Knightstown,  New Castle

Esther D. Applegate

View Original Notice ? Esther D. Applegate

Esther D. Applegate, 89, passed peacefully from this earth on Saturday, September 15, 2018 from the same home through which she entered on October 7, 1928. Her father, Philip Clifford Applegate, began the family tradition of being born in this farmhouse near Spiceland, IN along with his two brothers. Philip eventually brought his bride, Dorothy Elizabeth (Black) Applegate back to this house where Esther would begin her life as did her two brothers, Philip Theodore Applegate and Earl Douglas Applegate, and her sister, Mary Margaret (Applegate) Clay, all of whom preceded her in death.

Esther will be dearly missed by her nieces and nephews as well as by the community she faithfully served. She will be remembered by generations of children whose education she so skillfully launched, in addition to the many little ones who were loved in her lap in the church nursery. These children might be surprised to know that her interest in them did not end when they left her classroom but she enjoyed following how their lives unfolded. Everywhere she went Esther was recognized and fondly greeted by former students and amazingly she remembered each one and recounted details of them as youngsters.

After graduating Spiceland High School in 1946 and Ball State in 1950, she earned her master’s degree in 1955. Beginning as a second grade teacher in Logansport from 1950-1952, 9 years in first grade followed. In 1961 she returned to Spiceland to teach summer kindergarten and devoted 33 additional years to teaching first grade. Always concerned for a student’s progress she spent summers tutoring as well. Total retirement was unthinkable after 44 years, so she continued tutoring and volunteering at Spiceland Elementary.

Since education was Esther’s passion, she also served on the Spiceland Township Library Board, acting as treasurer, for many years. Her memberships included Delta Kappa Gamma teacher society, Retired Teachers of Henry County, Spiceland High School Alumni Association, and SPATS. She was honored as the Spiceland Freedom Days Parade Marshal in 1991, and received the Shining Star Nominee Award for excellence in teaching in 1992. In appreciation of her years of teaching service she was cited for outstanding and inspiring contributions to students in 1992 as Star Educator.

Over the course of 57 years, Esther, a birthright Quaker, welcomed countless children to Spiceland Friends Meeting through the nursery that was ultimately named in her honor. She faithfully served at VBS as recently as June of this year.

Esther’s family will remember her caring for her wild birds, working in her yard, reading, and serving those in need. She is survived by a sister-in-law, Karen Applegate, of Herndon, VA. Also surviving are 5 nieces and a nephew, Judy Lee of Albany, Marilyn Ingle of New Castle, Jane (Mark) Truax of Crawfordsville, Janet (James) Putnam of Knightstown, David Applegate of Chicago, IL, and Heidi Applegate of Herndon, VA, along with 8 great nieces and nephews and 12 great great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, September 21 at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service in New Castle. The funeral will be Saturday, September 22 at 10 a.m. at Spiceland Friends Church with visitation 1 hour prior. Burial will follow in Circle Grove Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Spiceland Friends Church, 401 W. Main St., Spiceland, IN 47385. You may express condolences or share a memory of Esther at