School 31

Esther M. White

June 23, 1920 ~ December 30, 2021 (age 101)


Esther M. White, 101, of Monmouth, IL, passed away at 12:40 p.m., Thursday, December 30, 2021 at Monmouth Nursing Home, Monmouth, IL.  

Esther was born on June 23, 1920 in Argyle, IA, the daughter of Guy Truman and Elva (Smith) White.  Esther was raised in Argyle, IA, where she graduated from Argyle High School in 1937.  She later graduated from the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, IA in 1949.  In 1952, she earned her Master’s Degree from the College of Education, Columbia University in New York. Numerous post-master courses and seminars at universities in the US and England followed. 

Esther started teaching in a one-room school in Sandusky, IA. After 5 years in the one-room school, she moved to Keokuk, IA, where she taught 4th and 5th grade. She was soon promoted to an assistant principal position after which she became principal at two large elementary schools.  In 1974, Esther came to Monmouth College and taught in the Education Department until her retirement in 1988.  During her tenure at the college, she developed and ran College for Kids, and received several awards for outstanding teaching. 

Teaching, traveling, storytelling, and family were Esther’s passions throughout her life. She taught young children and adults, including foreign born residents who needed to learn English. She traveled extensively during her life, having visited every state and at least 20 countries in Europe, Asia and several island nations. She also enjoyed both her own and professional storytelling. She attended the International Story-Telling Festival for more than 30 years and was a popular local speaker about storytelling. 

Surviving Esther are her nephews, Albert Azinger of Bloomington, IL, Ken (Gail) Azinger of Elgin, IL, Clarence (Jamie) White of Lenexa, KS; and one niece, Lura Jean Gatton of Keokuk, IA.  Also surviving are many great and great, great nieces and nephews as well as a sister-in-law, Carol Jean White of Fairfield, IA. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, Clifford (Elma) White, Clarence (Albertha) White, John White; one sister, Luella (Gus) Azinger, nephew Ardath (Kay) White, and nieces Brenda Azinger and Ramona Obenchain. 

A private family graveside service will take place at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery in Keokuk, IA.  A celebration of life will be held at a future date.  Memorials can be made to Monmouth College or Faith United Presbyterian Church.  McGuire & Davies Funeral Home and Crematory, Monmouth, IL, is in charge of the arrangements.  



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