Esther Marie Sand was born Dec. 18, 1912, in Richland Township, Union County, South Dakota, the daughter of John Edward and Bertha Catherine (Woltman) Sand. The family lived on a farm east of Akron, where she attended country school. They then moved to a farm near Highmore, S.D., where she continued her education at a country school and high school. The family then moved to Milwaukee, Wis., where Esther graduated from Lincoln High School with the class of 1931. Following high school, Esther worked as a "au pair" for the Reynolds family for seven years.
Esther was united marriage to Roland Swanson Nov. 23, 1938, at the First Congregational Church parsonage in Sioux City. Esther and Roland began farming his parents farm where she lived for the next 72 years. Esther enjoyed assisting Roland with the farming and being a homemaker for her family.
She was a longtime member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Akron where she belonged to the E.L.C.W. and taught Sunday School. She was also a charter member of the Westfield P.T.A. and Westfield Band Mothers.
Esther enjoyed gardening, flowers, and crocheting to include numerous rugs for family and friends. She was also an accomplished seamstress.
Survivors include her four children, Alyce Toben and her husband, Marvin of Westfield, Kenneth Swanson and his wife, Betty of Le Mars, Keith Swanson and his wife, Janice of Akron, and Lynn Swanson and his special friend, LuAnn Schmeling of Buffalo, Minn.; 15 grandchildrean; 28 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John Edward and Bertha Catherine (Woltman) Sand; her husband, Roland on May 14, 1990; a sister, Genevieve Layton; two brothers, Edward and Harvey Sand; and a great-granddaughter, Rachel Rose Toben.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Akron, with the Rev. Dawn Quame officiating. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery, Akron. Visitations will be after 3 p.m. today (Monday) at the Carlsen Funeral Home, Schroeder Chapel in Akron with the family present to greet friends after 5 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. prayer service. Visitation will continue Tuesday at the church from noon until service time.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Russ Toben, Lee Swanson, Stephen Swanson, Joe Toben, Kirk Swanson, Roland Swanson, and Carl Swanson. Honorary casketbearers will be her granddaughters, Laura Philips, Kristin Wicks, Heather Swanson, Carrie Wilken, Angela Wilson, Monica Kiel, Theresa Tucker, and Melanie Brown.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.