Esther (Rice) Abernathey (1927 - 2017)

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  • "I am so sorry I missed her memorial. She was such a sweet..."
    - Kristine Sandford
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    - Mickie Hicks
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    - Wendy Hoffman
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Esther Rice Abernathey, 90, of White Rock, passed away Monday, October 23, 2017 at home. She was born in Hill City, Kansas, on April 18, 1927. Her parents were Clara Floy Law Rice and Lewis Herman Rice.
Esther grew up on a farm in Graham County Kansas during the Great Depression. She graduated from Fort Hays Kansas State College in 1949. It was at Fort Hays that she met Robert Abernathey, a returning Navy veteran, and they were married in January 1949.
She was an early childhood educator for 20 years. At Little Forest Playschool in Los Alamos she loved and taught many children, even children of former students. She also worked for 10 years in the children's department of Mesa Public Library.
Esther loved the natural world, especially walking, being out of doors and taking in the beautiful views around her, feeding the birds, gardening, and being with her dogs. She enjoyed music – particularly piano music, reading, and studying the Bible, but most of all she cherished her church and beloved family.
She is survived daughter Mary Ann Harless and son James Abernathey, both of White Rock; 4 grandchildren, Daniel Harless of Tempe, AZ, Ryan Abernathey and wife Chiara of New York City, Elizabeth Abernathey of Seattle, and Leslie Godwin and husband Geoffrey of Rio Rancho. She is also survived by two great grandchildren, Maya Rae Godwin and John Mario Abernathey and by many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert, to whom she was married 68 years, son John Robert Abernathey, infant daughter Delores Jean, and her sisters and brothers.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 28, at 11:00 at White Rock United Methodist Church.
The family of Esther Abernathey would like to thank the caregivers from Footprints Home Health Care and the staff from Ambercare Hospice who took such good care of her the last part of her life.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor on Oct. 29, 2017