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OBITUARY

as written by Wm. C. Herndon and published in The Wilber Republican October 26, 1994

ESTHER LAURA O'CONNOR

Miss Esther Laura O'Connor was born November 22, 1898 at Lincoln, Nebraska and died October 14, 1994, at the Oakwood Manor in Kansas City, Missouri. At the time of her death she was 95 years, 10 months and 22 days old. She was the oldest of three children born to Martin F. and Susan M. (Herndon) O'Connor. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Roderick in 1925; Daniel in 1976; sister-in-law, Vivian O'Connor, and nephew Daniel O'Connor Jr. both died in 1992.

Esther moved with her parents and brother Roderick to Deertrail, Colorado in 1902 and later to Victor, Colorado where Daniel was born in 1903.. Her father died in 1905 and the family then moved to the farm home of her grandparents in Saline County, 5 1/2 miles northwest of Western, Nebraska. Esther attended Spunky Hollow School District # 37 through the eighth grade and the Western High School through her junior year. She was baptized in the Baptist Church in Western in 1909 by the Reverend E. M. Owings. In August of 1916 the family moved to Ottawa, Kansas which is where she graduated from high school in 1917. She attended the Ottawa University one semester and then worked as a secretary to the president of that institution. She cared for her mother during a long illness until her death in 1920.

In 1922 Esther went to Kansas City, Missouri to find work in a store and in 1923 she was employed by Corn Products Co. For the next 37 years she worked at all phases and capacities in the office, retiring in 1960. She was an enthusiastic nature lover throughout her life. In 1933 she joined the Burroughs -Audubon Society of Kansas City, Missouri. During the ensuing years she held the offices of secretary and president of that club and was the only librarian from the mid 1930's to the mid 1980's. She worked full time as the club's librarian after retiring from Corn Products Co., donating all of her labors. She presided over many nature study classes for children and adults over the many years with the clubs to which she was a member.

Esther was also a member of the Audubon Society of Missouri, the Audubon Society of Missouri, the American Ornithological Union, the Kansas Wildflower Research Center, the Missouri Native Plants Society, the Garden Center Association of Greater Kansas City, The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Republican Women's Club.

Surviving her are 12 first cousins, Irene Sprague of California; Virginia Magner, of St. Joseph, Missouri; Jane Taylor, of Clay Center, Nebraska; Alberta Stauber, of Denair, California; Anna Loyd, of Loveland, Colorado; Ardis Greeley of Central Point, Oregon; Beatrice Whitten, of Murdock, Nebraska; Esther Burklund of Hastings, Nebraska; Charles Herndon, of Crete, Nebraska; Reuben Herndon, of Riverside, California; Robert Herndon, of Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Joan Tippery, of Decatur, Nebraska.

Esther requested that her body be donated to the Kansas University Medical College for research studies, then cremated and her ashes then be urneterred in the Atlanta Cemetery in Saline County, Nebraska. There will be a memorial service at the Burroughs-Audubon Society's Nature Center at Lake Jacomo, Rt. 3, Box 120, Blue Springs, Missouri 64015 on Sunday, November 6, 1994 at 1:00 p.m.

(Family members gathered at Atlanta Center Cemetery Saline Co., NE. July 26, 1997 to bury her ashes.)

Though most of her contemporaries have past on before her, she leaves many friends, young and old. She was always ready to lend a hand to help one in need. She volunteered her labors and quite often her money unselfishly to the many causes she deemed worthwhile. She was kind and considerate to all with whom she was in contact with. She was loved by her many friends and relatives and she loved them also. She will be missed by them all.

 

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(I found out later that she was also survived by at least three cousins first cousins on the O’Connor side which she had told me had passed on.) --- Chuck



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