Esther M. ‘Essie’ Edman

FAIRMONT – Funeral services for Esther M. “Essie” Edman, 92, of Fairmont, Minn., has been changed to 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, at Grace Lutheran Church, Fairmont with Rev. Neil Christopherson, officiating. Burial will follow in Lakeside Cemetery, Fairmont.

Esther Marie died peacefully Wednesday night, July 31, 2013, from complications of pneumonia and ALS at Ingleside Assisted Living Facility with her four children at her side. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont and will continue one hour prior to the services at the church on Monday.

Esther Marie was born Sept. 26, 1920, the eighth child of Ernest and Hannah Johnson of rural New Richland, Minn. She graduated from New Richland High School in 1938 and Gustavus Adolphus College in 1942. Esther Marie taught high school English in Wheaton, Lewiston and Trimont, Minn., and Eaton Rapids, Mich. On Sept. 13, 1947, Essie married Arthur Edman of Fairmont. Art died on Dec. 15, 1985. Esther Marie was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; two brothers, Virgil (Orella) and Raymond (Mildred); five sisters, Ethel Swenson (Emanuel), Mildred, Gladys, Eleanore, and Ida; as well has her sisters-in law and brothers-in-law. Esther Marie is survived by her son, John Edman of Fairmont; three daughters, Anne (Jim) Carlson of St. Paul, Jeanne Edman and Carol Edman of Sacramento, Calif.; two grandchildren, Jane and Abby Carlson of New York City, N.Y. She is also survived by nieces and nephews. She will be missed by many longtime friends in Fairmont where she was an active volunteer, board member and fundraiser for her church, local charities and historical restoration projects. Essie joined the Grace Lutheran Church in 1947. She served on the first Endowment Committee, and for many years on the funeral lunch committee and as a Sunday School and Released Time teacher. She was an active fund-raiser for the establishment of the Fairmont Community Hospital Foundation, serving 12 years on its Board as well as on the Board of the Fairmont Hospital Auxiliary. Many remember Essie volunteering at the hospital coffee shop where she worked for 45 years, earning an appreciation award. Esther Marie was on the first fundraising committee for the Fairmont Opera House and served on the financial board. She was one of the founders of the Stage Hands. She was a charter member of the Martin County Preservation Society (Chubb House) and a board member of Red Rock Center for the Arts. She co-chaired many bridge benefits for charity over several decades. In 1978, Esther Marie was the first woman to serve on the Board of Directors of the Fairmont 1st National Bank (now U.S. Bank). Esther Marie was a wonderful mother and grandmother, combining her high expectations and loving support. Family vacations were fun, memorable and educational. Essie and Art traveled to Europe, Asia and throughout the U.S. She was the rock, the center of the family. Essie was an avid sports fan. She was a loyal supporter of the Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves, Gophers and Fairmont teams. She was an excellent bridge player, in several clubs (one for 60 years), and organized fund-raising bridge tournaments over several decades. Essie had many friends of all ages who will miss her smile, positive attitude and energy. We are grateful for her life, love and wisdom. The family wishes to thank the staff at Ingleside Assisted Living Facility who provided excellent care and support for Essie during her 10-month stay. Her “girls” were like family. Memorials are preferred to Grace Lutheran Church, Red Rock, Fairmont Opera House, Martin County Historical Society, Martin County Preservation Society or other local charities and nonprofit organizations.