A viewing will be Friday, April 2, from 4-7 p.m. at Rost Funeral Home,McMurtrey Chapel. A funeral service and celebration of Rene's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, at Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Mountain Home.
Rene was the beloved mother of Iny Day-Truppi of Arlington, Wash; Berta and her husband, Don Huffman, of Idaho City; Jan and her husband, Bruce Hedge, of Boise, and Jim and his wife, Glennda Day, of Bruneau. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, two brothers, James Lahtinen of Pasco, Wash. and David and his wife, Barb Lahtinen, of Bruneau, three sisters, Betty Bernadas of Mountain Home, Ellie and her husband, Bill Dudley, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Jenny and her husband, Kent Kohring, of Bruneau.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband, Bob, two sisters, Dorothy Terrell and Ailene Hopkins, one grandson, Robert Jared Day, and one great-granddaughter, Anna Harper.
Rene was born May 4, 1926, in Mountain Home, to Lauri and Fay (Black) Lahtinen of Bruneau. Rene and her identical twin sister, Ailene, were the fourth and fifth of eight children raised in Little Valley just south of Bruneau. As there were five kids under the age of five, her older brother, Jim, was assigned to take care of her. Rene said she was lucky to be his to take care of as she was able to go hunting and fishing with him. They worked and played together in the fields and in childhood games, forging a life-long bond.
Although Rene graduated number two in a class of four from Bruneau High School, she always spoke of the one semester she attended school in Mountain Home during her sophomore year. She and Ailene played on Mountain Home High School's first girls' basketball team, along with one other set of twins. It was one of her fondest memories.
Following graduation Rene spent a year and a half as a nurses cadet at St. Lukes Hospital in Boise. Rene met the Day family and a love story ensued.
On March 12, 1946, Bob and Rene united in marriage in a double wedding ceremony shared with Bill and Pat Day.
Their first home took them away from her native Idaho farmland to Bremerton, Wash., where Bob was stationed with the Navy.
Bob and Rene returned to Mountain Home after his enlistment ended, buying a house on North 8th East Street. The next years were filled with memories of sharing life with their four children, family members and friends. Rene stayed home with her children until the youngest started school.
She was well known in the neighborhood for her cooking, gardening, and her strict discipline.
She went to work at East Elementary, first in the cafeteria, then as the office secretary where she doubled as the school nurse and librarian.
When Bob lost his fight with cancer in 1969, Rene was offered a better paying job with Idaho Power. In 1976, she transferred to the Boise office to be closer to her daughters. Her new home off State Street, was the first one in the subdivision. She retired from Idaho Power in 1985.
After retiring, Rene traveled across the states from coast to coast, twice to Hawaii and Alaska and three times to Europe. She often commented how amazing it was that a simple farm girl would have the opportunity to see so much of the world.
Rene had a passion for gardening. Her yard was over flowing with beautiful flower gardens. She enjoyed reading and spending time with her family and loved to tell stories of hunting and spending time in the mountains. Rene was a gracious hostess and all were warmly welcomed in her home.
Donations in Rene's memory can be sent to the Bruneau Quick Response Unit, P.O. Box 294, Bruneau, ID 83604.