Esther M. Smith, age 92, died Monday, December 4, 2017 at HopeWest Hospice Care Center in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Born August 25, 1925 in Los Angeles, CA, she was the daughter of Abraham Christian and Marie (Maisak) Binkele.
Following graduation from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School, Los Angeles in 1945, Esther married the love of her life, P.G. Smith, and embarked on an adventure that would take more than 70 years to complete.
P.G. was a pilot in the US Air Force, which afforded Esther the ability to travel and live around the world, living for a time in Hawaii, Germany and many locations in the US.
Esther and P.G. had 3 children, Steven, David and Barbara, all born in different parts of the country as P.G.’s service kept them on the move. After P.G.’s military service, they settled in Goleta (Santa Barbara), CA, where Esther was a long time member of the Santa Barbara Women’s Golf Club, a regular attendee of the Santa Barbara Symphony and a founding member of the Jolly Girls Bridge Club. One of her many talents was her ability to help those in need. She spent over 16 years volunteering for Direct Relief Int’l in Goleta.
Following P.G.’s death in 1982, Esther continued her journey as a world traveler, attending son Steven’s wedding in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, visiting him in Indonesia, attending the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Christmases with son David, in Texas, Georgia & Utah, and later moving near daughter Barbara in Arizona and Grand Junction, Colorado. Always, on the go, Esther snowmobiled in Yellowstone, rode the train across Canada, and sailed up the Columbia River and cruised to Alaska. And always she would take her annual trek to her favorite place, the white sand beaches of Maui in March to watch the humpback whales and enjoy the sunshine. A happier place was not to be found for Esther.
And everywhere she went, her infectious smile, jolly laugh and happy disposition drew in those around her.
She is survived by her three children, their spouses, 5 grandchildren and nieces and nephews: Mary Ellen, Eileen, and Susan Loy, John, Laura and Jan Binkele; all scattered around the globe.
Family memorial services will be held for Esther in Maui, and a celebration of her life will be scheduled at a later time in Santa Barbara, CA.
Instead of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to Esther’s favorite charity, Direct Relief, Inc of Santa Barbara, or to HopeWest Hospice Care in Grand Junction
Services have been entrusted to Brown’s Cremation and Funeral Services, Grand Junction, CO.