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Esther Conelley Boonstra

1924 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Esther Conelley Boonstra Obituary
Esther Conelley Boonstra

West Lafayette - Esther Conelley Boonstra, January 23, 1924 - May 25, 2018

Esther was born in Rockford, Mercer County, Ohio to Vaughn E. Conelley and Naomi Wagers Conelley. Her father was asked to leave his teaching position to become Treasurer of a road building company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The family moved to Ann Arbor and Esther started to school there. However, her father had inherited a 90 acre farm near Upland, Indiana and moved there with his family.

Esther graduated from Jefferson Township High School, Upland, Indiana, in 1941. She was active in the 4H Club and attended Indiana State Fair Girl's School before going to Purdue. She enrolled in the Home Economic School of Purdue University and majored in Clothing and Interior Home Design and Art, graduating after three years, in February 1945. She taught briefly in the New Carlisle, Indiana High School, resigned in August and wed her college sweetheart, Dr. Charles Edward Boonstra, on August 18, 1945.

They had two children, Michael Edward and Anne Elizabeth, Michael was born March 6, 1946 in Lafayette during Charles internship in St. Elizabeth Hospital; Anne January 30, 1949 during Charles Pathology training in the US Navy Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland. They moved to San Pedro, California and Pensacola, Florida, back to Bethesda following her husband's Navy assignments, then to Bluffton, IN for 15 years. While in Bluffton she became an American Red Cross Gray Lady Volunteer and recruited other women to join her helping with the needs of patients in the Caylor Nickel Clinic Hospital. When her husband joined two pathologists in St. Joseph, Michigan, she volunteered at Krasl Art Center in St. Joe teaching American Art History. She and her husband lived in St. Joe for 38 years prior to their move to University Place in West Lafayette, IN in September 2004.

There will be a private family service.

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Published in the Journal & Courier on Sept. 13, 2018
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