basque heritage worldwide

In memory of

Margarita Teresa Bilbao Ysursa Asla

Margarita Teresa Bilbao Ysursa Asla
Margarita Teresa Bilbao Ysursa Asla (1919 - 2022)

01/24/2022 - Boise, Idaho, USA

Margarita Teresa Asla, 102, passed away peacefully in the home of her daughter on January 24, 2022.

Margarita was born to Carmen Rica and Nicolas Bilbao in Jordan Valley, Oregon, on August 11, 1919. She lived the first six years of her life in Jordan Valley, where her father herded sheep. The family later moved to Idaho City, where her father worked in the lumber and railroad industries.

Margarita was the second of five daughters. She attended grade school in Idaho City. She graduated high school from Saint Teresa's Academy in Boise with honors in 1938. Later in life she attended Boise State University for three semesters majoring in English and Spanish.

Margarita married Ramon Ysursa in April of 1942. They had four children together- Maria Pilar, Bernard, Benito, and Nicolas. Later, she married Eusebio Asla and had two more children, Maria Lorenza (Rani) and Jess.

Margarita worked as a secretary at St. Alphonsus Hospital and the State Highway Department. In later years she worked at the Boy Scouts Office and eventually maintained a children's Day Care Center in her home. Mom had a great love for children her entire life.

Margarita showed great concern for the sick, the poor and the underprivileged. For years she visited nursing homes, assisted living facilities, the homebound and prisoners at the penitentiary. She volunteered at Meals on Wheels, St. Vincent de Paul and at many church events. She was a founding member and lifetime parishioner at Sacred Heart Parish in Boise. She started and maintained a weekly Rosary group at Hillcrest Nursing Home and cared for the Day Chapel at Sacred Heart for many years. She especially loved supplying the candles to the Blessed Mother statue. Mom touched many lives and could always bring a smile or laugh to those in need. Margarita was a devout Catholic with a deep yearning to live her faith and was thankful to her God for all the blessings he bestowed on her and her family. She attended Mass and said the Rosary daily. One time mom was praying in church with a friend late at night in the dark. When the priest discovered them and asked what they were doing, Mom replied, "I am cramming for finals."

Her two favorite charitable works were to take care of the late Fr. William Dodgson with her dear friend, Cleo Scott, a registered nurse, for nearly four years before his death, and accompanying the late Bishop Treinen to the prison with the Outreach Group.

Margarita was the matriarch of a large and loving family. She was our rock and guiding force. Mom lived through the Great Depression, WWII, two marriages, raising six kids and losing a son. Through it all, she was tough. Mom was very proud of her family and their successful achievements. She was especially proud that all six of her children graduated from college and had successful careers. Mom attended many basketball, baseball, and football games and was the loudest cheerleader. Mom had high expectations and nothing but the best was acceptable. Her drive and inspiration helped us all to be our best. She supported her kids' school activities by being room mother, Girl Scouts leader and officer in the P.T.A.. Margarita was blessed with fifteen grandchildren and twenty great grandchildren. They were the joy of her life!

Margarita enjoyed traveling. She went on several cruises and traveled to South America, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East. She told many humorous stories of her travels that kept all of us entertained for years. Mom was a fun-loving person with a tremendous sense of humor and a zest for life that gained her many friends. Our greatest memories are of family gatherings filled with love, laughter and stories worth repeating. Mom was proud of her Basque heritage and we enjoyed celebrating our culture at Basque picnics, dances and dinners.

The family would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for Mom's primary caregiver the past eight years, her daughter Rani. Rani provided loving care for Mom in her home and sacrificed so much in her own life to make Mom happy and comfortable. We know Rani had a special place in Mom's heart and that she has already secured her place in heaven. The family would also like to thank the caring staff at Havenwood Homecare and Horizon Hospice.

Margarita is survived by five of her six children, Pilar Steele (Bob), Bernard Ysursa (Patty), Ben Ysursa (Penny), Rani Simmons and Jess Asla (Ana), and daughter-in-law, Ruth Ysursa Gibson (Tim), and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother (Carmen) and father (Nicolas), and her son Nicolas, who was killed in a plane crash in November of 1987, her sisters Pilar Bilbao, Martina Erickson, Carmen Nelson and Maria Rosario Games. Mom's favorite quote was from Ralph Waldo Emerson: How to Measure Success "To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived- this is to have succeeded."

Mom, you led a very successful life!

The immediate family will be having a private funeral service at this time. A celebration of life memorial will be planned at some point in the future. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Nick Ysursa Memorial Scholarship with the Bishop Kelly Foundation located at 7009 W. Franklin Rd., Boise, ID. 83709.

(published on Idaho Statesman, from Feb. 1 to Feb. 5)

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