A remarkable woman admired and known for her strength of spirit and her love of life and people that touched the lives of everyone who knew her, has died.
Esther M. Williams, a resident at 805 Baker St., Plymouth, for the past 12 years coming from South Bend, died in Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Plymouth, at 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2001, following a brief illness. Esther was 93 years old.
Esther’s father, Robert William Frederick Kruger, was born on October 3, 1880, in Pomerrania, Germany. He came to America with his parents when he was about seven years old and grew up in Ironwood, Wisconsin. When his parents died, he was in his early teens. He took care of his younger siblings and kept the family together.
Rose Margaret Kroft, Esther’s mother, was born January 31, 1884, in Bavaria, Germany. She came to America when she was about four years old. Her family also settled in Ironwood, Wisconsin.
The couple were married on May 7, 1902. Esther, one of their seven children, was born on April 20, 1907, in Clintonville, Wisconsin. She graduated from Grand Ledge High School in Michigan and earned a Life Certificate for teaching from Western College in 1927. In 1961 she received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Bethel College.
On August 23, 1928, in Toledo, Ohio, she married Alrid “Al” G. Williams. Married 62 years, Al preceded her in death on September 27, 1990.
Esther taught at Forest G. Hay School in South Bend for over 20 years, retiring in 1970. She also tutored adults in reading and taught a year at the Logan Center for individuals with special needs. She served two terms as president of Centre Twp. School and Riley High School, both in South Bend and was on the St. Joseph County Council of Parents and Teachers from 1946 through 1954.
Esther had many interests and talents. She was an avid fisherman. She also loved raising flowers and won many awards for their beauty. An equestrienne, she was still riding horses in her sixties. She enjoyed reading and working crossword puzzles.
After retiring from teaching, Esther helped with “Meals On Wheels” for three years in South Bend,
She was a 50-year member of the 1st Brethren Church and served as Superintendent of the Primary Dept. for ten years. After moving to Plymouth in 1989, she became an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church, joining the “Friendly 30 Home Economics Club” and the United Methodist Women’s organization.
She tutored for the county’s Literacy Program and was a member of Saint Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary of Marshall County. She also served as a member and officer of the Marshall County Retired Teacher’s Association.
Esther is survived by a daughter and two sons. They are: Sandra Harrison, Carmel, Ind., Tom and Connie Williams, Niles, Mich., and Rich and Karen Williams, South Bend. Three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren also survive.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, five brothers and one sister.
Friends and admirers may call from 11 to noon on Saturday, January 6, 2001, at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 425 S. Michigan St., Plymouth.
Funeral services will follow visitation at Noon in the Church. The Rev. Maurice Grindle, pastor of the Trinity United Methodist Church will officiate.
Interment will be in the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola, IN.
Memorial gifts in Esther’s memory may be made a charity of the donor’s choice.