LANCASTER - Esther Leora (Rech) Duncan passed away, peacefully in her sleep, on Saturday, January 6, 2018, at the age of 106. She was born on July 15, 1911 to Mentor & Bessie (Fennell) Rech in Lancaster WI. She married Vivian Lyle Duncan on July 29, 1929.
Esther and Vivian farmed most of their married life in Beetown Township, where she always had a large garden and raised chickens. When things got too noisy in the house, she would go to the chicken house to get some peace and quiet.
Esther loved to sew and crochet. Everyone in the family benefitted from these activities. She crocheted most of the family member’s Afghans as Christmas gifts. All of the great and great-great grandchildren received homemade baby blankets at the time of their birth.
One of the greatest joys her children looked forward to each year was the brown paper bags at Christmas. These contained a jar of homemade pickles, a loaf of homemade bread, 3 dozen cookies and 1 container of Elderberry Jelly. After she moved to town, the bags no longer contained the pickles. As the grandchildren grew older, they also receive the brown bags. These brown bags continued until she was well into her 90’s.
Esther was a life-long member of the Roundabout 500 club from Beetown, WI until she was 98 years old. In her early 90’s she was also a VFW Auxiliary volunteer at Orchard Manor Nursing Home twice a month to play Euchre with the residence. She often told others that this was her night to go play cards with the “old people”. She did not consider herself to be old.
Esther learned to drive at the age of 60 and did so into her early 90’s. When she saw 2 cars coming at her, she decided it was time to quit driving. She also loved her snowmobile that she started to drive around the age of 65 and enjoyed many rides with the Snoopy Sno Goers snowmobile club.
On May 13, 2012, Esther went to live at Orchard Manor at the age of 100. She enjoyed her years at the nursing home, the Euchre parties, the musical activities, and BINGO. She never missed a game and she was an active member of the Bell Choir.
She is survived by her children: Irene Beam, Dubuque, IA; Richard (Mary) Duncan and Larry (Mary) Duncan, Lancaster, WI and Verna “Bon” DeRemer, Dodgeville WI. She is further survived by 14 grand-children and step-grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, and 17 great-great grandchildren and step-great-great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Vivian Lyle Duncan on January 3, 1989, her daughters Lois (Russell) Knotwell on March 11, 2004 and Phyllis (Gary) Miszewski on July 12, 2010, her sons-in-law Robert Beam, Dubuque, IA on November 25, 2016, Walter Sager and Peter DeRemer, her grandson, David Beam on November 10, 2005, her granddaughter, DiAnn (Beam) Driscoll on October 4, 2012, her sister & brother-in-law Ralph & Evelyn Vesperman and her brother and sister-in-law Harvey & Lois Rech.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, January 12, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. the Lancaster Congregational Church, 225 S Madison St, Lancaster, with Reverend Mark Dieter officiating. Burial will be in Blake's Prairie Cemetery, Bloomington Township. Family and friends may call on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until time of services at the church. Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster is assisting the family.
The family wishes to thank the amazing staff at Orchard Manor for the wonderful care they gave her during her residency. Everyone knew who she was and never passed her without speaking to her and calling her by name. This made her time at Orchard Manor a pleasant experience.
Online condolences: www.martinschwartzfuneralhomes.com