Esther Louise Franziska

Esther Louise Franziska (nee Erdmann) Mante, 102, peacefully went to her Saviorís open arms Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006.

Her family was singing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" to her as she went to sleep at her California home.

She was born in a log cabin farm house in the town of Hermann, on Nov. 25, 1903. Her baptism was at Zum Kripplein Christi Kirche (Church) Dec. 6.

At age 13, Esther was confirmed and started playing the pump organ at St. Johannes (Johnís) Lutheran Kirche in Woodland.

She continued playing for the church services for 17 years until she married William John Mante on June 20, 1934.

As his farm wife at Spring Park Dairy, she enjoyed cooking, baking, playing with the baby animals, hanging up the wash, drinking lots of pure cream from the pasteurizer and having good old- fashioned fun with her Pond Road neighbors.

Later on, the Bill Mante family moved to Hartford, and the Rev. Von Rhor made a house visit to ask her to play the pipe organ at Peace Lutheran Church.

Esther played for one German service and two English services for 30 years. She especially liked playing the piano for the Childrenís Christmas Eve services.

When she visited and eventually moved to California to be with her daughterís family, she played the organ at St. Markís Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights and at Hope Lutheran Church in Penryn for another five years.

She continued playing the piano for sing-a-longs. Last week, she played a two-hour mini-Christmas concert for her family at home.

Survivors include her daughter, Myra Jane Heyn and son-in-law Ted Heyn; grandchildren, Dr. Ross (Carol) Heyn and Gloria (Mike) Thurein; five great-grandchildren, Amanda, Glen, Amy, Lauren and Tyler of California and other loved relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Mante; her daughter, Carla; her parents, Charles and Dina Erdmann; a brother, Raymond; a sister, Elona Oelhafen; a grandchild, Julie Heyn and a great-grandchild, Joseph Thurein.

Her Christian family and friends will help her to her final resting place with a Sunday, Jan. 15 service at 2 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church. Her internment will follow in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

A meal will be served afterwards at the church.

Pastor David Wietzke, along with Pastor James Behringer of Menomonee Falls, will be officiating with Pastor James Castillo of Slinger assisting.

Estherís family will greet relatives and friends prior to the service from 12:30 until 2 p.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the organ fund and the grade school at Peace Lutheran Church or Hope Lutheran Church and School in Penryn, Calif. would be appreciated.

The Shimon Funeral Home, Hartford, is assisting the family.