Esther L. Gayman

November 18, 1931 ~ August 28, 2020 (age 88)


Esther Gayman of Rockford Illinois passed away unexpectedly on August 28th. She was 88 years old. The heartbreaking news was softened by the fact that she did not suffer and died in the comfort of her own bed. We look for some light under these sad circumstances. 

Esther was born during the Great Depression,  She arrived in Rockford to attend Rockford College, an all women’s college at the time, where Esther met her future husband Sam Gayman. As soon as they married, a large family quickly followed making for a boisterous home. 

Esther possessed many talents ranging from seamstress to knitter to needlepoint, and she could tackle home projects like laying tile or refurbishing a piece of furniture. Christmas stockings and sweaters were born in the hands of Esther. Curtains for her home and a prom dress were among some of the beautiful items she sewed for her family. Often Esther could be found in her chair after dinner knitting the latest creation. Her extraordinary skills were evident in the many projects she accomplished during her lifetime.   

While Sam and Esther divorced after 15 years of marriage, they continued to remain nearby spending holidays and Saturday night dinners with the whole family gathered together. Neither one ever remarried.

Esther continued her education when she was in her early 40’s earning a degree as a legal assistance. She worked as a court recorder for a while before taking positions in private law firms and attorneys until last month. When asked why she continued to work after the typical retirement age her response was, ‘I love my work.’ 

One of Esther’s daily pursuits were completing the New York Times crossword puzzle, watching Jeopardy and playing Solitaire. She also was an avid reader and lifelong Democrat. She possessed an exceptional quality of intelligence and was able to help people with her legal knowledge. Esther was a very smart woman, who could openly share her private thoughts at a moment’s notice.

 Esther was a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution and The Daughters of the Confederacy. Her Grandfather served for North Carolina as a drummer boy. Esther enjoyed smoking, drinking and gathering as friends or family. Esther was a welcoming and gracious host. She was a lover of animals and would care for them accordingly. 

Esther is preceded in death by her daughter Jan, brother Fredric (Bob) and parents Fred and Esther. She is survived by her remaining children, David, Sue McLaughlin (Jack), Cathy, Sarah Cole (Keith), and James Harnden. Esther also has four grandchildren Christopher Kent, Patrick McLaughlin, Jacob Cole and Molly McLaughlin, three Great Grandchildren, Kytan and Ryker Kent, and Wyatt McLaughlin  Esther’s children will be forever grateful for Esther’s support during good times and difficult times. She left us suddenly and will be greatly missed, but it must be noted she had one a heck of a ride.

Esther would like it if you could donate to Noah's Ark in her honor. 

We will gather at The Irish Rose on Saturday the 12th from 2-4 pm to celebrate Esther.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Esther L. Gayman, please visit our floral store.


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