Esther Long, age 89, of Hettinger, N.D., formerly of Philip, S.D., died Sunday, March 24, 2013, at the Western Horizon Care Center in Hettinger, N.D.
Esther Pauline Clawson was born March 6, 1924, in Sheridan, Wyo., the daughter of Cecil Ransom and Sarah Ethel (Shaw) Clawson.
She grew up on her parents’ homestead near Arvada, Wyo., graduated from Gillette High School and the Gillette Normal School (for a teaching certificate) in 1942 and then furthered her education in teaching at Black Hills State College in Spearfish.
Esther taught at rural schools in Sheridan and Campbell counties in Wyoming and while at the Powder River School in Campbell County met Leroy D. Long, who was visiting relatives in the area. They married on December 22, 1945, at Hardin, Mont., which was 15 days after Leroy’s discharge from the U.S. Army. (When Esther decided to do something, there was no waiting around.)
They initially made their home in Campbell County where Esther was teaching school, but in June 1946, they moved to Philip, where they built a home and established a permanent residence.
In addition to raising six children, Esther worked a variety of jobs to help support the family as a housekeeper, waitress and day care provider. For her last two years prior to retirement, she worked as a kitchen assistant in the Philip hospital and nursing home.
In 1997, Esther and Leroy moved into the Senechal Apartments. After the passing of her husband, Leroy, in January 2000, Esther lived mostly with her daughter, Cheryl, and her husband, Phil, in Philip in the warmer months of the year and with her son, Wayne, and his wife, Kathy, during winter months at Hastings, Nebraska. In July 2012, she went to Hettinger where son, Jim, and his wife, Jenifer, live and was admitted to the Western Horizons Care Center where she resided until being called to heaven.
She was a member of the Evangelical Free Church of Philip and was appreciative of the cards, notes and prayers from her prayer group while she was residing in the care center.
She is survived by three sons, Wayne (Kathy) of Hastings, Neb., Jim (Jenifer) of Hettinger, N.D., and Mike of Sioux Falls; two daughters, Palma Johannesen of Wall and Cheryl (Phil) Pearson of Philip; 12 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Esther was preceded in death by her parents, Ethel and Cecil Clawson; her husband, Leroy; her brother, Joseph Clawson; her sister, Ruth Watt; and her eldest son, Fred.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 28, at the Evangelical Free Church in Philip, with Pastor Gary Wahl officiating.
Interment will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com