Esther Wilson

Remembering Esther Wilson, a Champion of Nature

It is sad to write about Esther Wilson in the past tense. This wonderful, dynamic, longtime member of the ICNC family passed away recently at the impressive age of 96. We would have wished for her to live forever, but certainly, her spirit will – at the Nature Center and throughout this community.

It was a great pleasure to be on the receiving end of an Esther Wilson smile, which involved her entire face and lit up a room. Esther enjoyed visits to our Bird Room, where she sometimes participated in Project FeederWatch activities. When she did, she said she could only stay 20 minutes, as she always had another project or activity brewing. 

However, more often than not, when we saw Esther, we also saw Mike. Considering that they were married for nearly 72 years, that’s not surprising. Together they enjoyed activities at ICNC, such as our annual Maple Syrup Festival, which was a favorite. In more recent years they attended lifetime member events, where they enjoyed hearing the most recent ICNC news and updates. As recently as late June, the Wilsons visited Amazing Space for a Rockwell Collins Retiree Lunch, during which they helped educate attendees about ICNC and its mission.

When we think of the Wilsons, several descriptive words come immediately to mind: curious, engaged, energetic and supportive. They ask great questions that make us think and be better. They want to know what’s happening at the Nature Center and what’s coming next. They participate and stay active. And they provide financial and moral support, especially at those most needy of times, such as after the derecho and through the worst of the pandemic. We could not ask for better friends.

We treasure the time we had with Esther. Mike and Esther together were a pretty unbeatable pair. Their legacy continues through Mike, their children and grandchildren.  

–Nancy Lackner, Special Projects & Grants Coordinator

You can read Esther’s full obituary here.

Esther Wilson
Esther Wilson (right) with Susan Ovel at a recent Lifetime Membership Event at Amazing Space. (Photo by Liz Zabel)
Esther Wilson, lifetime member
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Esther and Mike were a big part of my childhood growing up in Cedar Rapids Iowa. They were close by neighbors and how lucky we were to know them.
    Esther taught me how to sew and use things we might already have in our house. I grew up and moved out of state.. Several years back I attended their granddaughters’ wedding in New York and got to spend time with them. Fond memories for sure. I can Thank Esther and Mike for teaching me so much during my early years ❤ Ann Stanley. Vero Beach FL


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