Esther Assman, 98

Esther Assman, 98, of Winner, SD passed away on Sunday, March 8, 2020 surrounded by family at the Winner Regional Healthcare Facility in Winner, SD. 
Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 10 am at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Winner.

Burial  followed in the Winner City Cemetery. 

Esther Assman was an amazing, beautiful, classy, quick witted, well educated, well read, lady that was passionate about current events, politics, her Catholic faith, and her family.

Although an amazing 98 year life is difficult to summarize in a few short paragraphs, she lived a century by being born in the roaring twenties, becoming very frugal because of the dirty thirties, doing what she could for the war effort in the forties, being a very busy wife and mother in the fifties, seeing a man land on the moon in the sixties,  surviving raising teenagers with hot cars in the seventies, overcoming the financial farm crisis of the eighties, seeing the country decline in the nineties and two-thousands, and now making America great again in 2020.

With a heavy heart, we have lost another member of the greatest generation.

On a cold winter solstice in 1921 (Dec, 21), Esther Elizabeth Einsphar was born in a sod house in Brewster NE to Fredrick and Hulda Blumenthal Einsphar.

She was the 5th child in a family of eight.  Early in her childhood, the family moved north to the Rosebud Indian Reservation after her father had read an ad about a tractor that was donated to the reservation from the government and an opportunity to farm.

The family moved south east of Mission on the Antelope creek and built another sod house where the kids would walk to school at the Lone Hill School.

Esther was always sickly as a child and her parents did not expect her to live. She was eight years old before she was well enough to go to school and was in the same grade as her younger sister Elsie.

She later went to high school in Mission and shortly after, WWII began.

Esther and her sister Elsie headed west to Washington State to help in the war effort working in a ship yard on Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle. 

Esther also attended the University of Washington in Seattle while she was there.  Several years later, she had the opportunity to travel to New York City for a summer with a lifelong friend.

On the way back to Washington, she decided to stop in South Dakota to visit family.

At that point, she decided the plains of South Dakota were home, never returning to Washington.

Shortly after her return to South Dakota, Esther went to work at the Todd County Conservation District.  A young handsome rancher by the name of Joe Assman came to the office and he would later get enough courage to ask her out on a date.

They were later united in marriage on Oct. 18, 1947, at St. Thomas Catholic Church, Mission, SD.

To this union of marriage 10 children were born, losing two infant daughters at birth and a son, Gordon, to a farm accident in 1965.

Esther was a lifelong learner and she never sat idle with all of the interests and hobbies she had.   Later in life she studied and passed her South Dakota real estate license and worked for Delores and Otto Littau.

She also worked at Jeanne’s Interiors in Winner, SD which was a good fit for her love of interior design.

Other hobbies included upholstering and refinishing antique furniture, collecting antique bottles, rock hunting, and she was also famous for restoring antique steamer trunks and she gave one to each child and each grandchild.

She kept meticulous scrap books for each child up through there adulthood.

She loved to play cards, dance, golf, and was always up for an adventure which could include a trip to Las Vegas or just a trip to Wood or Carter.

Due to declining health, Joe and Esther moved to Winner, SD when Joe entered the long term living center with colon cancer and Esther moved into the Golden Prairie Manor in 2014.

Both of them made the best of the situation they were in.  She was very appreciative of any visitor, no matter how short the visit was, it meant the world to her and was very grateful.

She was very grateful her 70 year old baby, (Greg), would visit every morning and her 60 year old baby, (Mary Beth), would visit every evening, making her days more bearable.

Esther was a very kind hearted, accepting, forgiving, and generous person, with a good soul that lived through her faith.

Grateful for sharing her life, she is survived by seven children, Greg (Cindy), Chris (Cathy), Ed, Brad (Debra), Dave (Diana), Mike (Darla), Mary Beth (Chris Lovejoy), 18 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.

Proceded in death by her parents Fred and Hulda Einspahr, siblings Everett, Otto, Lyle, Pearl, Elsie, Ray, and Kenneth, husband Joe, infant daughters Kimberly and Jean, and son Gordon.

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