STEYAERT, Esther Louise
CARLSBAD - Esther Louise Steyaert passed away at her residence at La Costa Glen retirement community in Carlsbad, CA on February 18, 2014. She was 92. Her daughters Anne and Lynn, were at her side.
She was born 1921 in Pearce, Arizona to Ernest and Esther Renaud. She married her childhood sweetheart Mark Steyaert in Louisiana in 1943. Mark and Esther first met when they were eleven years old! Their marriage spanned 70 years until the moment of Mark's passing 3 months earlier than hers. They raised their three children in Altadena, CA, residing there until health issues required their move to La Costa Glen.
Esther was a creative soul. She studied commercial art at Sophie Newcomb College (part of Tulane University) in New Orleans and Pratt Institute in New York. Later, she placed her
emphasis on fine arts, creating beautiful abstract and landscape oil paintings, which won many awards over the years. In support of the arts locally, she served as president and long-time treasurer for the Pasadena Society of Artists.
Esther's real love, however, was raising her family. She was a great teacher to her children, instilling the value of creativity and cultural awareness. She had a unique and subtle sense of humor, even enjoying a risqué joke now and then.
She was deeply caring person who would go out of her way to help others. As an example, she sponsored and worked hard to help the neighbor's housekeeper gain citizenship. This included many trips to and from the US Immigration offices in Los Angeles.
Esther was a lover of living creatures. In addition to raising family pets from guinea pigs to golden retrievers, she generously supported animal welfare organizations such as the SPCA and various international wildlife and conservation groups.
Mark and Esther traveled throughout the globe, exploring other cultures and landscapes. At home she enjoyed many social events with the Mountain Dancers folk dancing association, bridge groups, and Pasadena Society of Artists gatherings.
She is survived by daughters Anne Steyaert of Santa Cruz, CA, and Lynn Steyaert of Portland, OR, son Mark Steyaert Jr. of Encinitas, CA, daughter-in-law Lillian Murphy, sons-in-law Mark Bernhard and Karl Kanbergs, and grandchildren Matthew and Hans Bernhard and Mara and Alexa Kanbergs. The entire family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at Glenbrook / Glenview, La Costa Glen for their unwavering and nurturing care of their mother.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer a donation to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society of Encinitas, rchumanesociety.org .
Published in Pasadena Star-News on Apr. 6, 2014