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Esther Mae (Whitaker) Miller

Born: Tue., Jan. 9, 1923
Died: Wed., Mar. 25, 2020


Funeral Service


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Esther Mae Miller from Belt, Montana passed peacefully on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at her daughter Sandy’s home in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Born in the early twentieth century, Esther lived until her late nineties. She was the second of two children born to George and Florence Whitaker. She had eight other Whitaker siblings, four of whom survive her, all of whom affectionally referred to her as “Sis”. She is also survived by two daughters from her first marriage to Leonard Setterstedt who perished in WWII and a son from her second marriage to Alfred Ray Miller (Curly). Additionally, her legacy includes four adult grandchildren, five great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren, as well as, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren through marriage.

Esther lived a full and rewarding life traveling and living in numerous continental states and abroad in Morocco and Japan. She and Curly enjoyed vacationing in Guaymas, Mexico especially with their children and eldest grandchildren. Her residence in AZ included owning and operating The Cheese Cutter in the Pinetop/Lakeside area.

Throughout her life, she had various other vocations including secretary, stenographer and office manager. She was a loving and insightful mother and grandmother who was actively involved in her progeny’s lives providing emotional support and a model to emulate. In her being, she exhibited a positive outlook and a zest for life. She was intellectually adventuresome studying astronomy and the powers of crystals and gemstones. Her step-grandson arranged for a star visible from the USA to be named after her.

Esther loved animals, both wild and domestic, but especially schnauzers. Her beloved Tish proceeded her in death. She was a voracious reader until macular degeneration took most of her eyesight. She was creative and talented in many spheres: cultivating gardens, producing culinary delights, sewing designer accoutrements, penning and illustrating a “Cheese Cutter” story for her second oldest grandchild in addition to authoring numerous stories and poems, and laying floor tile to replace the carpet in her house when in her eighties. She was a Girl Scout Leader and a Mother Advisor for Rainbow Girls.

It is truly not possible to condense a life of perseity, a life so wonderful, so bountiful, so joyful, sometimes sorrowful, into this short notice.

Esther (Sis) will come home to Monarch, MT and a family memorial service held when it is safe to travel again.

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Condolence Booklet

Genie Whitaker Early
   Posted Fri April 03, 2020
My condolences to Esther Mae's children and many grandchildren on your loss. She was an awesome woman and will be missed by all of her families in Arizona, Montana, and beyond. I know my Dad Gene will be very happy to see her again on the other side. My love to you all. Genie Whitaker Early

ElainePhillips
   Posted Fri April 03, 2020
It is very hard to put into words the love I have for my Sister, and your Mom...she
has always been an inspiration and such a loving, caring sister to our family. When
we were growing up Sis was always there for us..when Sis and the girls would come
stay in Montana and go to school with us 3 Whitaker kids, whenever Curly was trans-
ferred to a new base, it was so special. When I did grow up, Sis and I wrote a lot, then
we would call..then of course the emails we shared were so special. Our sister weeks
for 7 years were the icing on the cake...wonderful times of sharing and love. Of course
sharing those weeks with all of you too were awesome. Distance did not matter...our
love was always there. All 4 of my sisters and 2 brothers, and Mom and Dad are all together again...what a reunion. Sandy, Lynn, Tony...we love you so much and share
your loss...we will all be together again...

Genie Whitaker Early
   Posted Sat April 04, 2020
My condolences to Esther Mae's children and many grandchildren on your loss. She was an awesome woman and will be missed by all of her families in Arizona, Montana, and beyond. I know my Dad Gene will be very happy to see her again on the other side. My love to you all. Genie Whitaker Early

Ron Lopez
   Posted Sat August 29, 2020
May the family of Esther be consoled during this time. Esther is with the ages now. I met Esther early in my move to Sierra Vista in 1984. I always felt privileged to talk to her; our conversations were business, then friendly stuff. The minutes she took on a phone conversation meant alot to me as I had just left my family to start my career. God Speed, my friend Esther.

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