Funeral services were held today at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cherokee. Magrey deVega officiated. Burial was in the Oak Hill Cemetery at Cherokee. There was a family prayer service at 10:15 a.m. at the church today. Visitation was Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. with the family present from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee. Online condolences can be left at www.boothbyfuneral.com.
Esther was the daughter of C.W. and Mary Anne (Donaldson) Johnson of Forsyth, Mont. She was born Sept. 16, 1917 in Forsyth, Mont. She graduated from Forsyth High School in 1937. She attended Albany College, Albany, Ore. and Oregon State College, Corvallis, Ore.
She was united in marriage to James E. Bleakly on Sept. 11, 1942 in Seattle, Wash. In 1944, following Jim's service in the Air Force during World War II, they moved to Cherokee. They purchased Champion Electric in 1952 where Esther worked as clerk and bookkeeper for 35 years until their retirement in 1987.
She was a 50 plus year member of St Paul's United Methodist Church where she was active in Grace Circle, and served as funeral coordinator. She belonged to the Cherokee Business and Professional Women, Cherokee Fire Dolls, Sanford Museum, Tone Circle, and Cherokee Saddle Club. She enjoyed playing cards, dominoes, crocheting, embroidery (winning blue ribbons for her dish towels even at age 93) and traveling.
She was preceded in death by her husband James on Aug. 3, 1995, her mother and father, two sisters, and five brothers.
She is survived by her two daughters, Kay Bleakly Smith (Tom) of Elbert, Colo., and Jo Ann Bowman (Roger) of Gordon, Neb., grandson, Jiles Bowman, of Gordon and granddaughter, Sara Bowman Reis, of Grayslake, Ill., great-grandson, Tyler James Reis also of Grayslake, step grandchildren, Jamie and Rick Smith of Colorado Springs, Colo., sister-in-law Mary Ann Johnson of Forsyth, Mont. along with many nieces, nephews and friends.
Memorials may be sent to the Cherokee Fire Department or St. Paul's United Methodist Church.