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In Memory of Esther Christine Oesleby

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday June 22, 2022
Mount Olive Lutheran Church
1123 Marsh St.
Mankato MN, 56001

Esther Christine Oesleby was born in Madison, Wisconsin on June 15, 1948 to Rev. Nils Oesleby and Katherine (Olson) Oesleby, the third of four children. She was baptized in infancy by her father at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Madison and was confirmed in her faith also by her father at Pinehurst Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Esther graduated from Bethany Lutheran High School in Mankato, Minnesota in 1967 and from Bethany Lutheran Junior College in 1969, and later attended UW Eau Claire. In 1990 she moved with her mother to Hudson, Wisconsin to be closer to her sister Ruth. Esther later moved to nearby New Richmond, Wisconsin where she lived the rest of her life.


Throughout her life Esther’s warmth and sweetness drew friends and acquaintances to her. She was unceasingly kind and thoughtful, always offering a smile with genuine interest in and care for others. Not surprisingly the high school freshman girls formed an “Esther Fan Club” soon after arriving on campus and she was the high school’s homecoming queen. Esther was an accomplished pianist, studying several years with Anna John Silber in Mankato. Throughout life she enjoyed playing the piano and singing hymns and folk songs. Her artistic ability extended also to beautiful needlework. Esther loved animals, especially her dog Gretchen and several cats including Bootsie. Esther was very witty, told great jokes, and had an infectious laugh.


Esther enjoyed many visits to her sister’s home in Hudson and later Mankato, and she and her mother made several trips to visit her brothers in Colorado and California, and aunts, uncles, and cousins around the Midwest. 


She found dignity in her work including the Jolly Troll restaurant in Eau Claire and Farm and Home in New Richmond. Her family is grateful to St. Croix County Mental Health Services and the many kind caregivers at Brotoloc Adult Family Homes in New Richmond.


Esther was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her sister, Ruth (Robert) Heidenreich of Mankato, Minnesota; brothers John (Carol Poole) Oesleby of Napa, California; and Tom (Gwen Trefts) Oesleby of Salt Lake City, Utah. Also surviving are nieces Christine (Rev. Scott) Oelhafen, Susan (Loren) Halvorson, and nephew Michael Heidenreich. Also remembering her are grandnieces Katherine (Levin) Watts, Hannah Oelhafen, and Madeline Halvorson; grandnephews Stephen Oelhafen, Daniel (Liz) Halvorson, and John Halvorson; and great grandniece Marie Watts.


Esther died as she had lived, firmly believing in Jesus Christ as her savior, and thus she entered eternal life on February 24, 2022 in New Richmond, Wisconsin.  Memorial services will be held at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 11 a.m. with a catered luncheon to follow in the church social hall. Interment will take place that afternoon at the Scarville Synod Lutheran Cemetery, Scarville, Iowa.


Blessed be her memory.

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Esther Christine's Tribute Wall

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    • Esther was a good friend of mine from back when we both worked at st. Croix industries it’s too bad she left us. She was always a great person.