M. Esther Chalmers-Council
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July 1, 1913
February 4, 2013
M. Esther Chalmers-Council, age 99, was called by her Lord to her heavenly home on Feb. 4, 2013. She was born July 1, 1913, in Garrison, North Dakota to Mary A. (Petersen) Tank and Ernest Henry Tank. Her early years were spent in Garrison where she babysat as a teenager to earn money. One girl (Marge Stein) she babysat would later work for Esther at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, NV in the seventies.
Esther graduated from Garrison High School in 1930. She and a girl friend hitchhiked to Minneapolis, with $30 in her pocket, to enter the nursing program at the University of Minnesota.
Upon completing her studies, she went to work at the University Hospital in Minneapolis. While living there, she met the first love of her life, C. Oden Chalmers. Esther and Oden traveled to California by rail to be married at her mother and step father's home on her mother's birthday, September 6. They settled in the Oakland area and were befriended by Fred and Loretta Soucie, their landlords. A strong friendship developed and the four became traveling companions. Every summer they drove to various relatives' homes around the United States.
In 1959, Esther and Oden moved to Reno, NV, after Esther was offered a job with Washoe Medical Center (now Renown) to teach practical nursing.
When the Community College system was formed in the early seventies, Esther was transferred into the University of Nevada system. After 19 years of teaching, Esther was the first retiree in 1978.
Esther is remembered by many of her students and others in the nursing field through her professionalism and high standards. She touched the lives of many students and co-workers and influenced her students in their nursing careers.
After retiring, Esther and Oden traveled, socialized with friends and gardened, enjoying life together until Oden passed away in July, 1987. Oden's passing saddened Esther greatly but she was comforted by her close friends and family and enjoyed life to the fullest.
In September, 1989, she met her second love of her life, John "Red" Council. They had a whirlwind courtship at age 76 and were married December 2, 1989, at Faith Lutheran Church. Esther and Red enjoyed nine years together before Red's passing. Red was interned at the Veteran's cemetery in Fernley where Esther will join him on Monday, February 11, 2013, at 11 a.m.
Esther is survived by her sister-in-law, Audrey Tank, of Fresno, CA; nieces and nephews and their families: Nadine and Tom Shannon of Clovis, CA, Conor, Caitlin, Andrea and great-great nephew Braden; Howard and Kimberly Tank of Concord, CA, Trevor, Tristan, Rory and Joel; and Heidi Drugas of Rochester, NY, and Kyra. North Dakota relatives include Beth (Brad) Allen and family, Lynette and Allen Burch and family; Craig Olsen and family and Jeff Olsen and family. Mark Oscarson of Chicago, grandson; Kent and John Forss of Minnesota. Also surviving her dearest friend Mata Marie Cooney of Reno and her children Jaydene and Joden Johnson, and grandchildren, Tianna and Stephen.
Celebration of Life Service for Esther will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at Faith Lutheran Church, 2075 W. 7th St., Reno at 4pm, followed by an evening buffet in the fellowship hall.
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Feb. 8, 2013