the Elder's administer to her. Through the family's faith, Lena regained the use of her feet. When Lena was two, her father went on a 6-month mission to the Northern States. Lena's earliest memory is of when her father returned and brought both she and her sister, Lucy, a china-head doll. Lena had a happy childhood. Her cousins the Huber's, Probst's and the Bosses' all lived nearby and fun times were had playing with her cousins. Her Grandma Gertsch lived next door. Lena would go to visit or help her. She always had a blue cup filled with lemon drops that she would give them when they helped her. Lena learned to speak some Swiss German from her grandmother. Sometimes her Aunt Lena and Uncle Alma who lived in Duschene would come to visit. Usually Grandpa Durtschi lived with them in Duschene but he lived with Conrad and Elise for a short period of time. One Christmas he made Lucy and Lena a doll buggy which was the envy of the neighborhood. At Christmas they would make bratzelies on the coal stove with a bratzelie iron brought from Switzerland. They would get a tree on Christmas Eve and decorate it with cookies they made. In 1918 Conrad Gertsch was appointed town marshall. At that time there was a rough element in Midway. Some who did not like Conrad, burned his barn down. Clara Huber was returning from a dance late one night and spotted the flames. They mistakenly thought the house was on fire and evacuated the house. After everyone was evacuated, they realized that Lena was mission. Where was Lena? Carefully bottoning up her shoes! One summer Lena went to Provo to pick strawberries. She was so shy she didn't speak a word the whole trip there by wagon. After Lena graduated from high school, she went to Salt Lake to work as a housegirl. She first worked for the Schiller's. Mr. Schiller owned a cleaning business. Lucy had been working for the Warner family, but went on a mission, so Lena took her job there. Next she worked for the Stewart's and while she worked for them, she attended LDS Business College. These were fun years. She had many good friends and fun times in the Salt Lake 6th Ward. After she graduated from LDS Business College, she got a job at Salt Lake Leather Co. She worked there until she was called from the 6th Ward to go on a mission to the Northern States in 1941. Her mission president was Leo Muir. She served in such places as Saginaw and Grand Rapids, Michigan, Indianapolis, Indiana and Cleveland, Ohio. While Lena was on her mission, her mother died October 15, 1942. She came home from her mission for the funeral. When she was home, she again met Ermel Morton who was a brother to her sister-in-law. When she went to the train to return to her mission, she kissed everyone goodbye--until she got to Ermel. She gave him a handshake. It wasn't long after her return from her mission, however, until she began to be courted by Ermel Morton. One night he proposed to her by asking her if she would go to Tonga with him. They woke up her father late that night to announce they were engaged. Now the handshake turned into the famous engagement kissing picture! They were married on her mother's birthday, March 3, 1944 in the Salt Lake Temple by George Albert Smith. Ermel worked at the Salt Lake Telegram when they were first married and Lena worked at the state capitol for the State Health Department. Soon they were expecting a baby. Ermel got a teaching job at Brigham Young University. A daughter was born December of 1944, and a son followed in March of 1946 at Provo, Utah. Soon after, Ermel got a position teaching journalism at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. They moved into the Rexburg 4th Ward in the housing affectionately known as the 'lambing sheds' because of all the little 'lambs' born there. Their daughter was one of the little lambs born while living there. She was premature and only weighed 5 lbs. 5 oz. She was born in March of 1946. Ermel was in the Seventies' Quorum presidency of the 4th Ward. It was during this time that Ermel and Lena were called on a 2 1/2 year mission to the Tongan Islands. It later stretched into a 6 year mission. Ermel was given a leave of absence from his teaching position and the family readied to go. When the family went to get their inoculations, their oldest daughter was fearful of the needle. The nurse drew Mickey Mouse on her arm and said, "Let's feed Mickey." Their daughter screamed, "Let him starve, let him starve!" In Tonga Ermel was principal of the Church school, Liahona High School. Lena taught English and helped in the store. Missionaries lived with the Morton's. Lena had housegirls to help her with the children and missionaries, but she was in charge of planning the meals for the missionaries although the housegirls cooked them. She was almost like a mother to the missionaries. Ermel taught Lena and the other missionaries Tongan. Lena's first sermon in the Tongan language was at a funeral in the pouring rain. Each Sunday Ermel and Lena went to the different Tongan villages preaching and teaching. Many challenges were faced and met in Tonga. Besides the many responsibilities, other things happened. Once Lena was bit by a centipede and was up all night in pain. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip of England came to visit. Ermel and Lena were invited to the feast. Lena needed a hat for the occasion and had to send to the United States for one. When Prince Phillip read the Sunday School lesson in the Wesleyan Church on Sunday, they were a little late and had to sit on the front row. Each New Year's Day they went with the missionaries to Velitoa Island. It was a small island connected to another one by a sand bar which could only be crossed at low tide. They had fun picnics there. Elder LeGrand Richards, the apostle, came to visit for the dedication of Liahona. Ermel and Lena had ordered a new bed. It had arrived in Tonga, but they kept it at the mission home so Elder Richards could use it while there. He came out to Liahona and asked to lay down for awhile on Ermel and Lena's kapok bed. There was a big difference in height between the two sides with one being higher than the other. When he awoke, he told them they had better ask for a new bed!