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.