Borges, Elsie Aileen |
Elsie Aileen Borges, 91, was called to her eternal resting place on Sunday, November 27, 2016 following a lengthy illness. Elsie was of a Norwegian family who homesteaded north of Hinsdale, on the Montana Highline. Her parents were Ole and Mari Svalheim.
Elsie was the ninth of ten children born to Mari and Ole on January 29, 1925. As the family lost five children to illness and a schoolhouse fire, Elsie was raised on the family farm with her four surviving sisters, Ethel, Minnie, Isabell, and Helen. Elsie received her early education at the Snake Creek schoolhouse near Genevieve, MT, and subsequently moved to Hinsdale, MT with her sisters, Isabell and Helen, for high school. Elsie spoke often of her older sister, Minnie, who was one of her most demanding teachers.
Elsie graduated as the class valedictorian, moved to Portland, OR, during World War II and worked for the Bureau of Reclamation. Shortly, she was joined by her sisters, Minnie, Helen and family friend, Jackie. The "girls" enjoyed their time in the big city and learned to ski on Mt. Hood. After the war, Elsie moved to Missoula to attend the University of Montana. During the summer she worked in Glacier National Park.
Later, Elsie moved to Billings, MT, to take a job in government service and it was during that time that Elsie met Milton Borges, a wildlife biologist. Milt and Elsie, a baptized and confirmed Lutheran, were married on April 16, 1952 at the First Congregational Church in downtown Billings, and were active Congregationalists during their years together. Two children, Barbara (Bobbie) and Miles were born in Billings, after which the family relocated to Albuquerque, NM for Milt's work. Children, Jyme and Mark completed the family after the move. While her children were young, Elsie managed the home, and was a much appreciated member of her community as she took on volunteer positions.
In 1975, at the time of her husband, Milt's death she took full-time work again and became a valued employee with the Social Security Administration, a job she held until she retired. Elsie was always proud to say that she was one of the first people to use computers in the workplace. As she worked long hours, Elsie managed the family ranch in Sile, near Pena Blanca, NM and put her four children through college. In 1981 she became a grandmother for the first time and found herself developing loving relationships with young people again.
Elsie was pleased when asked of her Norwegian heritage and enjoyed sharing her homemade krumkake and other Norwegian dishes. In her post retirement years, Elsie and her sister, Minnie, re-established links with their family in Norway. They traveled to Norway together, and Elsie returned again in 2006 accompanied by daughter Jyme, granddaughter Andre, niece Dana, and nephew Gary. Elsie exchanged letters with her Norwegian relatives for the rest of her life. Elsie was the last living sister, and is survived by her children, Barbara Borges, Miles (Kathy) Borges, Jyme (Ed) Ujcich, and Mark Borges; and her grandchildren, Hani and Anders Molles , Adair, Calvin, and Elena Borges, and Andre Ujcich. She is also survived by nieces and nephews, Dana Johnston, Pam Moore, Elaine Kaufman, Gary Gretencourt, and Scott Hickey. Elsie valued family and ethical principles. She established herself as a respected role model. She will be deeply missed and always remembered by those lucky enough to know and love her.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016, 11:00 a.m., at FRENCH - University. Visitation will be held the prior evening, Friday, December 2, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Elsie will be laid to rest alongside her husband, Milton, at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Please visit our online guestbook for Elsie at
Published in Albuquerque Journal from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 2016