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Linn County News

Published January 11, 2023

Esther Louise Kerns Rockwell was born in Kansas City in 1931, to Bessie and Jess Kerns and spent most of her youth living in Kansas. She passed away at the age of 92 Jan. 7.

Her family mostly resided in LaCygne, some summers were spent in Wichita as her dad Jess Kerns worked there on occasion. After graduating from high school in 1949 she dated and then married Gene Rockwell in 1950, also from LaCygne. Together they enjoyed traveling as Gene was in the Air Force, stationed in various places around the world, from Taiwan back to the states in Texas, Washington state, Missouri, and Germany. One year Gene went to Vietnam, and left Esther alone with her two sons in Kansas City so they would have family nearby. Esther learned at a young age how to work, starting at the old broom factory in LaCygne at 14 years of age. She held various jobs throughout her life. She was not afraid to work.

Esther and Gene had three sons, their first being Michael, who died days after birth; their second son Larry, and their third son, Richard. Esther enjoyed family life, gardening, cooking and baking.  She could make quilts, afghans , doilies, dresses and other crafts . Esther had many talents, probably the most prized talent, she was kind and considerate, she was sweet and encouraging, and she was compassionate. Esther enjoyed camping and traveling with Gene after they became empty nesters. They drove to Montana and all states in-between, Arizona and Louisiana and Arkansas and Missouri, they loved spending time together. Gene loved her dearly.

Esther was loved by many friends and her family.  She made a difference in many lives, by her acts of kindness and sweet words of compassion. Esther had ten grandchildren, Trina Marie, Amber Sue, Heather Jo, Katherine, Wesley, Dustin, Stephanie Jackson, Melinda Mcwhorter, Ashley Ann Hamm, Zachary Daniel. Esther has nine great-grandchildren. Esther left her mark on this world through her talents.  She brought joy, kindness, and love. She spoke ill of no one. She was amazingly sweet and kind. She lived life. She knew how to listen when spoken to. She would always surprise people with gifts or baked goods. Esther loved her family, from in-laws to her nieces and nephews, to her own children. Esther loved her neighbors, treated them as well and sometimes better than her own children!  And for good reason. They watched out for her and would help her in any way.  This made her children happy that they would help when her children were far away and could not be there for her. Our lives are better for knowing Esther Rockwell.  She taught as the Lord commanded; treat others as we would want to be treated. Esther was a very special person that we will all surely miss.  God rest her soul. Esther is survived by her son Rick, his wife Diane of Gravette Arkansas, sister in law Ethel Young of Emporia, a host of nieces and nephews, as well as many friends and neighbors

Graveside funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at the Oak Lawn Cemetery in LaCygne, Kansas.  Friends and relatives may gather at 12 noon at the Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory, LaCygne Chapel.  Memorial contributions are suggested to Oak Lawn Cemetery, c/o Schneider Funeral Home, P.O. Box 304, LaCygne, Kan. 66040


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