Esther B. Willham

Honored by:Richard Willham
Brick location:F:29  map

This brick is to honor a wife and mother of two children. Esther Burkhart was born onOctober 13, 1934 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. On June 1, 1954 she married Richard Willham after a courtship of five years. We moved to Ames and both went to college staying that first year in the Lincoln Way apartments. After military service we returned to Pammel court in 1957.

Our daughter Karen Nell was born on September 14, 1959 at Mary Greeley. I took a faculty position in 1959 and we built our first home on Ross Road. Our son Oliver Lee was born October 1,961. In 1963 we went on the faculty at Oklahoma State, but returned to ISU in 1966 where we worked and raised our family.

Esther became a student again and graduated in Education in 1972. Esther was the core of a loving family. Being educators, we went as a family to several foreign countries and toured the states on our vacations each year. It was Esther that caused the family to build a cabin at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO in 1976 since we had been going since 1964 when Lee was still in diapers. Through all the good and even the bad times it was Esther that cemented the family together.

The children are married and our daughter gave us two grandchildren, Audrey and Travis. Now we take them to the Y programs as we did the children. It is a joy now to see the values and ability to love being expressed by our children.

 Esther loves the humanities and expresses in her artful dress and dance this love. Esther created a family and worked daily over 42 years now to care for the members and share with all a deep and abiding love that became the cornerstone of our family. Esther's husband Richard.

My mother has always been an inspiration as she has always encouraged her family to do their very best and use their talents to help and better the lives of others. She has always put her family first inspiring them to be and stay well educated. She has used her teaching skills to motivate all of us to never let us forget or lose sight of our goals and help us with support and love to achieve them. She has always contributed to the community and the university through her club and charity work. She is always a good and supportive friend. Her love of education makes her a good explorer willing to try new things and search out new adventures. She loves to travel and share her experiences. She is an interesting person to talk with and I am proud to have such a special woman (my mother) as a part of my life. Esther's daughter - Karen Willham Conley.

My mother Esther Willham is an inspiration and has taught and led by example. She has always worked hard to ensure a good steady base and foundation for us to reach for our stars and goals. When times may have been difficult she helped to solve the problems so that everyone would benefit and she makes any negative situation have positive sides so we could learn and grow. A love of people tolerance and how to interact plus the joys of sharing and helping other people describes Mom. She has made so many sacrifices in her unconditional love for her family and always supported us. She is truly the best mother and leader of our family. I will love her forever and do my best to live her dreams by passing on this heritage of love. Esther's son Oliver Lee Willham.

Dear Grandma Esther How are you? I am fine. I am writing to say Hi and I Love You!!! Today is the first full day of the summer. Next year I'll be in Jr. High. Can you believe it? I was on the academic Honor Roll. I'll write you tomorrow if I can. Love always. Esther's granddaughter - Audrey Ellen Conley. 7/1/96