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Esther Marie Pfannenstiel, 95, passed away peacefully on July 24, 2023.
She was born on July 9, 1928, to Edgar and Amelia Glassman in Hays, Kansas. Upon graduating from an all-girls Catholic High School, she and a friend set off for their first adventure, landing in Denver with a big city and a world of opportunities before them. But it wasn't long before her parents enticed her back home to help with six younger siblings. It was then that she began a courtship which would lead to a 67- year marriage to her one true love, Julius Pfannenstiel. After a brief stint in New York City where Julie was stationed in the Navy, she once again found herself in Colorado, where they would settle down and raise their family. Four children completed their union: David, Darrell, Dean and Donna.
Esther loved living in the country and took good care of her beautiful flowers and large garden. Late August days would find her preserving their harvest, filling the pantry with canned pickles, tomatoes, peppers and salsa, and the freezer with corn, beans, and carrots. Her German heritage blessed their home with homemade noodles, beans and dumplings, homemade soups and stews, and pastries galore. She loved cooking and baking for her children and grandchildren, as well as many of her 85 nieces and nephews who loved to come visit in the summer.
Esther was an excellent seamstress. Upon moving to Montana in 1975, she became assistant manager at the House of Fabrics in Rimrock Mall. For 10 years she sewed most of the displays as well as a wardrobe for her daughter, which included several prom dresses and her six bridesmaids' dresses. In addition, she enjoyed embroidering, crocheting, and quilting; showering her kids and grandkids with handmade t-towels, afghans, and quilts to be treasured forever.
The color red was Esther's favorite, and she wore it well. She was always dressed to the nines - even for just a quick trip to the grocery store. She often would buy a unique pair of shoes, and then go on a mission to find an outfit that would match them. She loved to accessorize and always looked polished.
She was a lifelong Denver Broncos fan, seldom missing a Sunday game. And even though she never played a single round of golf, she followed the PGA tour faithfully, knew all of the standings, and was still waiting for Jordan Spieth to make a comeback.
Esther was an active member of St. Thomas Catholic Church and volunteered at St. Vincent's Hospital for close to 30 years. She had a strong faith and a sense of giving that carried her throughout her life. She was slow to anger and quick to compromise, often biting her tongue and allowing her children room to make their own mistakes. She led by example with calmness and strength, and the simple graces and gentle inspiration she shared will remain in our hearts forever.
She is survived by her children, Darrell Pfannenstiel (Pauline), Dean Pfannenstiel and Donna Fredericks; daughter-in-law Linda Pfannenstiel; grandchildren Mike, Jamie, Casey, Christine, Kenneth, Kevin, Beau, Jess, and Delaney; 17 great-grandchildren; her former son-in-law Ken (who always held a special place in her heart); her sisters, Clairie Korbe, Roseanne Keast and Betty Tenuta; and dear friends Pete and Betty Fitzloff and Don and Nonie Hepp. She was preceded in death by her husband Julius; oldest son David; sons-in-law Larry Mummey and Pat Bettise; her parents; brother Bob Glassman; sisters Bernita Hammerschmidt and Lillian Hays; and numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Memorials may be made to St. Vincent DePaul or the Billings Community Foundation for the Bettise Baseball Buddies Scholarship fund.
Visitation and memorial vigil will be at 7 p.m. Monday, July 31, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Catholic mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 2055 Woody Drive, with interment to follow at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park.
St. Vincent DePaul
Billings Community Foundation for the Bettise Baseball Buddies Scholarship Fund