Esther Walleser

Esther C. Walleser, 96, of Waukon died Saturday, September 24, 2022 at Northgate Care Center in Waukon, surrounded by her loved ones. She was a prominent community member of the New Albin, Harpers Ferry, Waukon and Lansing communities in which she lived for 96 years.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, September 29 at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lansing, with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial will be at Gethsemane Catholic Cemetery in Lansing. Friends may greet the family from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, September 28 at Martin - Grau Funeral Home in Waukon where there will be a 3:30 p.m. scripture service. There will also be a  visitation one hour before services at the church Thursday.

Esther Cecilia Walleser was born March 8, 1926 in New Albin to George and Elizabeth (Wall) Hammell. She was the sixth of their nine children. In her childhood, Esther attended primary school in Iowa township. She graduated valedictorian from Lansing High School in 1943, completing her normal training for teaching, and later earned an additional teaching certificate in 1945 in La Crosse, WI. Upon her graduation, she returned to teach in Center and Iowa Townships and Hanover in one-room schoolhouses with eight grade levels.

In October of 1946, Esther started dating Lawrence Walleser, better known as “Duke.” The pair loved dancing and could be found in each other’s arms on every dance floor. The two married May 26, 1948 and began their life together living in an apartment in New Albin followed by several farms in Waukon, Harpers Ferry and Lansing. Esther was a teacher, farmer and homemaker, but above all she was a devoted mother to her 16 children.

Esther loved each and every person she knew. She raised her children with pride, and her love grew with each addition to the family. She became the grandmother of 45 grandchildren and great-grandmother of 46 great-grandchildren.

Esther cared for her beloved husband, Duke, until his passing at their farm in 2004. She moved from their farmhouse in Lansing to live in Waukon. At this time, she was 78 years old and continued to live an active and independent life.

Esther became a world traveler in her later years. Some voyages took her across the country while others took her across the world. Her faith even led her to take several trips to the Holy Land, visiting the Vatican and various holy sites, as well as seeing the pope. When she wasn’t traveling the world, you could find her playing an active role in the Waukon community.

Esther loved dancing, gardening, playing cards, reading, baking bread, crocheting, sewing and knitting. She loved giving kisses and hugs to her loved ones. Above all else, she loved loving people and God. She attended Catholic Services daily and prayed that God would always love and care for her loved ones. Esther will be missed by her family and all that knew her here on Earth, but we know that she is being reunited with many. May she now find peace and rest safely in the arms of the Lord.

Esther is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Lawrence “Duke” Walleser; three children, Larry Walleser, Joe Walleser and Theresa Key; two grandsons, William Delaney and Michael Walleser; a great-grandson, Kayden Burrel; a daughter-in-law, Dora Torres Walleser; two sons-in-law, Francis Ottaway and Bob Batteen; her sisters, Alberta Troendle, Sister Georgia Hammell, Pauline Blaskowski and Anna Collins; her brothers, George Hammell, Earl Hammell and Jim Hammell; and many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Esther is survived by her children: Mary (Dan) Delaney, Karen Batteen, Jean Ottaway, Elizabeth “Bess” (Phillip) Anderson, Allen (Diane) Walleser, Melvin (Christine) Walleser, Rita (Steve) Thom, Fred (Nidia) Walleser, Anita (Andy) Schauer, Esther Niedert, Carl (Michelle) Walleser, Byron (Betty) Walleser and Ted (Stacy) Walleser; her daughters-in-law, Nancy (Joe) Walleser and Mary (Larry) Springer; her son-in-law, Alton (Theresa) Key; and her brother, Larry Hammell. She is also survived by her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom are listed below within their respective families:

Joe Walleser
John (Tamar): Anastasia, Roman

Theresa Key
Lisa (Shane Maxey): Mason (Jenna), Mollie (Tom Brushel)
Scott (Shelly): Eli

Mary Delaney
Jesse (Heather): Logan, Mari, Beckham
Shane (Carrie): Joseph, John, Megan
Faye (Chris) Allen: Brecken, Adrienne, Brynn
Danielle (Tom) Cripe: Brady, Colin, Alison
Renee (Chris) Herbst: Ireland, Emery
Ryan (Johanna): Hudson, Marshall, Rylee, Liam
Glen (Kelsey): Kylar

Karen Batteen
Marna (Brian) Hulshof: Wyatt, Grace, Noah, Ella
Bob Lee: Ashton

Larry Walleser
Rebecca (Michael) Grego: Olivia

Jean Ottaway
Anna (Ryan) Bacon: Tricia, Tristan

Bess Anderson
Myriah (Cedric) James: Averie, Camryn, Kingston, Axton
Bethany (Brian) Anderson-Burrell: Jayce, Maddox, Legacy
Phillip (Lanesia)

Allen Walleser
Shannon (Zach) Campbell: Lachlan, Lennox, Maebry
Austhan (Jessica): Mila, Everly

Melvin Walleser

Rita Thom
Chloe and Pearl (granddogs)

Fred Walleser

Anita Schauer
Araina (Matthew) Byrne
Alexander (Claudia)

Esther Niedert

Carl Walleser
Zachary (Desiree): Rudy

Byron Walleser

Ted Walleser

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