Esther Anne (Shank) Ponx, of Jefferson, passed away on May 16 at the age of 97.
Esther was born in New Hampton on Feb. 20, 1923, the first of two children born to Doyle and Beulah (Powell) Shank.
She lived in New Hampton until 1929, when the family moved to Greenbrier Twp. She attended Greenbrier Twp. No. 6, a one-room country school until high school, when she then attended high school in Cooper.
She was valedictorian of her class and received a scholarship to attend Drake to study business. She left school due to World War II and worked at Civil Aeronautics Administration in Des Moines, where pilots were trained for the war.
Esther and Guss (Junior) Ponx were united in marriage in Bagley at the Methodist Church on Feb. 19, 1944, which happened to also be Junior’s birthday and a day before Esther’s birthday.
She lived on a farm south of Jefferson for 75 years, where she and Junior raised three daughters: Connie, Karen and Patricia.
Esther was a devoted wife, farmer, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She loved her family with all her heart, she would do anything for them and always put others before herself. When in her presence, she made you feel welcomed and loved.
She enjoyed playing cards, Sunday drives, going to the Minnesota cabin with family and conniving with grandchildren to play pranks on Junior. She will be deeply missed and remembered for her kindness, smiles and unconditional love.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Guss (Junior) Ponx; her parents; brother-in-law Paul Walker; nephew Jim Walker; and two infant great-grandchildren, Evan Hance and Robbie McIntyre.
Survivors include daughters Connie Meinecke, of Jamaica; Karen (Craig) Arbuckle, of Washington; Patricia (Steve) Hance, of Marion; grandchildren: HD (Monica) Meinecke, of Jamaica; Amy (Aaron) Guiter, of Johnston; Abby (Todd) Smithson, of Granger; Kirk (Tammy) Arbuckle, of Grimes; Amanda (Dave) Kreutzer, of Bend, Ore.; Brad (Lindsay) Hance, of Cedar Rapids; Brian (Maria) Hance, of Cedar Rapids; Alison (Reid) McIntyre, of Westminster, Colo.; great-grandchildren: Sophia, Grant, Audrey and Gretta Guiter, Ava, and Ella Smithson, Kaley, Kenzie, and Bode Kreutzer, Taylor and Ashley Arbuckle, Kaden and Colton Hance, Riley McIntyre and baby girl McIntyre due in September; sister Dolores Walker, of Scranton; a dear friend, Lois Wistenberg, of Jefferson; and friends, cousins, niece and nephew.
Due to COVID-19, the family will hold a private graveside service. A celebration of life will be held at a later, safer date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to the Cooper Methodist Church.
Mothers/grandmothers/great-grandmothers hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.
Online condolences may be left at www.sliningerschroeder.com.
The Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home is assisting the family.