Esther Meisenhoelder Nygaard passed away on September 29, 2019 in The Dalles, Ore. She was born in Tripp, S.D. where her parents eked out a living on a hardscrabble farm. Eventually losing the farm, her family moved to Medford, Ore. During WWII the family invited soldiers they met at church to their home for Sunday dinner. One day handsome Vernon Nygaard showed up at their table, and before he was shipped out to fight in the South Pacific, he and Esther were married. After the war, they moved several times until 1957, when they moved to Salem, Ore., where Esther lived for the next 54 years. In Salem Esther raised their two sons, was an active member of St. Mark Lutheran Church, and worked as a secretary at Englewood Elementary School. A classic homemaker, she loved cooking, sewing and providing for her family. Her hobbies included painting, playing the piano, reading, and, later in life, loving her grandchildren. After Vernon died in 2000, Esther continued to live in the family home in Salem, but finally made the difficult decision to relocate to The Dalles to be near family. In The Dalles, she found a new church community at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Esther is survived by her sons Mike (Sandy), Mark (Julie), and her four grandchildren, Tyler, Tim, Patrik, and Carina. The family will hold a private remembrance at a later time.