Esther Willhite age 99 of Redwood Falls passed away Saturday, December 19, 2015 at Sunwood Good Samaritan Care Center in Redwood Falls. Funeral Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at church on Wednesday. Burial is in Crestlawn Memorial Gardens. Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com. Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home in Redwood Falls is assisting the family with arrangements.
Esther Blondina Mathilda (Marquardt) Willhite was born January 26, 1916 in Echo Township, Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota on the Marquardt farm to William and Mathilda (Jordan) Marquardt. She was baptized on February 7, 1916 in Peace Lutheran Church in Echo, Minnesota by Pastor Schietel. Esther was confirmed on May 13, 1930 in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Vesta, Minnesota by Pastor Karl Brickmann. She grew up in the Lucan area and attended District #79 country school. On September 20, 1936 Esther was united in marriage to Clifford Willhite in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Vesta. They farmed in the Wabasso and Vesta area. Esther belonged to the Waterbury Home Extension Group. Esther and Clifford moved to Redwood Falls in September 1973. Esther worked in the Redwood Falls Hospital for 20 ½ years as supervisor of the Housekeeping and Laundry Department. Esther retired in January 1986 and Clifford died on March 31, 1986. Esther was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Redwood Falls, Minnesota.
Esther is survived by her children: Melvin Willhite and wife Beverly of Lamberton, Jean Lange and husband Larry of Lamberton, Lois Jackels of Eagan, Lynette Stellmacher and husband Richard of Redwood Falls; 13 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and 4 great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Eveline Mueller of Battle Lake, Minnesota; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents William and Mathilda Marquardt, husband Clifford, and her son Marvin Willhite.