Cover photo for Esther J. Winter's Obituary
Esther J. Winter Profile Photo
1951 Esther 2023

Esther J. Winter

February 20, 1951 — September 19, 2023

Hastings, Nebraska


Esther J. Winter died at home in Hastings at 72 years of age.  She was born at Yagaum Hospital, Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG), to Theora (Drewes) and Louis Winter in February, 1951.  She attended Primary A School in Madang (PNG) and graduated from St. Peter’s Lutheran College in Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia.  Esther attended Hastings College, graduating with a BA in English in 1973 (magna cum laude). 

After teaching two years at Bumayong Lutheran High School in Lae, PNG, she returned to the U.S. to serve as Volunteer Coordinator for two years at Good Samaritan Village; but then her early mission days called her back in 1974 to teach at Asaroka Lutheran High School (PNG), Bumayong Lutheran High School (PNG), and finally Siassi Lutheran High School (PNG), after which she served for two years as an author and editor of religious materials for the Lutheran schools in PNG. 

Returning to the U.S. after eight years, she completed her MA in English at the University of Wyoming, before taking a position at Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville), then Central Community College (Hastings), and then the University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg), from which she retired in 2012.  Of course, in 2014, she returned to Lutheran Church School in Banz, PNG, for a 2-month mission experience.

During her time in tertiary education, she contributed to 22 publications and 19 additional unpublished presentations.  A dedicated Lutheran, she participated fully in the life of the high schools at which she taught and in the churches to which she belonged wherever she lived.  After retiring, she volunteered at Good Samaritan Village and, after COVID, participated actively in the music and worship life as well as the quilting and kit projects at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. 

                She was predeceased by her parents and her older sister, Karen (Schmidt).  Esther leaves her sister Janet, brothers Ronald (wife Shirley) and David (wife Brenda), as well as nieces and nephews and cousins and one aunt.  According to her wishes, she is being cremated, and there will be no funeral, interment, or visitation.  She is worshiping her Lord above, and that has always been her greatest joy.

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