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Esther Kerbel

Obituary for Esther Kerbel

August 20, 1921 - March 10, 2018
Sugar Land, Texas | Age 96


Esther Kerbel passed peacefully in her sleep on Saturday morning March 10th, 2018. She was born on August 20th, 1921 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first child of Abraham Doctors and Ida Dora Richman. She became the Salutatorian of her High School class with a full scholarship to college and always dreamed of becoming a Journalist. Due to family responsibilities, she went to Business School instead. She worked in a variety of areas that prepared her well for the operational and financial running of the Mink Ranching Business, she owned with her spouse for over 20 years.

Esther met Bill Kerbel in 1938, when they were both teenagers. Even though they lived in different cities, they courted through letter correspondence and dating. They were married in 1942. Their marriage was a fruitful one that lasted for 69 years, until Bill's death in November of 2011.

During the early years of her marriage, Esther worked for the Civil Air Patrol. She was always a very strong willed and independent woman. While her husband was away at war, she took flying lessons and was made a Plane Spotter. Her dream of becoming a journalist was partially satisfied during the Second World War, when she worked for Laguardia Air Field, and had the opportunity to interview famous actors and actresses returning from their USO trips Abroad.

While raising 4 children and running a full-time business with her husband, Esther was always an active member of her Synagogue in Middletown, New York. She held leadership roles in many organizations such as Hadassah, Sisterhood, and ORT. She was also an active volunteer in coordinating fundraising activities for many of these organizations, until she and Bill retired to the lovely community of Pelican Cove in Sarasota, Florida. They lived a life of leisure, traveled and developed many close friendships. Esther, however, continued to keep herself busy with volunteer work. She enjoyed the Opera, Ballet and held leadership roles in the cultural class and lecture program held in the Pelican Cove Retirement community. Her generosity, her warmth, intelligence, and her willingness to help physically whom ever needed her made her very special.

Esther is survived by daughters Dana Little and husband Sam of Houston, TX; Susan Brown and husband Tom of Austin, TX; Debby Shilling and husband Spencer of Johns Creek, Georgia; and son Dr. Gary Kerbel and wife Carol of Berkley, California. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, with a ninth expected in June of this year.

The family would like to express their deep and sincere gratitude to the wonderful and caring staff at Optimum Personal Care of Sugar Land, where Esther was cared for and supported in her last several years, and Blue Bonnet Palliative Care, who assisted her in her last month of life.

Esther will be buried in the Fort Sam Houston National Veterans Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, with her beloved spouse Bill Kerbel.

For anyone wishing to make a donation in Esther's honor, donations to the Jewish Family Service or Hadassah, would be welcome.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • For anyone wishing to make a donation in Esther's honor, donations to the Jewish Family Service or Hadassah, would be welcome.

Arrangements By

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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