Esther was born Sept. 18, 1916, in Alton, the daughter of Ferd and Susan (Schiltz) Arens. When Esther was a young girl the family moved back to Minnesota where later she would meet and marry her future husband, Melvin Larson on Jan. 21, 1943. In 1949 Esther and Mel moved to Iowa, where eventually they would call Merrill home.
She was a hard working woman who worked for various meat packing companies in Sioux City. In later years she enjoyed traveling to see relatives, spending time on her patio watching birds and playing cards with friends. She always had a smile on her face and a laugh to brighten up any room.
Esther loved being a mother and grandmother and was truly a joy to be around and a great friend to all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
Those left to cherish her memory include her daughter and son-in-law, Sandi and Jack Grover of Merrill; a son-in-law, Jake Lehmann of Merrill; two sisters: Phyllis Schindel and her husband Will of Sioux City and Bonnie Piquette and her husband Laurence of Oregon state. She is also survived by grandchildren Jeff and Mary Lehmann of New London, Minn., Cathy and Bruce Tullis of Merrill, Carla and Scott Rieken of Merrill, Tony Grover of Lone Tree, Dan and Melissa Lehmann of Merrill, Jackie (Klein) and Mark Mulder of Merrill, Craig and Rene Grover of Merrill and Nick and Sara Grover of Minneapolis; 27 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grand child. She also had a very close friend she considered her "third daughter", Barb Crosgrove and her husband Jim of Merrill; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband. Melvin on June16, 1985; her daughter. Sharon Lehmann on June 23, 2007; and a son Robert in infancy. Also preceding her in death were her parents; brothers Sylvester and Roman Arens; and sisters Vi Niehus, Mildred Colling, Delores Larson; and a great -grandchild Megan Grover.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Merrill with the Rev. Dan Greving officiating. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. at the church with family present from 5 to 6:45 p.m. A rosary service will be held at 6:45 p.m. and the Scriptural wake service at 7 p.m. at the church. Services are under the direction of Feuerstein Funeral Home of Le Mars.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons and special nephew Ron Colling of Sioux City. Honorary pallbearers will be her great-grandchildren.