Esther Rebecca Durfee Fleischmann, 91, of Everett, Wash., formerly of Idaho Falls, passed from this life surrounded by the love of her family near and far Friday, July 18, 2014.
Esther was born Sept. 4, 1922, in Almo, Idaho, to David Durfee and Ella Irene Bruesch Durfee. She was the fifth of eight children. Her early years were spent in Almo and then Carey as a farm girl.
After graduating from high school, she went to Sun Valley to work, and she and a friend ventured on to the shipyards in Bremerton, Wash., to work as "Rosie the Riveters." She met LeRoy Leonard Fleischmann while working there and they started their life together May 27, 1944.
Gary LeRoy was born Dec. 16, 1945. LeRoy started working dam construction after leaving the Navy. Sandra Diane was born in Grand Coulee, Wash., on Jan. 24, 1952, and Dale Michael was born Dec. 9, 1958, in Sandpoint, Idaho, while the family lived in Noxon, Mont.
The family continued to live and play throughout the Northwest, living in Tacoma, Wash.; Grand Coulee, Wash.; Noxon, Mont.; Goldendale, Wash.; Halfway, Ore.; Arco, Idaho; Metaline, Wash.; Pocatello and Idaho Falls.
On Sept. 7, 1965, Christine Rose joined the family when she married Gary. Oliver joined Jan. 1, 1977, when he married Sandra.
Esther's life revolved around her family. She was devoted to LeRoy and her children and then each of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they arrived. Babies and young children had an instant draw to her wherever she went. The move to Idaho Falls meant being on call 24 hours a day for Pamela, Angela and Eric, and a 45-minute drive to Pocatello for Laura, Patricia and Alex was never an obstacle. She attended every dance recital, ball game, Grandparents Day, and eventually graduations and weddings for her six grandchildren, all while caring for LeRoy and Dale when his health failed.
After LeRoy passed away in 1996, she moved to Pocatello to be close to Sandy and her family. Dale was living in California and returned to her care as his health continued to deteriorate. After Dale died in 2004, she moved into Gary and Rose's home in Everett, Wash., in 2005. After Gary's death in 2010, she became Rose's constant companion. There has never been a daughter-in-law that loved her mother-in-law like Rose loved Esther. Esther's family, especially Sandy, is forever grateful for Rose's loving care.
Esther is survived by her daughter, Sandra (Oliver) Hartwig of Pocatello; daughter-in-law, Christina Rose Fleischmann of Everett, Wash.; six grandchildren, Pamela (Darren) Oke and her children, Lauren, Kylie and Brandon, of Everett, Wash., Angela Fleischmann of Boise, Eric (Airica) Fleischmann and his children, Aidan and Erroll, of Idaho Falls, Laura Hartwig of Boise, Patricia (Chris) Locke and her son, Korbin Locke, of Pocatello, and Alex Hartwig of Jackson, Wyo., and his daughter, Isis Brown.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, two sons, Gary and Dale, and all of her siblings.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at Wood Funeral Home, 273 N. Ridge Ave. The family will visit with friends from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Sunday at Wood Funeral Home. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Fielding Memorial Park Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.