Gretchen Luise (Farber) Potter, 104, a retired Associate Professor of Home Economics at the University of Idaho, died May 27, 2021.
She was born November 21, 1916, on a farm near Potlatch, Idaho, to Frank and Lucie (Voss) Farber. Her father died the same year.
She attended the Potlatch schools through the eighth grade. In 1930 she moved to Moscow with her mother and two of her three older brothers. She enrolled in Moscow High School, graduating with the class of 1934. In 1939 she graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in Home Economics and began a teaching career which spanned 35 years.
Her first teaching job was at Troy High School, commencing in 1939. Later she taught in the Moscow Public Schools where she met her future husband, Leo Potter, who was the art teacher. They were married on June 4, 1945. Leo died in 1969.
Although she focused on her teaching, Gretchen worked in other areas, too. Throughout her young adulthood, she assisted her mother in running businesses in Potlatch and Moscow that offered needlework, specialized linens, dressmaking and alterations. In the summers of 1943 and 1944, Gretchen worked as a lookout for the US Forest Service, sighting and reporting fires in the St. Joe National Forest. She worked briefly at the Kaiser Aluminum plant in Spokane to assist in the war effort. During the early 1960s, Gretchen worked in Home Economics Research and Agricultural Extension at the University of Idaho.
Gretchen returned to school in 1965 and earned a master's degree from Washington State University in 1966. That same year, she joined the Home Economics faculty at the University of Idaho and remained there until her retirement in 1976. In addition to her classroom duties, Gretchen was the teacher trainer for the department, travelling all over the state to supervise student teachers in school districts throughout Idaho.
After her retirement, she taught for several years as a Visiting Professor at the State University of New York in Oneonta.
Gretchen was a lifetime member of the Home Economics honor societies Omicron Nu and Phi Upsilon Omicron.
She remained active after her retirement, developing the woodlot on the family farm where she was born, adding hiking trails and various amenities to encourage birds and wildlife. She loved the garden at her home in Moscow and continued to work in it up to her very last days.
Gretchen is survived by a daughter, Judith Potter of Moscow, and three nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Leo Potter, her son John David Potter, and her brothers August, Joseph, and Frank Farber.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 A.M., June 3rd at the Moscow Cemetery.
To send flowers to Gretchen's family, please visit our floral store.