Esther Struble (1914 – 2008)

My grandmother, and twinsoul, passed away this spring after 93 years. She came from Michigan to visit my family in North Carolina and – in just a few days – a violent coughing spell created an inoperable compression fracture in her lower back. The fracture then led to aspiration, and aspiration quickly leads to a host of problems. After admission to the hospital, it was only about two weeks until she passed away.

My mom wrote this obituary to run in the paper following her passing:

Esther Struble 11/26/1914 – 4/6/2008

Esther J. Struble, age 93, died on Sunday April 6, 2008 after a short illness at the Mecklenberg Rehabilitation Center in Charlotte, N.C. She was born to August and Hulda, (nee: Forare) Juntunen in Mass City, MI. After graduating from what is now Northern Michigan University, she worked as a registered nurse for the University Hospital, Ford Motor Company, Hoover Ball and Bearing, University of Michigan Health Service and CPHA.

Preceding her in death was her husband of 55 years, Kenneth Struble, and her son, Michael Struble. Also preceding her in death were four sisters, Elvira Beckala, Edna Mattson, Elsea Pana, Eva Sokalski and three brothers, Emil Juntunen, August Juntunen and Charles Juntunen. She is survived by her children, Ann, Daniel, Mary, Peter , grandchildren Michael, Melissa, Suzanne, Joseph, Gabriel, Brian, Cailin, and five great grandchildren.

Esther made friends everywhere she went with her infectious smile and wonderful sense of humor. She was an accomplished bridge player and was a gifted wordsmith. She left a treasure of short stories and poems, which were published in the book “With the Stars as my Compass”.

Then we all descended on Ann Arbor for her memorial service:

Dogwood and grandchildren


Paloma and the Adirondacks?

Pop goes the weasle

Amaru blowing dandelion seeds

Gabe and Amaru walking on springy wetlands

Melissa and Paloma

Woodland folk

The ‘reindeer tree’ in Ann’s backyard.


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