Echevarria, Luise "Lu" Guisasola

Mikel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Luise was born on 13 April 1938 in Wallace, Idaho to Marie Mingo (Miangolarra) and Luís Guisasola.  Her parents and grandparents ran Basque boarding houses in Mullan, Idaho, a small town largely supported by silver mines, but the nearest hospital was in Wallace.  Luise explains how her grandparents immigrated from Guizaburuaga and Ibarranguelua to settle in Mountain Home and Mullan.  In Mullan she was surrounded by Basques, Swedes, and Fins, most of whom worked in the mines.  Her father died shortly after Luise was born, leaving her mother to run the boarding house and care for her infant daughter.

In 1943, Luise moved to Boise with her mother, aunts, and grandparents.  A few years later, her mother and aunt, Bene Mingo Schaffner, opened "Bob's Café," a restaurant in Emmett.  Her mother married Frank Aberasturi, whom she had known in Mullan, in 1949.  They moved back to Boise, where Luise attended St. Mary's, a parochial junior high school, and St. Teresa's Academy.  In 1952, her stepfather died in a fishing accident, while Luise was a freshman in high school.  She has vivid memories of dancing with the first group of Oinkari Basque Dancers, as well as what the Basque community was like before and after the Basque Center was built.

Luise graduated in 1956, enrolled at Boise Junior College to earn her secretarial degree, and moved to Seattle, where she found a position with Boeing.  After a year and a half, she returned to Boise and worked for the State of Idaho's Highway Department, then as a dental assistant, and finally under contract for the Idaho Foundation for Medicine and Biology.  The contract opened the door to a long career as Travel Examiner for Boise State University, where she worked until her retirement in 1998.  Luise married Louie Echevarria, whom she had known for 30 years, in May of 1984, and the couple took their first trip to the Basque country in 1985, where she met many of her relatives at a special Guisasola family reunion in Lekeitio.  An active member of the Basque community in Boise, Luise volunteers at the Basque Museum and Cultural Center.

Audio Recording: 
Family reunion
Thinking differently
Other Images: