Esther Katie Monschke Hughes went to be with her Lord on October 3, 2010, exactly three months after her 100th birthday this summer on July 3, 2010. She along with many family and friends spent a wonderful afternoon celebrating this momentous birthday milestone.
Esther was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Rev. Richard and Katie Blandau. When she was two, the family moved to Tacoma, Washington where her father was the pastor for a German Baptist Church.
Esther was a graduate of Western Washington University, where she received a Life Certificate in Teaching. At nineteen she became the teacher and administrator of the one room schoolhouse on McNeal Island in Puget Sound, WA. She had up to forty students each year in all twelve grades and often spoke of those thirteen years with fond memories. Throughout her lifetime some of her students kept in touch with her. Following her years of teaching she worked for four years as an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service.
She married Roy Monschke on May 16, 1948. Their first home was near Mt. Rainier in Washington State and one year later they moved to Northern California in order to buy more timber and expand their quickly growing lumber business.
After seventeen years as partners in their lumber business, they decided to retire in Santa Cruz, CA in 1966.
She and Roy had just celebrated twenty-five years of a wonderful marriage when he died in 1973. Nine years later she married Lyle Hughes of Santa Cruz. She was blessed with eighteen years of another wonderful marriage when Lyle died in 1999.
After Lyle died, she moved to San Martin to live next to her youngest daughter and family. She lived there contentedly for these past 10 years.
Wherever she lived the church was a central part of her life. As a young person she taught Sunday School, and later was President of the Pacific Northwest Baptist Sunday School and Young Peoples Association. When she lived in Fortuna she taught the adult Sunday School class. In Santa Cruz, she was on the Advisory Board of the Mount Hermon Association, was a Hume Lake Associate, and an active member of Twin Lakes Baptist Church, where she served as the Chair of the deaconesses for several years. She also attended Felton Baptist Church, and during the last years, Morgan Hill Bible Church.
She loved sharing about her faith in Jesus Christ through words and actions. She also loved sharing her finances with those in need, with churches, missions, and projects that she thought would be beneficial.
Esther was known for her gracious hospitality, her generous heart, her sharp mind and quick wit, her words of encouragement, and her compassionate heart. As the years went by she was also known for her agelessness.
The sadness we feel today cannot dim the joy we have experienced knowing her and being a part of her life. She was an inspiration and encouragement to all she came to know and her ideas and ideals will live through us.
She is survived by her two daughters, Marie, and her husband, Ed Yager, Royanne, and her husband Bob Ukestad, Lyle’s children, Linda, and her husband, Marvin Lawrence, Mike Hughes, Eddie Evans and his wife, Evelyn and grandchildren, Brian, Jonathan, and Travis Ukestad, Kristina and Mark Yager, and Lyle’s grandchildren, David (Glorianna) Lawrence, Daniel (Katy) Lawrence, and other grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
She was ready and looking forward to heaven to see those who preceded her in death, her husbands, her parents, her five sisters, Frieda, Flora, Elsie, Ruth, and Dorothy, her brother, Richard, as well as other family members.
Esther requested that the family have a small family service in the home where she spent her last years. She was grateful for her many wonderful family and friends who showed her so much love – and she loved them dearly too.
Esther has requested that no flowers be sent, but instead that you give your gift to your church or the charity of your choice.