WOODSTOCK – Esther Nicolene Hughes, 95, of Woodstock, died Friday, April 26, 2013, at the Hearthstone Communities in Woodstock.|
She was born July 24, 1917, in Culbertson, Mont., to Anton and Martha (Larsen) Hansen, on the family homestead. They moved to Woodstock, where she started first grade speaking only Danish. She credited her first grade teacher for spending extra time with her so Esther could learn English. She was proud of her Danish heritage, and the fact she was an American.
As a teenager, she lived in Chicago with relatives as a companion to their children. It was during this time, in 1934, that her touch with history came when attending a movie with her cousin a block from the infamous Biograph Theatre. She enjoyed history and would recount great stories of her family's ancestry.
Esther worked at Woodstock Auto-Lite for 33 years, retiring in 1980. She enjoyed spending time with her family, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many, many friends. She was a "people person," with a warm, loving heart and a great attitude about life. She always had coffee and rolls ready and her door was always open. No one ever arrived at her door, or left, without receiving a hug. She will be missed by many.
She is survived by her children, Barbara J. (Richard Sweeney) Murray, Wayne A. (Barbara) Japp, Linida S. (Tom Wozniewski) Hendle, Sherry (Dennis) Dixon, Donna Kimball and Cynthia (Daniel) Mizzen; her grandchildren, Michael T. (Jennifer Johnson) Murray Jr., Marcia (James) Kalisik, Alicia (Robert) Wilson, Jennifer (David) Goldfein, Sean M. Rowe, Douglas Dixon, Ryan (Tara) Weis, Jeanne (Ken) Finley Neal, Georgia (Michael Wellman) Finley; and great-grandchildren, Matthew Weidner, Tess E. Wilson, Dainen Rowe, Jacob Kalisik, Joseph Wilson, Bobbie Jean Neal, Paige Elise Brown, Julian Dixon, Parker Dixon, Liam Weis, Harlyn Weis, Annabelle Rowe, Shoshana Goldfein and Sabrina Goldfein.
She is also survived by her sisters, Arleen Hutson and Alice Schillberg; sisters-in-law, Marjorie Hansen and Wanda (Gene) Chance, brother-in-law, Wm. (Barbara) Hughes; her god-child and dear niece Patricia M. Redman; dear niece Linda Goad; and many other nieces and nephews, along with her many friends and "card club" pals. Thanks to Doris Zank and Audrey Meyer for all the friendship, laughter, good times and thoughtful care.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Clarence Hansen; and her three husbands, August J. Japp, William Wurtzinger, and Harold D. Hughes.
The visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service Monday, April 29, at Grace Lutheran Church in Woodstock. Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery in Woodstock.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, or to a
Published in the Northwest Herald on Apr. 28, 2013