EAU CLAIRE — Esther Marie (Godfrey) Watton, 93, of Eau Claire, went home to be with her Lord and loved ones, who had gone before her Saturday, June 30, 2018, at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Esther was born Feb. 13, 1925, in Wales, N.D., and then moved with her family to Antler, N.D., where she grew up. She married her husband, Archie Watton, Nov. 3, 1941. They moved to their family farm in Mondovi, Wis., and lived there until 1958. It was in 1958 that Archie, Esther, their five children and Grandpa Herman, moved to Eau Claire.
When her husband, Archie, sustained a back injury and later became disabled, Esther went to work to help provide for their family. A couple of her places of employment were Fabri-tek and Sacred Heart Hospital. She retired from Sacred Heart Hospital at age 72, after 22 years as a respiratory therapist. Esther was a hard worker and was always available to help anyone in need.
She loved her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren and was proud to be part of a fifth generation. Esther had a deep love for her Lord and was a “prayer warrior” for her family. She was a member of Immaculate Conception Parish for many years. There she served as a communion minister and was an active member of “The People of Praise” prayer group. She recently became a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Altoona.
Esther is survived by her children, Darlene (Robert) Brummond of Eau Claire, Daniel (Patricia) Watton of Chippewa Falls, David (Angela) Watton of Grants Pass, Ore., and Denise Gilchrist of Eau Claire; great-grandson, Cody Moyer, whom she helped raise; daughter-in-law, Glenice Watton of Fall Creek; grandchildren, Annette (Jeff) Paffel, Anita (Lee) Fairbanks, Angela (Richard) Dolan, Dennis (Brenda) Brummond, Andrea (Scott) Bonebrake, Donovan (Jessica) Brummond, Jeffrey (Debra) Watton, Jacqueline (Willis) Moulton, Jessica (Jason) Heidtke, Joel (Jill) Watton, Michael (Darja) Watton, Rebecca Watton, Bethany Watton, Christina (Ian) Kemmer, Thalia Watton, Melissa Watton, Matthew (Petra) Watton, Jacob Watton, Sabrina Gilchrist and Grant Gilchrist; 30 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren and more on the way. She is also survived by one sister, Rowena Cantarella; many nieces, nephews and special family friends, Nancy, Anne and Michelle.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Archie; three sons, Donald and premature twin babies, Dennis and John; son-in-law, Gary Gilchrist; granddaughter, Lindsay Moyer; parents, James and Alice Godfrey; and six siblings, Richard, Alice, Walter, Edward, Patrick and Rita.
Esther lived alone in her own home until three months ago. We wish to thank her caregivers and physical therapists at Oakwood Villa in Altoona. Also to her caregivers and friends at Our House Memory Care Center in Eau Claire. Thank you for your special care, love and friendship. Finally, during the last few days of her life, we so appreciate the care and love she received from the nurses, aides and caregivers at Sacred Heart Hospital. You all have a special place in our hearts.
A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 5, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Altoona, with Father Derek Sakowski officiating. Visitation will take place from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral Mass at church. Burial will follow services at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Eau Claire. Friends and family may leave online condolences at www.smithfuneralec.com.