Esther Faye Lentz Shanklin, 103, was born July 25, 1915, near Mount Vernon, Iowa, to Earl and Gertrude (Reasland) Lentz. She passed into the arms of God on Feb. 14, 2019, at Hallmar Care Center in Cedar Rapids.
She was a graduate of Grant High School in Cedar Rapids and married H. Darrell Shanklin on July 17, 1937, at the parsonage of Olivet Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids. To their marriage were born three daughters, Patricia, Darlene and Carol; and a son, William. The family lived in Marion, and then Independence, Iowa. Esther and Darrell spent 15 years of their retirement in Blue Eye, Mo., before returning to Iowa to live in Montezuma in 1994.
Esther loved nature, bird watching, board games, the St. Louis Cardinals and fishing trips to northern Minnesota, where she taught several generations how to properly bread and fry fresh fish. She was a pillar of strength and resilience and loved her family unconditionally. She always had a good story to tell.
She is survived by her children, Darlene (Von) Elbert, Carol (Jimmy) Shelbourn and Bill (Sue) Shanklin; a son-in-law, Dale Watts; grandchildren, Mark (Lisa) Watts, Brian Watts, Larry (Mitzi) Elbert, Leslie Kummerfeldt, Cori (Rod) Zimmerman, Keri Mulvaney, Sean (Susan) Mulvaney, Mauri and Abi Shelbourn, Brad Shanklin, and Matt and Michael Daughtery; 17 great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Trudy Hegarty, Beverly Lentz, and Suzan Johnson.
Her parents, Earl and Gertrude Lentz; her husband of 66 years, H. Darrell Shanklin; a daughter, Patricia Watts; and five siblings preceded Esther in death.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Holland-Coble Funeral Home in Montezuma. The family may be greeted at the funeral home half an hour before the service. Memorials may be directed to the Montezuma Fire and Ambulance.
The family wishes to thank Esther's home care providers, the staff at Hallmar, and the staff of Hospice of Mercy for their loving care.