Esther Anderson Chrisman

 United States

  • Date Of Birth: July 12, 1927
  • Date Of Death: July 30, 2016
  • State: Montana



Kalispell, Montana

Esther Anderson Chrisman, 89, of Kalispell passed away on Saturday July 30, 2016 at Kalispell Regional Medical Center of natural causes after a brief illness.  She was born on July 12, 1927 to Ole and Carrie Anderson in Leland, Illinois.

Esther grew up in Leland, the youngest of five sisters whose parents had immigrated to the United States from Norway.  She grew up during the Depression, and had a very vibrant childhood. The Anderson girls all seemed to constantly get into mischief.  

Esther attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she met her future husband, Allen Baird Chrisman, who returned from service in the Army Air Corps in the Southwest Pacific.  She had wonderful stories about bridge parties with her roommates at the Colonial Inn, as well as working at the Food Service in Baxter Hall.  Her close knit group of college friends stayed with her throughout her life.  Before marriage she taught briefly in a one room school in Illinois, an experience that she treasured.  

Esther and Baird were married in 1948, and travelled to a dude ranch in Jackson Hole Wyoming on their Honeymoon trip.  Esther had wonderful stories about that adventure – her first trip out west – riding the blind horse, the saddle sores, and the blue dye that came out of their brand new Levi’s in the rain.  That started their love affair with the West.  

Shortly after marriage, Baird and Esther moved from Jacksonvillle to Meredosia Illinois, constructing one of the modern Lustron Homes on East Chrisman Drive in Meredosia, which still stands.  

As a housewife, she was a critical factor in her husband’s success as owner of the A. B. Chrisman Grain Elevator and A. B. Chrisman Fertilizer Company.

Esther was active in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Meredosia, the Meredosia Women’s Club, the League of Women Voters, the Meredosia-Chambersburg  PTA, Monday Club, delivered Meals on Wheels, was a Cub Scout Den Mother, and served as a Board Member for Passavant Hospital in Jacksonville.    

Baird and Esther moved to Kalispell, Montana in 1999 after retirement to be closer to family.  Esther was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Kalispell.

Esther was preceded in death by her husband Baird, and sisters Sigvarda, Charlotte, Anna, and Blanche.  She is survived by sister-in-law Garnett Chrisman of Kalispell, daughter Kari Wiley and husband Tim of Kalispell; son Allen Chrisman and wife Charlotte of Kalispell, grandson Allen Baird Chrisman (wife Megan) of Wilsonville Oregon, grandson Mark Chrisman of Portland Oregon; nephew Bruce Larson and wife Adelle of Pleasant Plains, Illinois, granddaughter Rachel Stevenson (husband Kyle) of Indianapolis, Indiana, and grandson Erik Larson of Springfield, Illinois; as well as numerous treasured nieces and nephews across the country.  

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