08/30/2021 - Boise, Idaho, USA
Mary Inez Elguezabal was born to Fred Inocencio and Juana Elguezabal, at her grandparents' Basque boarding house in Gooding.
She was the fifth of eight children in a busy and loving family.
Through the years, the family moved several times to places including Ely, Nevada; Tempe and Mesa, Arizona; and Mountain Home, Idaho.
They finally settled in the north end of Boise, in a home on Resseguie St. that was later entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
Mom attended North Junior High and Boise High School. In her senior year, in a moment reminiscent of a movie scene, she met the love of her life, Gordon Colburn.
She ran into him on a stairway and spilled an armload of textbooks and papers.
He profusely apologized, helped her pick up the dropped items, and then promptly stole her heart. The rest, as they say, is history.
After a few semesters together at Boise Junior College, where Mom was a BJC cheerleader, they married on June 15, 1957. They had two children, Tammie and Richard. Mom and Dad were passionately devoted to each other, and enjoyed 60 years of truly blessed marriage.
In 1960, when Dad's career with Idaho First National Bank took the family to Parma, Mom was the heart and soul of our lives. She was up for any adventure Dad would toss at her, whether it was backpacking to Idaho alpine lakes, deep-powder snowmobiling, or taking the RZR into the Idaho backcountry. Camping and fishing were regular family activities throughout the 1960s and 70s. In later years, they traveled to Venezuela and to South Africa to visit family and friends.
She was very active in her local church parish, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, in Parma. She served in the Altar Society, and she loved young children, spending many Wednesday afternoons teaching Catechism at Recalde Hall.
While in Parma, Mom took up oil painting with several friends, and found that she was quite the artist. Many of her paintings still hang in the homes of friends and relatives all over the country.
Through the years she welcomed "bonus" children into the family, with the hosting of foreign exchange students, including Heather Gemmell (Power) from South Africa. When Tammie was in college, the family "adopted" her roommate, Lynn Miller (Kelly), who is considered a bonus daughter even today.
In 1985, Dad took on the McCall branch of IFNB, and they moved permanently to their lake home in Donnelly. They were blissfully happy there, and kept the place in absolutely perfect condition. While Dad was busy with his banking career, Mom worked at the McCall-Donnelly School District as a kindergarten teacher's aide, loving every minute around the children.
Mom's world was made complete when her grandchildren, Nekane Ines and Josu Inozentzio, were born. She simply adored both of them, and lit up every time they were around. She was so proud of their accomplishments, whether it was graduation from the University of Idaho, little league baseball or dancing with the Oinkari Basque Dancers. They were the absolute delight of her life.
After Dad retired in 1998, they took on a 2-month job as the winter caretakers of Shepp Ranch on the Salmon River. Always willing to go with Dad on his adventures, she spent the time there caring for the livestock, keeping up the lodge and preparing the food stores and equipment for the next summer's tourist season.
Mom was a relentless prayer warrior, praying the Holy Rosary every night, and every time she drove Highway 55 between her home and the Treasure Valley. Her faith was critically important to her and she was extremely dedicated to her church, St. Katharine Drexel, in Cascade. Her quiet, Christian faith served as a great influence on anyone who spent even the smallest amount of time with her.
Mom and Dad made two trips to the Basque Country to soak up the culture and heritage that was hers. In 2017, for their 60th wedding anniversary and their 80th birthdays, the kids took them on a two-week Alaska cruise and land adventure. It was to be the last great adventure of the whole family together.
We lost Dad later in 2017, and Mom was utterly heartbroken. It took her quite a while to come to grips with living life without her soulmate. She stayed in her Donnelly home to the very end, working in the yard a few times a week, and keeping her nest the way she and Dad always wanted it.
Mom was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, Cristina, Henry, and Danny Elguezabal, and her partner for life, Gordon. She is survived by her children, Tammie Colburn, and Richard (Rosa Mari) Colburn; two grandchildren, Nekane & Josu; and bonus daughters, Heather Power and Lynn (Tom) Kelly; as well as her siblings, Georgia Barrutia, Fred Elguezabal, Helen Berria, and Diana (Ken) Clark; and many cousins, nieces and nephews and in-laws.
On Tuesday, October 12, a viewing and Rosary will begin at 6:30pm at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 2612 W. State St, in Boise.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mark's Catholic Church, 7960 W. Northview St., in Boise, at 11am on Wednesday, October 13. A reception will follow. Private burial for the family will take place at Dry Creek Cemetery on Thursday, October 14.
A Holy Rosary and a memorial service will be held at St Katharine Drexel in Cascade (her home parish) soon.
Memorials are requested in lieu of flowers, and may be made to any of the following: The Basque Museum & Cultural Center in Boise, The Basque Catholic Foundation DBA Artzai Ona, the Oinkari Basque Dancers or the charity of your choice.
(published by Idaho Statesman, Legacy.com on Oct. 10, 2021)
Goian Bego (GB) - May Rest in Peace