Esther Lamb, 96Esther Viola Lamb, 96, after a long illness, died Thursday, September 1, 2011 at Bethany Community in Alexandria, her home for the past 10 years.
Esther Viola Lamb, 96, after a long illness, died Thursday, September 1, 2011 at Bethany Community in Alexandria, her home for the past 10 years.
Esther was born December 31, 1914 in St. James to Hattie (Gossweiler) and Charles Thompson. She graduated from St. James High School, where she lettered as a forward on the girls’ basketball team and participated in theatrical productions, as salutatorian of her class.
She was united in marriage to Earl Kenneth Lamb of St. James on June 20, 1939 at First English Lutheran Church. Their marriage was followed by the births of their first three daughters.
In 1944, the young Lamb family moved to Alexandria, where a fourth daughter joined the family in 1945.
Esther was a homemaker and a working mother. When her daughters were small, she worked at the American Legion Club. As the girls grew older, Esther became the high school principal’s secretary, and worked for 18 years with principals Clifford Rykken and Wayne Elton at Central and Jefferson High Schools. She later joined the staff of Douglas County Register of Deeds, from which she retired.
Music was a vital part of her life. From her girlhood piano studies, Esther became a skilled pianist who accompanied her soloist husband. Earl. She sang in the choir at First Lutheran Church, where she and Earl were active members for more than 60 years. Esther was a volunteer and a board member in the church library.
Esther was also a skilled seamstress who sewed many of her daughters’ clothes when the girls were young. That interest later evolved into knitting and fine counted cross-stitch. She was an avid reader and maintained a lifelong interest in mathematics, and became a computer student at Alexandria Technical School in her retirement.
Above all her other interests, Esther loved the lakes and the Minnesota outdoors. The Lambs’ homes on lakes Latoka, Maple and Agnes gave her great pleasure, as she enjoyed bird watching, gardening, and discovering wildflowers. She drove her own snowmobile, and often joined Earl for fishing and bird hunting. Her wide interests, her active life, and her active intellect became examples her daughters strive to follow.
Esther was preceded in death by Earl, her husband of nearly 67 years; her parents, and her four sisters.
She leaves to remember her with love and pride her daughters, Sharon (Jerry) Kanter of Kinston, North Carolina; Nancy (Elmer) Johnson of Loveland, Colorado; Carol Emslie of Finksburg, Maryland; and Margaret Fleming of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Eleven grandchildren also survive her: Brian and Steven Kanter; Mark Johnson, Kaarin Huffman, and Christopher Johnson; Tom Emslie, Esther-Marie Emslie, Eileen Davis, and Henry Emslie; and Michael and Richard Fleming. Esther’s life was also blessed with 14 great-grandchildren.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, September 7 at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Greg Billberg officiating. Karen Gladen and Randy Morken provided music. Interment followed on Thursday in Mount Hope Cemetery in St. James. Casket bearers included Brian Kanter, Steven Kanter, Mark Johnson, Kaarin Huffman, Christopher Johnson, Thomas Emslie, Esther Marie Emslie, Eileen Davis, Henry Emslie, Michael Fleming and Richard Fleming. Honorary casket bearers included all of Esther’s great-grandchildren.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.