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Esther (Carls) Dodgen (1943 - 2010)

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Esther Carls Dodgen, 66, of Jacksonville, died Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.

She was born Dec. 6, 1943, in Beardstown, the daughter of Arthur R. and Myrtle C. Hendricker Carls. She married Joe A. Dodgen, and he preceded her in death in 2003.

Mrs. Dodgen is survived by a sister, Ruth A. (husband, John) Werries of Chapin; two brothers, David A. (wife, Althea) Carls of Arenzville and Glen A. Carls of Jacksonville; and the following niece and nephews, Leesa Carls Tobiasz of Lake Zurich, Steve Carls of Beardstown, Drew Carls and Marc Carls, both of Arenzville, Dan Werries of Midland, Mich., Dean Werries of Chapin and Curt Werries of Quincy. She is also survived by many great-nieces and great-nephews; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Esther graduated from Triopia High School in 1961 and the University of Illinois in 1967 where she was a teaching assistant while working on her master's degree. She spent a year studying and traveling in Europe. She received diplomas from Alliance Francaise in Paris and Laval University in Quebec. Her first teaching assignment was teaching French at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby.

In 1973, Esther married Joe A. Dodgen, a farmer and vocational agriculture teacher, and began teaching at Carrollton High School in Carrollton, Mo., with her husband. She retired from teaching after 30 years and taught GED classes part time. After her husband's death in 2003, she moved to the Jacksonville area where she had many relatives.

Esther taught Sunday school and Bible school for 30 years in Missouri. After moving to Jacksonville, she was a faithful member of Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church, led the Monday morning Ladies Bible Study Group, and taught the senior women's Sunday morning small group. She especially enjoyed reading, writing, and listening to classical music and had a special fondness for nature, animals and children. She had three published works: "Flowers Along the Path: Collected Wisdom for Your Spiritual Journey," Barbour Publishing, 2001, "Glimpses of God through the Ages: A collection of Personal Expression of Faith from the Bible to the Present," Hendrickson Publishers, 2003, and "Bouquet of Flowers: Inspiration Gathered from My Spiritual Garden," Published in 2010.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Oddfellows Cemetery in Charleston, Mo. Friends may call after 1 p.m. today at the Williamson Funeral Home, where family will meet friends from 6-8 p.m. Memorials are suggested to Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church or In His Service-Jesus Is Lord. Condolences may be left online at
Published in Jacksonville Journal-Courier on Sept. 13, 2010
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