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Esther Wanita Neufeld Kressly
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Birth: Apr. 11, 1923
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jan. 15, 1998
Cook County
Illinois, USA

Born in Chicago, 1923, to Rev. John T. and Catherine (Wiens) Neufeld. She was the eldest of five children.

Esther was the valedictorian of her graduating class at Kelly High school in Chicago. When she went to college and took a math entrance exam, her scores were so high, the college officials accused her of cheating. After taking it again, they were convinced she had been honest... and also very smart!

Prior to marriage, Esther taught school in Puerto Rico. She
married Jack Kressly, 1959, in Chicago. They became secretly engaged, and were so for four years. Esther told me it was because at their ages (mid 30's), they thought no one would believe it!

Esther worked as a special education teacher to multiply handicapped teenagers in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Chicago. She had obtained her Master's in Special Ed. Cared for her mother Catherine, and her aunt Sarah Wiens (FAG 76086722) who battled many years with Huntington's Disease and Schizophrenia. She was always an advocate for those with special needs. We visited her school several times as children. It was an eye-opening experience!

Her greatest sorrow was losing several babies and not having children of her own. Most nieces and nephews experienced the richness and diversity of Chicago through Esther and Jack-sponsored trips to museums, restaurants, ethnic neighborhoods and shopping areas. She spoiled us! She would give us wedding china, flatware and sometimes handmade quilts purchased at Mennonite relief sales. Every niece and nephew seems to have an "Aunt Esther" story. She had high expectations of every single one of them, though, and encouraged their talents. She was never afraid to speak her mind. A very assertive lady!

She was also a bit of a hoarder, and a compulsive shopper. Esther shared with me that she knew it was a "problem", and that she felt it filled the empty space in her life where there should have been children of their own.She always took trips to visit the relatives with an extra suitcase of quality costume jewelry from Marshall Field. When she visited, we looked forward to taking the trip to the bedroom and choosing among the array of rings, necklaces, and brooches arranged on the bed. For sisters and nieces who were raised in minister and missionary families,those were luxuries we couldn't afford. I still have several pieces. There was an extra room in their flat for things she bought on sale and really intended to use or give away.

She didn't like to cook, and claimed not to be able to read recipes. We didn't mind! Going out,for most of her frugal relatives was something reserved for special occasions. She knew all the good ethnic restaurants - and there were many to choose from in Chicago!

She and her husband Jack were active in the Rogers Park Presbyterian church in Chicago. Esther was an accomplished organist. Both she and Jack were voracious readers, and collected, among other things, books. I have a fabulous set of Art History books, thanks to her. Thanks to her also, I have a collection of vintage family photos (many of which appear on FAG). They had a special cat, Frisky, a Maine Coon, who was a big part of their lives for much of their later years.

She died from complications related to diabetes. Ever the epicurean, she would settle for diet pop... but you always had to add a generous dollop of ice cream!

Family links: 
  John T Neufeld (1895 - 1961)
  Catherine Rachel Wiens Neufeld (1899 - 1984)
  Jack Dean Kressly (1919 - 2003)
  Esther Wanita Neufeld Kressly (1923 - 1998)
  Elvina Agnes Neufeld Martens (1926 - 2012)*
  Ernest Wiens Neufeld (1932 - 2015)*
  Helen Catherine Neufeld Coon (1934 - 2006)*
*Calculated relationship
North Lawn Cemetery
Stark County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Mausoleum inside South Cremated Section
Created by: GeekyGraveGirl
Record added: May 31, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 111567845
Esther Wanita <i>Neufeld</i> Kressly
Added by: GeekyGraveGirl
Esther Wanita <i>Neufeld</i> Kressly
Added by: GeekyGraveGirl
Esther Wanita <i>Neufeld</i> Kressly
Added by: GeekyGraveGirl
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