Iown Buechle Gifford

Honored by:Deborah L. Freeland
Brick location:G:17  map

Gentle, gracious and dignified Iown Buechle is an extraordinary woman whose quiet courage has always been a source of strength and inspiration to others. She represents all that a woman aspires to be; wonderful mother who has earned the love and respect of her children, loving and devoted wife, strong and faithful friend, and respected leader in her community.

She was the fourth of nine children  born to Clara Goldie Peterson and Edward Lewis Buechle in 1921, in the family home near Kilgore, Nebraska. Her love of learning must have been apparent from an early age. She was sent away to Northwestern Lutheran Academy in Mobridge, South Dakota at the age of thirteen then went on to Crookston High School in Nebraska where she graduated in just three years and was subsequently awarded several college scholarships.

She then enrolled at Chillicothe Business College in Missouri and was hired by the United States Government just before World War II broke out to work with the War Production Board in Washington D.C. Following this lown served on the staff of congressmen Carl Curtis of Nebraska and Frances Bolton of Ohio. After taking a year off to care for her sick brother in Montana she returned to Washington and worked on the staff of the Senate's Joint Committee on Foreign Economic Administration. During this tenure she met several members of the committee who were to become lifelong friends and who recruited her to move out to Nevada to work in the law offices of Calvin Corey.

There lown met a handsome young lawyer named Robert Gifford who joined Calvin Corey's office at about the same time. They fell in love and were married in the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City in December 1954. Governor Russel a friend from Washington acted as host and the Governor’s wife Marjorie arranged the wedding and served as maid of honor. lown and Robert enjoyed a wonderful marriage and raised four children.

She left the business world to devote herself to her family but remained extremely active in volunteer work and in the community; as a Member of the Lariettes - a woman's riding club Founder and President of the Attorneys' Wives of Las Vegas Charter and Sustaining Member of the Assistance League of Las Vegas President of the prestigious Mesquite Club officer in P.E.O. Chairman and Board Member of Secret Witness and member of several state committees including the Adult Council of Youth Affairs. Wherever she saw a need in the community lown could be counted upon to work to fill it.

How can I put into words the tremendous influence this woman my mother had on our lives? Always motivated by compassion integrity and generosity she taught by example. Our home was a sanctuary for stray or injured animals; baby squirrels were fed from eyedroppers birds' wings were carefully sprinted and allowed to mend; anything that needed to be cared for was given that care. And so we learned respect and compassion for all of God's creatures. As we saw her concern and charity work on behalf of others less fortunate the courtesy with which she treated each individual and her interest in the customs and traditions of different cultures we gained tolerance and an appreciation for people of different races creeds and backgrounds. She taught us the importance of honesty integrity and being true to ourselves and admonished equally both untruthfulness and the blurting out of a truth unnecessarily to hurt others. She encouraged us to set lofty goals and to reach up to meet them and she believed all things are possible with hard work and faith. She admonished us to enjoy life and the many gifts God has given us and constantly shared her joy in the beauty of the world singing as she worked pointing out an exquisite flower or beautiful sunset admiring the voice of a mockingbird or the presence of a roadrunner or hummingbird. She instilled in us a love of learning a true appreciationofnatureandloveforthatwhichisgracefulandbeautiful. Shetaughtusthejoyof giving and an appreciation for tradition family and true friends.

But most of all she taught us to love. It is her inner beauty that has earned her the respect of her family friends and community. She is the model that we all aspire to - a true heroine.