Esther Hamilton, 97 of Merrill, died Wednesday, June 1, 2022, at Accura Healthcare of Le Mars.
Esther Elizabeth Donlin was born on Oct. 6, 1924 to Joseph and Ethel (Cook) Donlin in rural Seney. She attended country grade school in rural Westfield and Hinton. She then attended Jefferson High School for two years and graduated from Le Mars High School in 1942. Esther then went to work for Toy National Bank and Andes Candies in Sioux City.
Esther was united in marriage to Wayne Hamilton on Jan. 2, 1946 at Whitfield Methodist Church in Sioux City. They made their home in Merrill where they raised their two daughters, Marlene and Valerie. Esther was the bookkeeper for Hamilton Construction from 1946–1998 when they retired.
Esther was a devoted wife and lifetime friend to her husband, Wayne. Wayne died Jan. 24, 2013. Esther loved and enjoyed her family; relatives and friends were always welcome in her home. She loved to cross stitch, read, and garden. She was an outstanding cook and made the most fantastic pies.
Esther was a long time member at Merrill First United Methodist church where she was active in the United Methodist Women’s group. She volunteered in many capacities including: Girl Scouts leader, MYF leader, Sunday School and Bible School teacher, and many church offices and committees.
She was a charter member of the Merrill Lion’s Club and received the Melvin Jones Award. She delivered congregate meals, was a member of P.E.O. Chapter NQ, and was a board member of the Merrill Library. Esther and Wayne also enjoyed traveling across the United States and abroad.
Esther is survived by her daughters: Marlene (Larry) McKibben of Marshalltown, Valerie (Dan) Smith of Merrill; grandchildren: Mark (Laura) McKibben of Marshalltown, Katie McKibben of Coralville, Peter (Marta) Smith of Ames, and Philip (Heidi) Smith of Minneapolis, Minnesota; three great grandsons: Brant McKibben of Spencer, Luke McKibben of Marshalltown, and Beck Smith of Ames; sister-in-law, Glenda Donlin of Merrill; niece, Lee (Jim) Livingston of Dwight, Illinois; nephew, Dee Jay (Cay) Donlin of Orange City; and many other extended relatives.
Esther is preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Ethel Donlin; husband, Wayne; sister, Martha Elaine (Edwin) Wendt; and brother, Donald D. Donlin.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 14, at Merrill First United Methodist Church in Merrill. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery in Merrill. Visitation with the family present will be at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 14, at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Merrill First United Methodist Church and St. Croix Hospice.
Expressions of sympathy may be expressed at www.rexwinkelfh.com.