March 25, 1932 - May 31, 2010
NORWALK - A gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Gretchen (Burkle) Hester, 78, will be held Sunday June 6, 2010 at the First Presbyterian Church in Norwalk, Ohio. Visitation will be at 1:00pm, with services following at 3:00pm. Gretchen has planned this to be a joyous Celebration of Life, and she intends to share it with her family, church, and community!
Gretchen passed away at the Cleveland Clinic on Memorial Day, while surrounded by her loving family, after a long battle with multiple myeloma.
Gretchen was born in Youngstown, Ohio to C.K. (Buck) Burkle and Gertrude Weaver Burkle. She lived in several towns during her early childhood, before moving to Norwalk in 1947, which has been her home ever since. She graduated from Norwalk High School in 1950, and from Miami University, College of Education, with honors.
On December 19,1953 Gretchen married her high school sweetheart David L. Hester. Together they have raised a family and have been very active in the Norwalk community.
Gretchen served many roles in her church including Deacon, Ordained Elder, and Stephen Minister, and with her sisters in Small Group and many other activities including Council of Church Women.
She taught and coordinated Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) for 21 years in Norwalk and Huron County and retired in 1998. She also taught kindergarten, tutored and mentored. She was inducted into the NHS Hall of Fame in 2003.
Working with children was a passion. Gretchen was 4H advisor for 15 years, youth leader for scouts, farm bureau, and other groups, and a friend to everyone.
Community involvement included Farm Bureau, Volunteer Center, and Community Mental Health Board. Gretchen was active in Ohio Genealogical Society, and a Life Member of Firelands Historical Society. She belonged to Research Club for 50 years, and Firelands Area College Women. She served on the Huron County Board of Elections for over 40 years.
Gretchen was the Matriarch of her family, and the center of many family gatherings.
Surviving Gretchen are her husband of 56 years David L. Hester of Norwalk, Ohio. Sons and daughters-in-law: Stephen and Alice Hester, Bradenton FL; Kevin and Debora Hester, Rochester Hills MI; Mark and Sandra Hester, Haymarket VA; Scott and Carol Hester, Columbus OH; Catherine Hester Tucker, Gahanna OH. Daughter and son-in-law Laura and Thurland (Mike) Colbert, Norwalk OH; eight granddaughters and eight grandsons. Jana, Jessica, Christina, Caitlin, Spenser, Anna and Sarah Hester; and Jennifer (Hester) Scaggs; Matthew, Bradley, Noah, Kenneth, Samuel, and Ryan Hester; Ethan and Jacob Colbert, and one great-granddaughter Aubrey Scaggs. Brothers and sisters-in-law Gary and Judith Burkle, Upper Arlington OH; Thomas and Pam Burkle, Downers Grove IL; Eleanor Hester Omoto and Robert Gulliver, Okemos MI. And many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Preceded in death by her father in 1958, and her mother in 1986, two sisters in infancy, Judith Abby and Cathy Jane, infant grandchild Jesse Colbert, and by her father-in-law and mother-in-law Loren and Marian (Lawrence) Hester of Norwalk.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to First Presbyterian Church, 21 Firelands Blvd, Norwalk, OH 44857, or the Norwalk City Schools ABLE program.
Private inurnment will be in Hester Cemetery.
Walker Funeral Home 98 West Main St. Norwalk is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences to family www.edwalkerfuneralhome.com
Gretchen (Burkle) Hester
March 25, 1932 - May 31, 2010