Cover photo for Esther Katherine Vasey's Obituary
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1924 Esther 2016

Esther Katherine Vasey

June 16, 1924 — January 12, 2016

Esther Katherine Vasey, age 91, died at her home in Sebeka, MN, Tuesday, January 12, 2016 surrounded by her loving family. Esther was born June 16, 1924 to Otto and Theresa Sellner of Sleepy Eye, MN where the family farmed. Later, when she had her own children Esther passed on many stories of growing up on a “self-sustaining” farm, milking cows by hand and cultivating fields with farm horses and tractors to planting and harvesting a huge vegetable garden. Here, during her childhood on the farm, were laid the seeds for her strong love of nature and outdoor work. Esther graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic School in Sleepy Eye in 1942, and after working for a chiropractor in New Ulm for several years, enrolled in Palmer’s School of Chiropracty in Davenport, Iowa. There she met the love of her life, Evan Vasey and the two were married in 1953. Over the years, the couple and their expanding family lived in several states including Iowa, Minnesota and for a decade, in Northeastern Pennsylvania near Dickson City, Evans hometown. The couple and their children moved to Nimrod in 1974 where they farmed for many years. In 1998 Esther and Evan moved to Rockford Township, a mile out of Sebeka, where they continued gardening, planting an orchard and cultivating bees. Esther was a homemaker who, along with Evan believed in serving wholesome, organic foods to her family. For many years she did all the cooking and canning on a cook stove and woodstove. The aroma of homemade bread, and occasionally deep-fried potatoe doughnuts were a welcome greeting for family and visitors. An active woman throughout her life, Esther enjoyed biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and walking. In her late 80’s she was still walking over three miles a day, often with a ski pole for balance. She loved her walks where she could commune with nature, breathe in the fresh air and bird watch. Esther kept a bird book handy by her dining room table so she could identify those that visited her feeder. Beginning in the early 1980’s, she was a volunteer with the Minnesota Bluebird Recovery Project erecting and maintaining birdhouses until her final illness. Esther also worked seasonally at Badoura Nursery for ten years. Music and dancing was also a love of hers. After their children were grown, Evan and Esther “kicked up their heels” in communities throughout the area. She had a passion for writing and kept up correspondence with many friends. She was self-disciplined and hard-working, but knew when to stop and enjoy the music (and dance), make friends, nurture her family and appreciate nature. Esther is survived by her children: Autumn (Clint) Linn of Longview, WA, Junelle (Mark) Gustafson of Alexandria, MN, Raina (Tom) Riedesel of WBL, MN, Karla of WBL, Evanne of Sebeka, MN, Blaise (Lisa) of rural Sebeka, MN, Barth (Patty) of Sauk Centre, MN, Shereen (Dan) Gilyard of Coon Rapids, MN, Rona (John) Schleder of Stillwater, MN, Leatha (Mike) Lannes of Big Lake, MN; twenty-nine grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; sisters: Cecilia Schwartz of New Ulm, MN, Theresa Reiniger of Sleepy Eye, MN and Bernadette Fischer of Springfield, MN; sisters-in-law: Leona Sellner and Delores Sellner both of Sleepy Eye, MN and Norene Vasey of Berea, KY. Esther was preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband, Evan in 2010; sisters and their husbands: Rose (John) Schmidt, Clara (Wallace) Mecklenburg, Mary (Frank) Eichberger and Veronica (Francis) Dauer; her brother Walter and his wife, Matilda; brothers: Norbert and Otto Sellner and brothers-in-law: John Reiniger and Leonard Fischer. A private memorial service was held by her family. To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute please visit www.jonespearson.com
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