Esther Stella LARUE

LARUE, Esther Stella Viola Kargaard

1917 – 2009

Born Esther Stella Viola Fossum at Catchem (near Manyberries), Alberta. Esther moved at a young age with her family to the Rich Valley district North West of Edmonton where she received her schooling. After a fire in 1938 which burned the family home, they moved to the nearby Greenhill district where Esther was to meet and marry Bill Kargaard with whom she had two children Rick and Karen. Esther and Bill lived happily and farmed in the area near Lake Majeau. In 1955, tragedy struck when Bill died suddenly leaving a young family. Esther continued to farm along with working as a camp cook or short order cook until the children were grown. In 1967, Esther was remarried to Eugene LaRue who had recently moved to the community. They enjoyed two short happy years together when Eugene was diagnosed with acute leukemia and died shortly after. Esther continued to live in the community where she had many friends and family members until 1982. At this time, she moved to Big Valley where she would be near her children Rick and Karen. Esther enjoyed good health for almost all of her life and was able to delight in extensive travel in her later years. Passing quietly at home on the evening of December 30, 2009. Esther was surrounded and comforted by her children and grandchildren. Esther will long be remembered for her excellent cooking, happy and uncomplaining nature and her support and involvement in local organizations, especially the Big Valley Drop In Center. Esther is survived by her loving children Richard (Bobbi) Kargaard of Big Valley and Karen Kargaard also of Big Valley. Grandchildren Les (Juanita) Borle, Lyana Borle (Jay Frizzell), Corrine Callihoo and Wayne Kargaard. Great-grandchildren Kimberly Pittman, Travis Pittman and Tamara Pittman, Kayla Borle, Nicole Borle and Dakota Callihoo (Cody) and Riley Callihoo as well as nieces and nephews Stanley (Carol) Stoby, Lorne (Marilyn) Stoby, Kenneth Reeder, Ilene Christensen, Roy (Shelley) Batdorf, Hjalmer (Rene) Dell, Roger (Nina) Dell, Georgina McKay and special friend Edna Janke. Esther was predeceased by her husband Bill Kargaard, husband Eugene LaRue, brothers Hjalmer, Anders, Gilbert and Carl Fossum, sisters Minda Reeder, Lillian Dell, Amanda Stoby, Hilda Batdorf and infant sisters Katherine and Katherine. Nephews Harold, Floyd and Edgar Stoby, David Reeder, Marion Evans and Morris Dell also one son in law Florrant Borle. The family would like to give special thanks to caregiver Joanne Raspberry whose loving care made it possible for Esther to remain in her home to the end. Sincere thanks as well to Laurie, Wayne, Chance, Eric, Rick and others of the Big Valley Fire Department, Stettler ambulance services and hospital personnel for their prompt and gentle attendance when we were in need. The family would like to give thanks also to Shannon Shirley and Brennen Funeral Home for their support and comfort, thank you to Cst. Lesyk and Cst. Bodnaryk of the RCMP. The restraint and compassion you extended to the family during your attendance was deeply appreciated. A memorial luncheon was held at the Big Valley Drop In Center on Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 1:00 P.M. As an expression of sympathy and in loving memory of Esther, memorial contributions may be made to the Big Valley Historical Society in care of Brennen Funeral Home And Cremation Services, P.O. Box 193 Stettler, Alberta TOC 2LO who were entrusted with the care and arrangements. 403-742-3315 Condolences can be e-mailed to

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