With a life that spanned nearly a century, Beulah Durst was a blessing to all who were within her reach. She will be dearly missed.
Although WWI was gaining momentum overseas in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared that, “America was too proud to fight.” Although we had high hopes of remaining neutral, it was within the next year that we entered into the fight for freedom across the world. The year 1916 was a memorable year in the lives of a young family from Edna, Kansas, for a much different reason as they celebrated the birth of a baby girl on July 28th. Beulah Lucille was one of four children born to her parents, Casper and Gladys (Olehy) Cox, and she was raised in the family home alongside her brothers, Melburn and Marvin, and her sister, Eulah.
Times were tough for the Cox family during the dark days of the Great Depression as they struggled to make ends meet with the family farm, but they did what they could to survive. Beulah was always thinking of others, and she was the one to care for those who were sick. She was very close to her grandfather, perhaps because he got her a horse! Beulah attended a one-room schoolhouse through the 11th grade, often riding her horse to and from school. In her free time she enjoyed knitting and crocheting as she regularly made hats, purses, and dresses for her dolls. Since she enjoyed dressing up, Beulah made a vest to match every outfit, and she also made vests for others, too.
As a young woman Beulah enjoyed attending area dances. It was while attending a dance one fateful evening that her brother, Melburn, gave a young man named Alex Durst permission to dance with Beulah as Melburn kept a close eye on her potential suitors. A dating relationship ensued, and after falling deeply in love they were married in 1935 in Edna.
Even though Beulah’s husband worked as a well driller, his heart was in farming, and it was this passion that brought the couple to Mequon, Wisconsin, where her uncle farmed. Beulah worked at a local shoe factory, Gilbert’s Shoes, in nearby Thiensville.
Despite being told that having children would be risky due to health issues, Beulah and Alex were overjoyed to welcome their son, Larry, into their hearts and home in 1947. When her husband began working at Milwaukee Protestant Home, Beulah also took a job there as a dietician. She additionally worked as a photographer’s assistant at Breitlow Studio.
After her husband’s death in 1993, Beulah moved into the Milwaukee Protestant Home in 1995, where she delighted staff and residents alike for the rest of her life.
With unending love for those around her, Beulah Durst was an extraordinary woman to know and love. She worked hard throughout her life, but she also took the time to savor every moment she was given to spend with those she loved most. The memories Beulah leaves behind will be lasting treasures for all who knew her.
Beulah L. Durst died on Sunday, October 13, 2013. Beulah’s family includes her son, Larry (Kathleen) Durst; grandchildren, Brian (Susan) Durst and Kelly (Tim) Marquardt; great-grandchildren, Maddox, Travis, Josstyn, and Josefina; sister, Eulah Schultz; and other relatives and friends. Visit with Beulah’s family and friends, Thursday, October 18 at Eastcastle Place 2505 E. Bradford Avenue, Lindsay Hall from 3:00 p.m. until time of the Funeral Service at 5:00 p.m. Interment Immanuel Cemetery, Cedarburg, WI. Arrangements provided by Suminski Family LifeStory Funeral Home, Suminski Weiss, 414-276-5122, www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com.