Esther Marie (Clayton) WalkerSeptember 8, 1923 ~ June 16, 2017 (age 93)
Esther Walker, age 93, of Glenwood, MN, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 16, 2017, at Glenwood Village Care Center in Glenwood. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, June 21st at Glenwood United Parish, with Pastor Laura Nordstrom officiating. Visitation will be at the church, one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Esther Marie Clayton, daughter of Roy Alfred Clayton and Doris Ellen (Payton) Clayton, was born three miles southeast of Van Meter, Iowa on Sept. 8, 1923. She had a wonderful childhood on the family farm where her mother taught her homemaking skills, but she most enjoyed helping her father outdoors. The family was active in 4-H, their church and community. Esther was confident and competitive on the basketball court; her high school basketball team went on to play in the State Tournament in Des Moines in 1938. Her family was inherently musical and Esther played the trombone in family band performances and throughout high school. After graduation in 1941, she received a music scholarship and attended Drake University in Des Moines. She also completed the Minka Zorka Charm School course. During WWII she moved to Long Beach, CA where she participated in war efforts as a precision tooler at Douglas Aircraft. There she met and later married Dale Walker in 1946.
Bob, Mary, and Doris were born in Iowa. In 1956, Dale brought Esther on a business trip to Glenwood and she told him she would like to raise their family here. A year later, the Walker family moved to Glenwood and their family was complete when Bill was born in 1958. When the kids were growing up she was a marvelous homemaker, sewing all her ‘garbs’ and the girls’ clothes, gardening, canning, and cooking delicious meals. Her children’s friends were always welcome in the Walker home - the more the merrier! She later worked at the Sears store that she and Dale owned, Ben Franklin, Ruhr American, Club Reno and other local businesses.
In 1964, and for ten years thereafter, Esther built prize winning Waterama pontoon parade floats; everything was handmade, shiny and clever. Esther dared to be different. For example, she always enjoyed dressing up for Halloween and in later years always vied for best costume at the Senior Center, never failed to decorate her Christmas cactus or tumbleweed each year and greeted guests with her mechanical black crow that cackled. She will be remembered for her sense of humor, creativity in decorating, unique collections, her beloved Volkswagen bug, and Spam tacos. A fabulous seamstress, her braided rugs were gifts to her children that are still cherished. Esther would get competitive during her favorite card game, Spite & Malice, coining the term “stink pot” to whoever beat her; her children and grandchildren still love to play.
Esther loved Glenwood, her friends and family. She loved to laugh and had many humorous sayings. In her later years, when asked how she was doing, she’d always say, “I’m a 100 percent!” or “I’m terrible…terrible good!”
Her spirit lives on through son, Bob (Connie) Walker of Belleville, IL; daughters, Mary (Jim) Fabian of Phoenix, AZ, and Doris (Dan) Higgins of Glenwood; grandchildren, Tracy (Mike) Zozoya, Scott (Chris) Walker, Darcee (Sam) Espelien, Doris Capps, Carrie (Doug) Bialach, Sara (Damion) Horner, Metra (Michael) Kootsikas, Armon Walker Farrari, Kevin (Margaret) Higgins, Brian Higgins, and Jason Higgins; twelve great grandchildren; and brother Randy (Barb) Clayton of Mapleton, UT.
Esther was preceded in death by her parents, three siblings, Alfred, Wanda Phillips and Phyllis Linn, and son William Paul Walker.
Esther lived at Glenwood Retirement Village for many years and the family sincerely appreciates the wonderful care she received while there.