--not realizing he was sleeping on it at the mission home in Nuku'alofa. President David O. McKay came to visit Tonga. The Tongans prepared feasts and dances for him. When he went to Vava'u he took Ermel and Lena with him. Ermel was interpreting for him when he had the vision of a temple in the Tongan Islands. While in the Tongan Islands, Lena gave girth to her 4th child in June of 1952. Before he was born, their oldest son was a little curious. He asked if the baby would have brown skin like the Tongans. The new baby was a little towheaded boy. When it came time to leave in February of 1957, the Tongans serenaded them all night on the eve of their departure. As they left, they all sang "God be with you till we meet again." When they reported their mission in church in Midway on their return home, their youngest son was so used to being barefooted, he took off his shoes while on the stand. Two months after their return, their last daughter was born in April of 1957. Their second daughter had chicken pox at the time and so the new baby went to stay for a few days with the Wilding family in Sugar City. Lena was busy on the home front settling in again. Ermel completed the translation of the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and the temple ceremony into Tongan. He also went to the University of Mexico to study Spanish. Then in 1959 he took the family to Bloomington, Indiana to work on a PhD. in Linguistics. Ermel was on 1/2 salary from Ricks and had a Fellowship at Indiana University to help with the costs, but still money was tight. Lena has always been a good money manager and they managed to provide. One Christmas in Indiana she took a seasonal job at Penney's until her youngest daughter became too affected by her absence. After two years they moved back to Rexburg. Lena was made president of the 6th Ward Relief Society. She held this position for over 5 years. During that time she was in charge of a yearly bazaar. Countless hours were spent preparing for that. In those days the Relief Society earned all their own money for operating expenses through the year, so the bazaar was an important money maker. Each month there would be a homemaking day with a quilt to be worked on. Quilting quilts was a fundraising project too. There were also many hours spent in service; washing clothes, cleaning houses, taking meals to those who were sick or whatever the need. During this time Lena decided it was time to learn to drive. She took driving lessons and received a license. Ermel took a second job as a reporter for the Rexburg Standard and Journal newspaper. During the summer of 1964 they started building a home on Harvard Avenue. During the potato harvest they painted and by Christmas they had begun living in their new home. Lena's father became ill and in need of more help, so Lena would go down to Utah often, sometimes for a week or two to help clean house and to care for Conrad. On January 25, 1969 he died. He was almost 92 years old. The roads were very snowy so the trip to Utah for the funeral was treacherous. The next few years her children began to go and come from missions for the church: her oldest son went to the Southern States in 1965, her oldest daughter went to Chile in 1967, her second daughter went to Hawaii in 1969 and her second son went to the New Zealand North Mission in 1971. Just before Conrad's death in 1969, Ermel was called to be in charge of a new language training mission at Ricks College for the missionaries going to the Scandinavian countries and Holland. Lena was the mission mother. She helped elders who didn't know how to wash, prepared Thanksgiving for many of them as well as going on Yellowstone trips with them. She was a real help for the sisters and made them all feel at home. About this period the children also started to get married. In the summer 1971 both of her two oldest children were married. The years following these weddings were happy years filled with fun Christmases, vacations, new grandchildren and lots of laughter. On June 5, 1976 the Teton Dam burst. Lena's home was situated on top of a hill so her home was safe from the flood waters. Ermel and Lena were at the temple that morning in Idaho Falls and had to take the back roads over the dry farms to get home. Even though her home was safe, she spent many hours washing muddy clothes for some of the flood victims. Ermel's health was not good at this time and that fall he had surgery. He was released from being mission president in May of 1976. In 1980 Ermel retired. Ermel and Lena became temple workers and Ermel was called as a patriarch. They put their papers in for a 12 month mission. The bishop forgot to mark the '12 month' box, so they were called to the Seattle Washington mission for 18 months. Just before they were to leave, Lena came down with hepatitis. They had to postpone the date of their departure until she was well. In Seattle they served under President Dale Hanks and President LaMar Bradshaw. They worked also with the Asian and the Hispanic people and made many friends. On their return they worked in the name extraction program. Ermel became seriously ill and Lena spent much time nursing him back to health. Now Lena is 80 years old. How fitting that just 3 weeks ago Lena