Spiritual Gifts of Leta Bertleson
"Leta is the Gooding church!" the conference leader stated. Over the years Leta Daniels held about every job needed to keep a church operating. Leta admits that she even preached from time to time. Obviously Leta cared deeply and was heavily involved in her small congregation.
Nampa Adventist church wasn't quite as fortunate as the Gooding church. After Leta moved to Nampa in 1997 to be nearer to her children after the death of her husband "Hank" Daniels, she "retired" from being "the church" and simply blessed the Nampa congregation with her sweet singing voice. Leta joined the choir and also sang solos for church from time to time.
Leta took no voice lessons but had the gift of perfect pitch and a natural ability to sing. Many Nampa people are unaware that Leta played the piano as well as sang. There was no money for piano lessons, but a schoolmate loaned Leta her piano books, and Leta taught herself to play. Leta still has a binder filled with hymnal pages of favorite hymns so that she was prepared to play at a moment's notice. A few of the favorites, such as "The Old Rugged Cross," are still sung from time to time, but others one needs to be of a certain generation to find them familiar. "I Will Early Seek the Savior," "O Zion Haste," would be unfamiliar to some. One of Leta's all-time favorites is "He Touched Me."
Leta was born on June 12, 1920, the third of eight children born to Arley and Merle Haigh. Her father was a water-well driller, whose job took the family to Milton, Oregon, where Leta began first grade. During the early grade-school years Leta was introduced her favorite flower: hollyhocks that grew in profusion between the front door and the corner of the house.
The family moved to Jerome, Idaho when Leta was 12. Leta's mother was an Adventist, and Leta became an Adventist from her mother's example.
After graduating from high school, Leta married William Henry "Hank" Daniels. They farmed alfalfa for seed, pinto beans, and wheat. Their property bordered the Big Wood River and lava beds, where one could see rock chucks, badgers, rattle snakes, and raccoons. The house was heated with a coal stove in the kitchen and a wood-burning stove in the living room. Water was pumped to the kitchen from a well.
Leta's daughter Mary, remembers lovely Sabbath afternoons while she was growing up. After church they would pack a lunch, and drive to a favorite site in the Wood River Valley, where they would picnic.
After 56 years of marriage, Hank died in November 1995. Family persuaded Leta to move to Nampa, where she would be closer to a son and daughter. In 1998, Leta married Glen Bertleson, who died in 2004. Leta counts 13 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. She would enjoy having people from her church family visit her at Streamside Assisted Living, just a few blocks from the church on Iowa St.