MISSOULA — Esther Lorna Wangerin Bakker was born in Outlook on Jan. 18, 1921 to Henry Wangerin and Bertha Hollatz. She left us on Feb. 21, 2020 at the age of 99. Esther grew up on the farm in Outlook with three sisters and one brother - Elsie, Lorna, Melvin and Betty.
At the age of 19, Esther took a risk and moved to Missoula to enroll in the Business College. Esther met Clyde Bakker at the roller skating rink and they were married July 18, 1941. From this union there were five children - Duane (Paula), Bev (Larry), Randy (Debbie), Ron (Laura) and Karen (Doug).
Esther and Clyde lived in their home in Orchard Homes for over 60 years before Clyde passed away on Dec. 7, 2019. They were married for 78 1/2 years.
After keeping the books for the service station the family owned (Madison Street Chevron), she was employed by the Western Montana Clinic working her way to the top becoming the secretary to the business manager. She had direct responsibilities to keep the doctors on track and happy.
When Esther and Clyde retired in the '80s they traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada in their RV. They went fishing in Alaska and took organized trips to Nashville and Dollywood with her sisters and their spouses. They traveled the East Coast and everything in between. She loved it all, but she was always excited to get back to her roots and Montana!
Esther and Clyde enjoyed square dancing and dressing in matching clothes to twirl and socialize with others. They danced every Thursday night and often times on weekends. This kept them busy for many years.
Esther knitted and crocheted her idle minutes away crafting beautiful afghans, sweaters and jackets. In her later years, she kept her bent fingers moving by producing scarves and washcloths. These are treasured memories for everyone.
Esther is survived by her sister, Betty Klimper, sister-in-law Agnes Wangerin, her five children and spouses, 14 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren (almost 27) and nine great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. She left quite a legacy.
In lieu of flowers, we would feel honored if you so choose to leave a donation in Esther's name:
Home Health & Hospice of Montana
2445 South 3rd Street Suite B
Missoula, MT 59801
Celebration of life for Esther will be Monday, March 2, 2020, at 12 noon, at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Please join us if you can.