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Esther Anderson

December 27, 1927 - September 4, 2019
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitation

Sunday, September 8, 2019
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Visitation

Monday, September 9, 2019
10:00 AM EDT
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Service

Monday, September 9, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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All who knew Esther Anderson would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. Faith was a lifelong cornerstone in her life, and she modeled the faith she held dear through the life she lived each and every day. Esther considered it both her highest calling and her richest blessing to be a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She gave everything her all, and her home was a haven for all who entered. Esther leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

It was great to be an American during the 1920s. Innovation was leading the way to new technology that was transforming the way we lived our everyday lives. Refrigerators became part of our homes, radios allowed us to experience more of the world around us, and cars were more affordable thanks to the wide implementation of the assembly line, Amidst this exciting time was a time of great celebration in the lives of Vern and Olga (Engman) Bradley as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Esther Marjorie on December 27, 1927. Raised in Marne, Michigan, she was the youngest of six as she was joined in her family by her siblings, Roger, Florence, Floyd, Eleanor, and Ardith. Esther's father owned Berlin Oil Company while her mother was a busy homemaker. They were a close family, and all the children worked for their father with the girls taking care of the bookwork while the boys worked alongside their father. Although they lived in town, they always had a big garden and chickens.

For Esther, childhood was a very monumental time. She came to faith in Christ at the age of eight, and she was playing piano for Sunday services by the age of 15 and the organ by age 20. Esther enjoyed things like ice skating and swimming in the “swimming hole” as she was a bit of a tomboy who loved being outdoors most. As a family they enjoyed spending time at the Engman farm, which belonged to her grandparents, sometimes for dinner and other times just to visit. They did some camping as a family as well. As a student, Esther attended Berlin School where the grades were often combined. She was in the glee club at school, and in addition to holding down her studies Esther worked at the local filling station. She was promoted in school one year, which meant that she graduated when she was just 16. After graduating from high school, Esther attended Grand Rapids Junior College, and then her junior year was at Western Michigan University. Her first real job was as a switchboard operator with the telephone company in Marne. As a young woman she was also very involved in church, accompanying the church choir that was directed by her brother, Roger.

It was also while growing up that Esther met the young man of her dreams. His name was Don Anderson, and they actually met while picking strawberries when they were just 12 years old. What started as friendship soon blossomed to true love, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together they were married on August 12, 1950, at the Marne United Methodist Church when Don was home from the service. The newlyweds spent their honeymoon at Glen Lake in Northern Michigan. They made their home in a small apartment before purchasing their first home on Fennessey Street near Standale. After five years, they had saved enough to purchase property in Marne where Don built their dream home in 1959. This is also where they raised their four children, Dennis, Jayne, Cheryl, and Martha.

There was never anything of greater importance in Esther’s life than her family. She was a strict parent who wanted things done her way. While she taught her children accountability, responsibility, and also expected cooperation, Esther was also there to love, support, and nurture her children. She also taught her children to be courteous, and she required her children to be involved in church. As a family there were vacations to Glen Lake and Sleeping Bear Dunes, and on every trip they always stopped at a roadside park for a picnic lunch. Around home Esther was very regimented including meals that were served promptly at noon and 5 p.m. She was an amazing cook who was known for her roast beef, baked bread, rolls, cakes, and cookies.

As her family and friends can attest, Esther was always busy with something. She loved working with her hands and was an accomplished seamstress as she made all the girls clothes as well as her own. Esther also enjoyed knitting, puzzles, and crossword puzzles. She was devout in her morning devotions everyday, and she was an avid card and game player. For years Esther bowled on leagues, and she learned to golf and enjoyed this with Don during their retirement years. She liked sacred music and old movies as well. Esther regularly kept busy serving others, primarily in her church. She played the organ for over 40 years, and she served in various ministries in her church. In 1998, they moved to Grand Rapids after selling their longtime home, and once there they became active members of First Evangelical Covenant Church. Esther shared her faith in a natural way as she just talked with those around her in an authentic and meaningful way whether stranger, friend, or family.

Later in life, Esther was thrilled when grandchildren began arriving. She loved each one in their own unique way, and she made them each feel special. Esther enjoyed watching them over weekends, and they always had so much fun. Although Don wasn’t exactly thrilled, Esther bought a pool in 1983, and this became one of the best decisions they ever made as it was a gathering place for family for 20 years. Spending time around the pool made for some of the most special moments they shared as a family.

When reflecting on the life of Esther Anderson, words such as faithful, loving, passionate, and genuine come to mind, but perhaps the words that describe her best are that she was someone with a servant’s heart. She was funny and a straight shooter, and Esther had a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

ANDERSON, Esther M. Grand Rapids, MI Age 91, entered the arms of her precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, September 4, 2019. Esther was born December 27, 1927 to the late Vern and Olga (Engman) Bradley. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Don Anderson; grandson, Lee Anderson; and siblings, Roger Bradley, Florence Anderson, Eleanor Poelstra, and Ardith Lindgren. Esther is survived by her children, Dennis (Debi) Anderson of Walker, Jayne McDonald of Grand Rapids, Cheryl (Dan) Polkowski of Marne, Martha (Marshall) Chase of Allendale; grandchildren, Amy (Ben) Hobbie, Christina (Wes Eaton) McDonald, Aaron McDonald, Stefanie (Phil) Falstrom, Leandra Polkowski, Adam (Gina) Polkowski; great grandchildren, Kaileigh, Ethan, Levi, Brielle, Greta, and Nol. She is also survived by her brother, Floyd Bradley of Marne; and several nieces & nephews. Esther will be remembered for her love for Christ and her servant's heart demonstrated in her service in church and her testimony to all she would meet. A funeral service will be held Monday, September 9 at 11 AM at First Evangelical Covenant Church, 1933 Tremont Blvd NW. Friends may visit with family Sunday, September 8 from 3-5 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW and beginning at 10 AM Monday at church. Interment will be in Marne Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Faith Hospice or to First Evangelical Covenant Church. Please visit Esther's web page to read more of her life story, leave a memory or condolence at www.heritagelifestory.

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