Our English Aunts

The purpose of this blog is Borreson family history, of course, but I must defer to the present moment to remember today one of our English aunts. We offer our condolences to Arnold, Elaine and Louise at the Thursday passing of their 97-year-old mother, Edna (Mrs. Edgar Borreson).

She had met Edgar while he was stationed in England during World War II, and they married after the war’s end in 1945 in the Anglican Church in Higham Ferrars. In this blog we recently had noted our immigrant ancestors’ Atlantic crossings.  Edna herself crossed the Atlantic several times, each time a major change in her life and probably the critical time when she returned to America on a troop ship as a war bride.

Isn’t it interesting that there are two English war brides in the family. Gladys (Mrs. Odell Borreson) whom we all knew as “Nan” shared this in common with Edna – although Edna was born in South Dakota, a fact I didn’t know until today. A few years ago, there was a wonderful article in The Whitehall Times about Nan – which I regret I don’t have as I write this -but I remember thinking: How dramatic to cross the ocean and be far from family. Yet both these women did it, and we have been honored to know and love them in our family.

I remember the article about Nan had some comments about her children’s “challenges” growing up immersed in the English accent of their mother and the Norwegian brogue of their dad. (I thought they came through it quite well!) I expect Edna’s family can identify with that.

I also remember Edgar and Edna’s trips to Trempealeau County and family which, as Elaine writes, they loved – along with fishing trips to the Wisconsin northwoods.  At more than one those visits to our farm in North Beaver Creek, Edgar and Garven (my father) went head-to-head in lively and heated political discussions! And then next year they’d return for a re-match. I expect the home farm in Fitch Coulee, however, was the heart of their destination, as it has been for others in the family.

Blessed be the memory of our English aunts, especially at this time, Edna.

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