Family and friends will gather next Saturday to remember Esther Bath on what would have been her 97th birthday. Here’s the remembrance being shared with the community:
ESTHER HANNAH BATH – March 18, 1920 – January 25, 2017
Esther Daniel, the youngest of six children, was born in Detroit, Michigan. Her parents, Edward and Christine Daniel, had farmed their land and built a beautiful home using timber from the property they cleared. The entire family worked hard together and enjoyed each other’s company. Esther’s mother had only been able to attend school for a short time, but would recite long poems while she and her daughter cooked.
Esther attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit during the 1930s. It provided a rigorous study of fashion illustration and design, which remained a special interest throughout Esther’s life. She then continued her education at Wayne State University, where she met Russ Bath, another Detroit native. Russ dropped out of medical school in hopes of becoming a naval aviator. While he went through flight training in Pensacola, Florida, Esther finished her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. They were married in June of 1942.
Since the country was at war, Russ was stationed first in Pensacola, then Kansas City, and finally San Francisco. Russ was gone for long periods of time, but Esther kept busy gardening, sewing, volunteering with the Red Cross, exploring her new surroundings, and by 1944, taking care of son David. In 1946, daughter Chris was born, and Russ moved the family to Seattle, where he flew for the newly formed West Coast Airlines. Over the next four years Mary and Rusty completed the family, which had made West Seattle its permanent home.
Raising four children was a full-time job, but Esther managed to participate in the Arboretum Foundation, the Catherine B. Baker Art Club, the West Seattle Garden Club, and other organizations. When Esther first arrived in Seattle, she was fascinated by the native plants of the Northwest, so different from those in Michigan. Rhododendrons were of special interest and she grew many from cuttings, using them in the landscape of her Fauntleroy home. Bonsai trees, both in pots and in the ground, were another way she expanded her agricultural interest. Once the children were grown, Russ and Esther had the opportunity to travel throughout the world, which they both thoroughly enjoyed.
Esther was a remarkable woman who stayed active until the end of her life. She was a devoted wife to Russ (deceased); a beloved Mother to David (deceased), Chris, Mary (Frank), and Russ (Christine); an adoring Grandma to Christine (Brian), Ken (Carol), Jeanette, and David (Carmen); and an extraordinary Great-Grandma to Braxas and Connor.
Remembrances may be sent to:
The Arboretum Foundation
2300 Arboretum Drive E
Seattle, WA 98112-2300
A time to remember Esther Bath will be Saturday, March 18th, from 12-2 pm at The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)