HAVRE DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
(Created: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 12:38 PM MST)
Esther Margaret Erickson, 82, longtime Chester area farmwife, died early
Monday morning, Dec. 18, 2006, at the Liberty County Hospital in Chester, where
she had been a patient for four days.
Her funeral Mass will be held at 11
a.m. Thursday at St. Marys Catholic Church in Chester. Burial will be at the Chester Cemetery. A luncheon by the Altar
Society will follow at the church.
Esther was born April 9, 1924, on the Flesch
family farm at Browns Valley, Minn., the fourth of nine children born to Edward
and Hazel (Jummer) Flesch.
The family came to Montana in 1929 to a farm
north of Shelby,
where Esther grew up. She received her early education at the Flesch country school near the farm, then
finished her schooling in Shelby,
where she graduated in 1942. Following high school, she met the love of her
life, Oscar N. Erickson of south Chester.
They were married in Shelby
on March 11, 1943, a few days before Oscar left for active military service in
the Army during World War II. Following Oscars honorable discharge in 1945,
they lived and farmed in the south Chester
community. In 1957-58, the Ericksons moved to California, where their daughter, Bonnie,
attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. They also resided in Great Falls for several years, so Bonnie could attend Great Falls Central Catholic
High School. In their
later years, they lived and were active in the Chester community. Oscar died on April 30,
1999, at the age of 76. Esther remained in their Chester
home until January of 2004, when she transferred to the Liberty County
Nursing Home for treatment of Parkinsons disease. She lived at the rest home
until her recent hospitalization with pneumonia. During her active years,
Esther was a dedicated member of St. Marys Catholic Church in Chester. She served as a Sunday school
teacher, Eucharistic minister, and member of the Altar Society. For many years,
she was an avid duplicate bridge player and achieved the status as life master.
She was well-known as an extremely accomplished bridge player; with various
bridge partners she often won or placed in many state, regional, and national
tournaments. As an opponent at the bridge table, Esther was always very
competitive and also highly respected. She enjoyed reading bridge publications
and monthly magazines. Other hobbies included art and painting, sewing and
embroidery, flower gardening, playing pinochle and collecting antique dishes.
Esther loved music and playing the piano, and she
taught piano to her grandchildren. In her quiet time at home, she enjoyed
reading and watching television her favorite show was Jeopardy. Esther
dearly loved her family.
Esther was preceded in death by her husband; parents; and brothers,
Lawrence, Lyle, Joseph, an infant brother and Vernon Flesch.
Survivors include her daughter, Bonnie (Keith) Whalen of Chester;
grandchildren, Emily (Robert) Gorham of Chester, Erick and Margie Wodarz of the Missoula area, and Ivan Wodarz
of Seattle; ex-son-in-law, Roy Wodarz of Havre;
brothers, Leo (Rea) Flesch of Shelby and Leroy
(Bonnie) Flesch of Brady; sister, Elaine (Ray) Zell of Shelby; special friend, Patsy Seidlitz
of Chester; and numerous other relatives and friends.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester.
GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
CHESTER - Esther M. (Flesch) Erickson, 82, died of pneumonia Monday at a Chester hospital
Her funeral is 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chester, with burial in the Chester Ceme-tery.
Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester is handling arrangements.
She is survived by a daughter, Bonnie (Keith) Whalen of Chester;
grandchildren Emily (Robert) Gorham of Chester, Erick and Margie Wodarz of Missoula, and Ivan Wodarz
of Seattle, Wash.; an ex-son-in-law, Roy Wodarz of
Havre; brothers Leo (Rea) Flesch of Shelby and
Leroy (Bonnie) Flesch of Brady; a sister, Elaine
(Ray) Zell of Shelby and many nephews and nieces.
Esther was preceded in death by her husband, parents and brothers Lawrence,
Lyle, Joseph, an infant brother and Vernon
Esther was born April 9, 1924, in Browns Valley, Minn. She was the fourth of nine children
born to Edward and Hazel Flesch. She grew up on the
Flesch farm north of Shelby
and attended a rural school, then graduated from Shelby High School
Esther married Oscar Erickson on March 11, 1943. They lived and farmed in the
community and raised their only daughter.
They were married 56 years when Oscar died in 1999.
Esther was an avid, accomplished, competitive and well-respected Duplicate Bridge player who achieved the status
as "Life Master." Over the years, she participated in many state
and national Bridge tournaments.
Her other hobbies included playing piano, painting, pinochle, sewing and
collecting antique dishware. She was an active member at St. Mary's Catholic
Church in Chester.
Condolences may be sent online to greatfallstribune.com/obituaries.
Published in the Great Falls Tribune on 12/20/2006.