Edith Clark Robertson, a civic leader and daughter of Twin Falls pioneers, died Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in the log house that she built with her husband, Thomas Macon (Tim) Robertson Jr., in the 1930s. She was 92.
Edith was born in Twin Falls on May 27, 1917. Her parents, David F. and Nellie B. Clark, came to Twin Falls in 1903 and were among the first residents of the Twin Falls tract. As an elementary school student living on a farm southeast of town, Edith rode the horse-drawn school wagon to Bickel School. In 1935, she graduated from Twin Falls High School, where she was active in drama and played on the women's basketball team. She attended Colorado Women's College and the University of California, Berkeley, returning to Twin Falls as a legal secretary for attorney Tim Robertson, whom she married in 1940.
Edith was active in community affairs. She served as president of the League of Women Voters, chaired the Board of the Magic Valley Regional Medical Center Foundation, and for many years, helped to coordinate the UNICEF Christmas card project. Particularly important to her was her membership in the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, where she served on the Vestry, directed the children's choir, and was senior warden and director of the Altar Guild.
A great lover of the outdoors, Edith ("Punkin") was introduced to the Sawtooth wilderness at an early age. Every summer her family made the slow, two-day journey by Model T Ford to the Stanley Basin, stopping for breakfast in the desert outside of Shoshone, camping out for the night in Hailey, and taking the old gravel road over the Galena summit. In the early years their destination was Petit Lake, where her father built a cabin in the 1920s. Later it was to nearby land that became the Clark-Miller Ranch, for some years run as guest ranch by Edith's sister, Isabelle Miller. As a young girl, Edith rode her horse across the valley to Obsidian to collect the mail and often accompanied her father on fishing trips to the high lakes. Later, she and Tim enjoyed extended pack trips on the mountain trails. As her family grew, she drew children, grandchildren and then great-grandchildren to the ranch each summer, passing along her pioneer values of hard work, self-reliance, and good cheer in the face of adversity. On her Twin Falls acreage, protected by a classic University of Idaho-designed windbreak that Edith and her husband planted, she kept horses, raised fruits and vegetables, and tended a spectacular flower garden. Frequently her extended family gathered from around the country and the world to spend time with her there. She also opened the acreage to her Episcopal Church fellowship for retreats and their annual picnic.
Edith was an avid reader and throughout her life was always open to new ideas. She was stimulated by literature, current events and good conversation. Her view of the world was shaped by these things but was always informed by her generous and giving spirit. She was a lifelong contributor to the Twin Falls Community Concert series, supported the Magic Valley Symphony, and was a proud donor to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Edith was preceded in death by a daughter, Jean Meredith Robertson; her husband, Tim; her brother, Frank Clark; and her sister, Isabelle Miller. She is survived by her daughter, Mary Robertson Page; two sons, Thomas M Robertson III and Jack Clark Robertson; a favorite nephew, David L. Miller; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Twin Falls. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Episcopal Church of the Ascension or St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center Foundation.