In Remembrance: Edith enjoyed being a great-great-grandma

Idaho StatesmanFebruary 25, 2007 

"I used to walk to school uphill both ways, in the snow, with no shoes," Edith Korn would tell her children and grandchildren. She wasn't completely joking.

Korn and her two sisters braved a 3-mile walk to school in the deep Montana snow, according to her daughter Dorothy Perkins.

"When the snow was too deep, their dad would pick them up in the wagon," Perkins said. "Sometimes the snow was deeper than they were tall."

Korn, a Nampa resident, died Feb. 9 at age 94.

The daughter of Czechoslovakian immigrants, Korn was born in Hutchings, Minn., and moved to Montana at age 2, where the family made a living "poor farming," according to Perkins.

"They would have to carry buckets of water from the river. I don't know how they survived," Perkins recalled.

At school, learning English proved to be another tough obstacle for the girl who had grown up in a Czechoslovakian household. But Korn persevered and eventually taught her parents the English language.

The family moved to Nampa in 1925, which proved to be an arduous journey.

"They had a rickety old car. When they ran out of money, they'd have to stop and pick fruit to make money to move on. That's the way they got here," Perkins said. "I think that's pretty amazing."

In Nampa, Korn attended Lakeview School and met her husband, Charles Korn. They were married in 1930.

Korn worked for Amalgamated Sugar Co. in 1943, where her job consisted of testing the sugar by making divinity candy and fudge, "which was good because then she made a lot of it at home," Perkins remembered.

Korn and her husband, Charles, also spent many hours dancing the polka at a Nampa dance hangout, Hall Ladice, where many Czech immigrants would gather, Perkins recalled.

In her 94 years, Korn lived to be a great-great grandmother, a great sense of pride for her, according to Perkins.

"She was so pleased. Her eyes were just sparkling when she saw those kids. We had five generations," Perkins said.

Though learning English was important to Korn, she never forgot her Czech roots, often cooking goulash and dumplings and leaving behind a tape of Czech phrases for her family.

"She was fun to be with," Perkins said, noting that one of her mother's favorite sayings was "you can't have your cake and Edith, too!"

"You could laugh and joke with her. She'd tried to get other people to say Czech words and then she'd laugh when they couldn't," Perkins said.

In Remembrance is a weekly profile on a Treasure Valley resident who has recently passed away. Contact West Treasure Valley news assistant Kristi Coffman at kcoffman@idahostatesman.com or 672-6742.

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