Esther Bernice Swenka Viksten, 93, passed away Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, at the Bird House Hospice surrounded by her family. Graveside services will be held at noon Saturday, Oct. 17, at Oakland Cemetery with the Rev. Paul Akin officiating. Visitation will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Bird House Hospice, Iowa City Hospice or First Presbyterian Church.
Esther was born July 16, 1927, in rural Oxford, the daughter of George and Tena Michalek Swenka. She graduated from Iowa City City High School in 1945, and then went to work in the office of Bremers Men's Clothing Store for four years. Esther then worked for the Iowa City Credit Bureau for 16 years, where she met her future husband, Ray Viksten, who was manager of the Household Finance Corp. office. They were married ay 14, 1955, at First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City.
They owned and operated the Dairy Queen store at Sycamore Mall for 10 years, retiring in 1988.
Esther was an active member of First Presbyterian Church for more than 55 years, where she was involved with Sunday school, served as a deacon and was involved in women's circles and associations.
While her children were in school, Esther was active and generous with her time to ensure they were able to participate in a variety of activities while growing up. Her first love always was her family!
The family would like to extend their appreciation to all the wonderful caregivers who helped mom on her last journey.
Esther is survived by her son, Kevin Scott Viksten; and daughter, Karen Rae (Steve) Hurt; three grandchildren, Amy (Taylor) Johnston, Courtney Hurt (fiance, Aidan Keen) and Joel (Allison) Hurt; one great-grandson, Sullivan Johnston; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
Esther was preceded in death by her loving husband in 1994; her parents; her sister, Tillie Palik; brother and sister-in-law, George J. and Marie Swenka; and sister-in-law, Elaine Viksten.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service in Iowa City.