|Esther Cutler Stapleton was born on November 14, 1896 in Needham, Massachusetts. Her family traced their ancestry back to Colonial days. One of her ancestors served in the Old North Church in Boston.
As a young woman, Esther decided to devote her life to the service of her Lord and was sent out to the West, in the Wyoming area, to work as a missionary with young children. Her accounts of some of her adventures there would have made an interesting historical account of that place and time. Riding horseback to deal with the local Indian population added excitement to her daily work. Later she would meet and marry the Reverend 0. Clifton Stapleton. Together they served churches in Texas and soon came to the Louisiana Conference, serving churches in Waterproof and Gueydan. When Reverend Stapleton was diagnosed as having cancer, they retired to a Methodist Retired Minister’s home in Ruston. They were later advised to move to Florida for health reasons.
Esther continued to teach in the Jacksonville school district where she enjoyed the relationship with young children. Her happiest memories were of being in a classroom filled with children.
Even though they had been retired to Florida over thirty years, they decided to return to live out their days at Live Oak Retirement Center in Shreveport so that they could again be in the Louisiana Conference where they had lovingly served their Church. Here, together, they spent several years tending their garden, happily watching their flowers bloom. Following her husband’s death, Esther remained at Live Oak and was in relatively good health until a sudden illness ended her life on Good Friday, March 29, 1991. The Stapletons had no children, but will be remembered by all those whose lives she touched.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1991, p. 251 By Joy Dunkelman|