was honored, along with Ermel at the Tongan Centennial Celebration. President Monson asked them both to stand as he acknowledged their service and contributions to the Tongan people. So, how would we describe Lena Gertsch Morton? Serving, giving, loving Stead, calm, given to detail Fun, mischievous, laughing, always proud of her son the mortician. [*Note: this was an inside family joke.] Careful, orderly, frugal Makes you feel welcome and at home Helpful, looks for the best in all, appreciative, has a love of her heritage, feeding, nurturing, healthy as a horse, interested in new things, keeps in touch Thoughtful, humble, has a deep abiding faith, an example to us all As a fitting close to this 80th birthday celebration we read a line from her patriarchal blessing, "I bless you that you may live to a ripe old age, surrounded with friends and with loved ones, who will seek your companionship and seek to be with you because of the good which they receive from you." We love you Lena Morton, you are our sister, wife, mother, aunt and friend. You have filled our lives with much happiness and love. May you be blessed with many more happy years with us all. [The names of her children were included in the original history but have been removed in this version for privacy sake]

Life timeline of Lena Gertsch Morton

Lena Gertsch Morton was born on 16 Aug 1911
Lena Gertsch Morton was 18 years old when The New York Stock Exchange crashes in what will be called the Crash of '29 or "Black Tuesday", ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression. The New York Stock Exchange, is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$21.3 trillion as of June 2017. The average daily trading value was approximately US$169 billion in 2013. The NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of 21 rooms used for the facilitation of trading. A fifth trading room, located at 30 Broad Street, was closed in February 2007. The main building and the 11 Wall Street building were designated National Historic Landmarks in 1978.
Lena Gertsch Morton was 28 years old when Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people. Adolf Hitler was a German politician, demagogue, and Pan-German revolutionary, who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Führer ("Leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator, Hitler initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and was central to the Holocaust.
Lena Gertsch Morton was 33 years old when World War II: The Allied invasion of Normandy—codenamed Operation Overlord—begins with the execution of Operation Neptune (commonly referred to as D-Day), the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history. The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
Lena Gertsch Morton was 46 years old when Space Race: Launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth. The Space Race refers to the 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (US), for dominance in spaceflight capability. It had its origins in the missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations that occurred following World War II, aided by captured German missile technology and personnel from the Aggregat program. The technological superiority required for such dominance was seen as necessary for national security, and symbolic of ideological superiority. The Space Race spawned pioneering efforts to launch artificial satellites, uncrewed space probes of the Moon, Venus, and Mars, and human spaceflight in low Earth orbit and to the Moon.
Lena Gertsch Morton was 53 years old when Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968. Born in Atlanta, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire.
Lena Gertsch Morton was 62 years old when Vietnam War: The last United States combat soldiers leave South Vietnam. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war by some US perspectives. The majority of Americans believe the war was unjustified. The war would last roughly 19 years and would also form the Laotian Civil War as well as the Cambodian Civil War, which also saw all three countries become communist states in 1975.
Lena Gertsch Morton was 70 years old when The first launch of a Space Shuttle (Columbia) takes place: The STS-1 mission. The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982. In addition to the prototype whose completion was cancelled, five complete Shuttle systems were built and used on a total of 135 missions from 1981 to 2011, launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Operational missions launched numerous satellites, interplanetary probes, and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST); conducted science experiments in orbit; and participated in construction and servicing of the International Space Station. The Shuttle fleet's total mission time was 1322 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes and 23 seconds.
Lena Gertsch Morton was 80 years old when The World Wide Web is opened to the public. The World Wide Web (WWW), also called the Web, is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), interlinked by hypertext links, and accessible via the Internet. English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He wrote the first web browser in 1990 while employed at CERN in Switzerland. The browser was released outside CERN in 1991, first to other research institutions starting in January 1991 and to the general public on the Internet in August 1991.
Lena Gertsch Morton died on 2 May 2008 at the age of 96
BillionGraves.com
Grave record for Lena Gertsch Morton (16 Aug 1911 - 2 May 2008), BillionGraves Record 750 Springville, Utah, Utah, United States

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