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Esther I. A. Bowers Fath
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Birth: Mar. 22, 1925
Dent County
Missouri, USA
Death: Jul. 14, 1983
St. Louis County
Missouri, USA

On Esther's birth certificate, her middle name is Arlene, but she did not see her birth certificate or know this until she was well into adulthood. Until then, she had believed her middle name was Icelene.

She probably first learned of this discrepancy when she got her first driver's license, in her 30's. From her school records to her death certificate & this cenotaph pictured here, all of her records (other than her birth certificate), use 'I.' or Icelene. This confusion must have been a result of her mother dying when Esther was only 13 months old.

Esther was the youngest of 6 (surviving) children. Esther's last sibling died with their mother at his birth. One sibling is not named for privacy because she is still living, as of March 2014.

After her mother's death, 13-month-old Esther lived briefly with an older aunt & uncle (possibly a great-aunt and great-uncle) near Salem, MO. From about age 2-5, her father boarded her & her 2 youngest siblings at an orphanage, until he remarried. Then he brought his 3 youngest children back to the family farm in Dent Co, MO, to live with their 3 older siblings, new step-mother, (Grace Brant Bowers, from Springfield, MO), and 2 new older step-brothers, all in a very small 'bungalow'. (Grace also had 2 older daughters from her previous marriage, but from all indications, they were grown & they never lived at the Bowers farm with Esther's family.)

Some time prior to the 1940 census, after her oldest siblings had left home, the remaining family moved to University City in St Louis Co.

When Esther was about 15 she was able to spend a summer in Canada as the 'upstairs maid' with a wealthy St Louis family, who had employed her older sister for sometime. This was a travel adventure which Esther never could have experienced without this employment opportunity.

At abt age 16 she left school and home, to share an apartment with her older sister. They worked for the Kroger bakery factory, with Esther operating a dangerous bread-slicing machine.

At that time only men had been allowed to work in the much more highly preferred job of cake decorating, as it was company policy that cake decorating was too difficult a job to be entrusted to a woman! (And cake decorators were paid considerably more, primarily because they were all men!)

After a year or 2, (and a significant injury), Esther & her sister insisted that they be promoted to cake decorating, (a very nervy 'request'), whereupon they became the first women cake decorators in the largest bakery in St Louis.

In 1945, at a Christmas dance/party at the famous St Louis Casa Loma Ballroom, (which is restored and still in business), at a party to celebrate 'our boys coming home', she met her future husband who had returned from England only a couple of months earlier.

After marriage, Esther was a stay-at-home mother until middle age, when she began her retail career in fine jewelry sales at a major department store, and later became a Realtor.

She succumbed to a lengthy battle with cancer, and was survived by 2 children and 1 grandchild. 
Family links: 
  Jesse Walter Bowers (1889 - 1960)
  Clara Stella Freeman Bowers (1889 - 1926)
  Herman F. Fath (1914 - 2005)*
  Augusta Bowers Shackleford (1914 - 2004)*
  Fred Bowers (1918 - 1975)*
  Rosalie Bowers Dies (1920 - 1978)*
  Walter Lee Bowers (1922 - 2004)*
  Esther I. A. Bowers Fath (1925 - 1983)
*Calculated relationship
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: This memorial marker (cenotaph) was placed at the foot of her mother's grave, Cedar Grove Cemetery, Salem, Dent Co. MO
Maintained by: Gramma
Originally Created by: Gravefinder1
Record added: Aug 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96226892
Esther I. A. <i>Bowers</i> Fath
Added by: Gravefinder1
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