Esther Flander, 88, of Grinnell and formerly of Montezuma, passed away Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014, at Mayflower Care Center in Grinnell. A funeral mass was held Monday, Apr. 28, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Grinnell. Burial was in the Jackson Township Cemetery in Montezuma. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to St. Mary's Catholic Church, the Montezuma Fire and Rescue, or Grinnell Hospice.
Esther Louise Flander was born the youngest of 10 children on May 22, 1925, to James and Minnie (Rhodes) Hughes in Eddyville. She attended Gray's Creek Country School near Eddyville before graduating from Eddyville High School in 1943. Following graduation, Esther taught school for one year and then worked for the egg factory in Oskaloosa. On Apr. 10, 1945, Esther was united in marriage to Cecil Flander at the St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Albia. To this union nine children were born, Dale, Mildred, John, Roger, Dennis, Larry, Margaret, Teresa, and Marilyn. Cecil and Esther relocated to Montezuma in 1955, where they raised their children. She worked at the Montezuma Locker for several years before starting her 25-year career at Sig Manufacturing in Montezuma, retiring in 2002. Esther enjoyed playing cards, traveling, gardening, canning, and above all spending time with her family. Esther was a member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Her memory will be honored by her husband of 69 years, Cecil of Grinnell; her eight children, Dale (Bev) Flander of Lynnville, Mildred (Dennis) Steichen of Swisher, Roger (Barb) Flander of Grinnell, Dennis (Mary) Flander of Montezuma, Larry (Pam) Flander of Montezuma, Margaret (Tom) Wilson of Grinnell, Teresa (Kevin) Hartgers of Colfax, and Marilyn Bailey of Des Moines; 20 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and a daughter-in-law, Patty Flander of What Cheer.
Esther was preceded in death by her parents; her son, John Flander; her great-granddaughter, Gracyn Jane Yokum; and nine siblings: Bill Hughes, John Hughes, Robert Hughes, Mary Selzer, Catherine Mark, Dorothy Celania, Edith McConkey, Agnes Hughes, and Sister Francella "Neva" Hughes.