In Memoriam : Esther Stirling

Esther Stirling Esther Mae Stirling - age: 94
(March 05, 1918 to September 13, 2012 )
Resident of Ukiah, California

Esther Mae Stirling

Esther Mae Stirling passed away peacefully on Thursday September 13, 2012. She was born on March 5, 1918 in Westfield Township, Ohio, daughter of Nina and Glenn Norton.

While growing up in Ohio, Esther was quite the student of music. She was the concertmaster of her high school orchestra, as well as playing piano and singing in the school choir. A few years after high school, Esther pursued a nursing career. While at the Mt. Sinai Nursing School, she went on a blind date with a nice young man from the Cleveland Institute of Art. His name was Mel Stirling. That first date was a dance at the art school. They must have liked how they danced together because two years later they were married, January 24, 1942.

Mel and Esther moved out to California in 1946 with their first child Jim. They soon settled down in Burbank and soon their first daughter, Jean, and second son, Rob, were born. Esther was a homemaker for most of her life, but did work as a secretary for the Burbank Unified Schools when her children were older. Her love of music was shared with all of her children and grandchildren. With her knowledge of music, Esther was a vital member of the Music Committee at the First United Methodist Church in Burbank. In the case of an absent organist, she was often called upon to play the big pipe organ in the sanctuary. Besides music, Esther loved to cook and bake. Her birthday cakes and pies are legendary.

After her husband Mel’s death in 2001, Esther moved up to Ukiah, Calif. to be closer to her daughter Jean. Esther was an inspiration to her family and will be sadly missed. Her appreciation of life and music will surely live on through her children and their children.

She is survived by her cousin, Robert Norton, of Medina, Ohio; daughter, Jean Stirling of Ukiah, son Rob Stirling and his wife Leah, of Oceanside, and their four children Aaron, Kelsey, Leslie, and Sarah; grandson Don Stirling and his wife Jill, of Bratislava, Slovakia, and their two sons Scott and Graham; grandson David Stirling and his wife Tracey, of Grass Valley, and their two children, Noah and Autumn.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 22, 2012, at Burbank First United Methodist Church, 700 North Glenoaks Blvd. Burbank, Ca.

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Esther Stirling photo