Cover photo for Josephine Esterling's Obituary
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1922 Josephine 2017

Josephine Esterling

August 12, 1922 — July 12, 2017

Funeral services for Josephine Esterling of Morris will be held Monday, July 17, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Morris North Apostolic Christian Church in Morris, MN. Apostolic Christian Church ministers will officiate. Visitation will be held Sunday, July 16th from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Morris North Apostolic Christian Church in Morris and for one hour prior to services at the church on Monday. Burial will be in the Apostolic Christian Church Cemetery, rural Morris.

Josephine Eliza (Schmidgall) Esterling was born August 12, 1922 at her family home in Hancock, MN. Josie was the 7th of 17 children born to John and Lizzie (Metzger) Schmidgall. She spent her childhood years helping to care for her brothers and sisters, studying and working for several local businesses, one of which was the local creamery. Josie graduated from high school in 1943 and eventually worked full time for the Hancock Creamery.

Her husband Don served in the military during WWII, returning to Hancock after the war and began to work at the creamery, where he became good friends with Josie. Their friendship grew and they eventually married May 1, 1947. Twenty months later they had their first child, Donna Jo while living in Hancock. Four more children followed along with a series of small town moves across Minnesota. Bruce, Tim, Sue and Nancy joined the family and provided Don and Jo with lots of fun, joy and excitement. They lived in Plainview, Morgan, Red Lake Falls, Clarkfield, Hopkins and finally settled in Minnetonka, MN. It was here where their children grew up and all graduated from high school.

Don’s final 20 working years were at Minnetonka Public Schools and Josie worked for 25 years at Honeywell in charge of Central File Systems. They both retired in 1985 and explored new residencies over the next eight years which included Maple Grove, Osakis, Glenwood and finally Morris, MN (a suburb of their beloved hometown, Hancock). You might say they returned to their roots. Don passed away July 24, 2008. They were married 61 years. After Don’s passing, Josie lived at Skyview Plaza, Westwind Village and her final residence, the Courage Cottage in Morris.

She had a strong faith in God and always had a strong desire to share the Good News of Jesus. She was also a member of the Morris North Apostolic Christian Church Family. Josie was best known by her family and friends for her green thumb, unlimited energy, zeal for entertaining, famous pickles & salsa, 12 course meals, and passion for garage sales. She also enjoyed volunteering at the Morris Salvation Army and at the Glenwood Nursing Home.

Josie died on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at the Courage Cottage in Morris, MN. She was 94 years old.

Josie’s children reside throughout the country. Donna (Doug) Ross of Houston, TX, Bruce (Jude) Esterling of Cedar, MN, Tim (Jeanne) Esterling of Morris, MN, Susan Esterling of Palm Springs, CA and Nancy (Jim) Stradt of Palm Springs, CA. She is also fondly survived by six grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and many many nieces, nephews and cousins. Josie is also survived by her brother, Floyd Schmidgall of Morris, MN; sisters, Barb (Vernard) Brown of Morris, MN, Nola (Mel) Schrock of Bloomington, IL, Norene (Carl) Moser of Morris, MN, Marilyn (Ed) Lanz of Rockville, CT and Marion Schmidgall of Hancock, MN. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald; her parents, John and Lizzie Schmidgall and brothers and sisters, Ray, Kenneth, Laura, Katherine, Linda, Benjamin, William and Clara.

Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Josephine Esterling, please visit our flower store.


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