Funeral Notice for Esther Kroeker
Funeral at Cornerstone Bible Church at 1:00pm on Friday, June 30, 2017. (Scroll Down or Click Here for Video)
Esther Friesen Kroeker was born on March 8, 1920 Jansen, Nebraska. Her parents were George A. and Elizabeth Ratzlaff Friesen. She was the fifth child, second daughter. Her early schooling was in country schools and then Jansen Bible School. She went to Tabor College briefly and graduated from what was then called St. Paul Bible Institute (now Crown) Esther and Nick (Klaas) Kroeker had been acquaintances from childhood, but with an age difference, they didn’t become interested in each other until later. They were married in 1941 at the country Carson Church in rural Delft, Minnesota. When Nick graduated from St. Paul Bible their first daughter, Sharon was born and they moved to a church in Stickney, South Dakota to gain experience in the ministry. They served the Stickney church from June 1943 until October of 1946. During their stay in Stickney, son Donald was born. In 1945 they joined the Gospel Missionary Union (GMU) and left for Africa in October 1946. Son, Donnie passed away during their first term and daughter Mary was born in what was then known as French West Africa (now Mali). They opened two new mission stations one at Wasala in 1946 and one at Nonkon in 1952 and in 1952 son Kenneth was born during their second term. A medical furlough brought them to the US for an extended time until the death of Kenny. Upon their return to Mali, the girls were sent off to Mamou, Guinee for school for most of each year. Furlough years were spent in Nebraska and Minnesota with a lot of traveling to all the churches that supported them. Eventually the girls finished what schooling was available and returned to the US to finish their education. Nick and Esther remained in Mali until they retired in 1984 when they bought a house in Mountain Lake, Minnesota and took up everyday life which included gardening and enjoying the flowers planted by previous owners and quilting. They remained active in their local church as long as possible. When Nick died in 2007 Esther remained in their home until she moved to the assisted living at the Lodge of Mountain Lake in 2014. She moved to the Good Samaritan Village of Mountain Lake about two weeks before her death.
She is survived by daughter Sharon “Shary” Hauber and husband Clint of Campbell, New York and by daughter Mary of Mountain Lake. Also surviving are grandchildren Timothy, Esther and Bartholemew (Randi) Hauber and Wanda, Kenneth, Gwen (Gary) Martinez, Laurel (Nathan) Gustafson and great grandchildren Abigail, Elisha, Noel and Natalie Hauber, and Keegan and Keeley Classen. She was preceded in death by her parents, all brothers and sister, her husband and two sons.