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May 25, 1929 - October 1, 2023
A unique and generous woman
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LARSON, Esther Beryl (Dotts) age 94 passed away peacefully October 1st 2023 at the Gorge Hospital in Victoria, BC.
Born May 25th 1929 (at her parent’s farmhouse in Olanta, Pennsylvania,) she became affectionately known as “Grandma Duck”. As her 7 grandchildren grew up, they were taken on many walks at the “Duck’s” house in Victoria. They walked through a nearby park where there was a duck pond. Grandma and Grandpa always had duck food at the ready. The birds would come running at the sight of them and thus, “Grandma & Grandpa Duck” were named. Esther’s two favorite pastimes were: being with her husband Jack, and spending time with her grandchildren who loved her in return (and not just for her delicious donuts!)
Esther spent her first 17 years on the family farm, helping milk cows, riding her horse and participating in the many farm chores. She attended a 1-room school nearby and later graduated from high school in 1944.
The Dotts (mother, Alice Laura Troy and father, Carl Best) sold the farm and moved their family to California where Esther went to college, then graduated from nursing school in Oakland, California. She spent the next 5 years working for the Kaiser Foundation’s pediatric clinic. That’s when she went to a church social and saw a handsome, tall and strong young man who became the love of her life. After a whirlwind romance (and Jack’s best friend telling him “she makes bread?!? Marry her!) in 1953 they were united, never to be separated until “death did them part.” And yes, bread-making remained a weekly routine through the decades. Esther continued to work as an RN for many years (including being on the ward at 6AM the morning after her marriage!) She barely took a break despite eventually raising 4 children (Peter, Philip, Cherie, Tasha) and supporting Jack’s work as a Lutheran minister in many parishes including: Washington State; Sitka Alaska; Arborg, Manitoba (where they fostered 2 children, Donnie and Marlene); Kenora, Ontario; Nanaimo, BC; Edmonton, and Victoria. Everywhere she went, she made new and cherished friends, facilitating many gatherings. She loved music and organized church choirs. She had a beautiful voice and was proud to have sung in 5 operas over a 2-year period with the Edmonton Opera Chorus in the early ‘60s. She sang throughout her life, always a song coming to her lips. Later in life, Esther spent much time in her armchair, devouring books and sharing quips with her husband… her crossword puzzles and knitting basket nearby. Until her mobility prevented it, she and Jack took daily walks to the duck pond.
Esther is survived by Jack, brother John and her 4 children. The growing family includes grandchildren and great-grandchildren: James (Crystal: Holly, Elsie), Karyn (Victor: Eva), Carla, Julie (Steve), Hailey (Randy), Tycho (Brittany).
Esther is pre-deceased by 3 sisters (including Alice who died at age 12 when Esther was only 4- years-old) and her beloved grandson Hunter.
Esther and Jack regularly contributed to many charities. One being the UNHCR. Donations to that or any other charity will be greatly appreciated in memory of Esther who offered up so much.
Esther will be cremated and buried with her husband when that time comes. There will be no public service for her, simply a private family gathering. Each of us is happy to hear from you and to share memories. You can reach us via current contact info you have for any family member, OR email@example.com OR simply post condolences on this site.
A unique and generous woman has marched off this earth with love in her heart.