Our Sunshine Lady, Esther L. Roby, died Dec. 22, 2017, at her home near Kamiah. Her long battle with arthritis, diabetes, and many other surgeries is over.
Esther liked going to the Lutheran Church and was very well known as the Sunshine Lady there for many years, sending out cards for all occasions. She loved sending cards to family and friends.
Esther L. Schilling was born at Flasher, N.D. on Feb. 11, 1932 to parents Herman and Effie Schilling. As an infant Esther moved with the family to Idaho living at Coeur d’Alene where she started her schooling, later moving to Orofino where she finished the eighth grade at the Banner School.
At the age of eight Esther was sent to Caldwell, Idaho for two years to a special speech school, returning to her family at Orofino to finish the eighth grade. At 14 years, she had to leave home to do childcare and house work for $1 a day. At age 16 she worked as Tray Girl at the Orofino hospital where at 17 she met Del Roby and they were married shortly thereafter on June 1, 1949. They lived in their little home there almost a year, where their son Elvin was born.
They purchased their present day property near Kamiah in spring of 1950, moved there, and lived there to this day. They had four separate homes on that property. One new home burned in 1964 with a loss of everything including over 800 quarts of her canned fruit and vegetables and canned elk meat.
Esther’s first 10 years at Kamiah was hard work in an old house with no bathroom and an outhouse. Her husband Del was away a lot, working in the logging camps, filming river trips and hunting camps. There was the cow, chickens, yard work and garden chores. She spent many summers camping on her husband’s jobs.
Esther dearly loved her flowers, rock garden, and yard work and was always planting something.
She was active at school with her children. Esther stuck close to her husband during all his “whistle blowing years” giving him support.
She entered some of the logging shows in the 1950s, winning Jack and Jill Sawing with her husband and Jill Sawing, and was named all around intermountain Jill in 1956. She spent many summer campouts with her family and grandchildren, fishing and swimming and prospecting and rock hunting, huckleberry-picking, etc.
Esther was preceded in death by her husband, Del; her parents, Herman and Effie; her son Elvin; brothers Marvin, Warren, Elmer, Curtis, Herman (Sonny), Barney, and Lawerance; and sisters Mildred and Dorothy. Survivors include her daughter, Lois Peltier of Boise; nine grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; brother Ronnie and many nephews and nieces.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 6 at Kamiah Community Presbyterian Church. There will be a covered dish dinner following the memorial service. Reverend Luann Howard will officiate.
Trenary Funeral Home of Kooskia is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Kamiah Community Presbyterian Church in memory of Esther Roby. This will be given to help people in their time of need.