ForeverMissed
      Esther J. Brant, 83, of Peoria, passed peacefully with family by her side on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
     She was born on March 19, 1937 in Champaign County to William and Bertha (Watson) Force. She married James F. Brant in Champaign on July 16, 1955. He preceded her in death on March 29, 2018. Her parents, six siblings and an infant granddaughter also preceded her in death.
     Surviving are her three sons, Kerry (Jennifer) Brant of Brimfield, Perry (Cathy) Brant of East Peoria and Larry (Janette) Brant of Peoria, eight grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, with one on the way and many nieces and nephews.
     Esther taught hundreds of children to swim during a 40 year career in Champaign and at Willow Knolls Residents Recreation Association Pool and Robert A. Jamieson School for the developmentally disabled in Peoria, until her retirement, after which she worked for several years at Kohl’s Department Store in Peoria.
     She was an exceptional seamstress, quilting dozens of beautiful blankets, including making a special one for each new children coming into the family. She also loved gardening as evidence of her wide variety of plants and flowers, as well as, hosting family gatherings and doting on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     Esther attended St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Peoria. She was a member of the Peoria Evening Garden Club, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, where she taught CPR and the Linus Project, where she sewed countless blankets while socializing with her many friends. Esther and Jim enjoyed traveling to Ireland, Germany and within the United States, during their retirement.
     She was a beautiful person, both inside and out and loved her family, passionately. She was a strong woman with a heart of gold and will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved her.
     Cremation rites have been accorded and a Celebration of Esther’s Life will be held at a later date.
     Memorial contributions may be made in Esther’s memory to Lutheran Hillside Village or OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
Posted by Tara Powers on July 10, 2020
To Esther's Family,
I just recently learned of your loss. I had the privilege of knowing Esther from Willow Knolls Residential Pool. Countless summers were spent there with Esther teaching me how to swim and then watching us neighborhood kids during the day and evening while we swam. It is very rare to meet someone who was so gifted to work with children. We truly tried Esther's patience numerous times and she never wavered in her kindness and treating us all like her own kids. I had the pleasure to see her amazing garden when I was older and had a child of my own. I have often thought of Esther through out these past years and have fond memories of my childhood summers at the pool. It is rare that you find someone who makes such a positive memorable impact on your life, Esther was that person. I am deeply sorry for your loss and blessed to have had Esther in my life.
Tara (Hermann) Powers
Tara Lynn Powers
Posted by Tina Nydam on July 6, 2020
Aunt Esther will be in my heart forever. She taught me everything I know about quilting and was a true inspiration. She was more than my Aunt...she was my friend. Rest well, Aunt Esther. I will see you again.
Posted by Denise Johnson on July 5, 2020
Heartfelt condolences go out to Esther's immediate family while she was a resident at LHV.
Posted by Paula Arterburn on July 4, 2020
Our daughters first introduction to swimming was with Esther.  She was calm and caring, and reduced the anxious concerns of the kids.  I would run into her at Kohl’s and she would ask about the girlls!  
Her spirit was gentle and loving.  A great lady! 
Posted by Barbara Mullins on July 1, 2020
Aunt Esther was my favorite Aunt. I remember when she took me to see the movie, The Sound of Music. And I remember the brown corduroy jumper she made for me. I loved it so much. But not as much as I loved her.
Rest in peace Aunt Esther. Give my mother a hug when you see her, along with all of her sisters and brothers, and Grandma and Grandpa.

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Posted by Tara Powers on July 10, 2020
To Esther's Family,
I just recently learned of your loss. I had the privilege of knowing Esther from Willow Knolls Residential Pool. Countless summers were spent there with Esther teaching me how to swim and then watching us neighborhood kids during the day and evening while we swam. It is very rare to meet someone who was so gifted to work with children. We truly tried Esther's patience numerous times and she never wavered in her kindness and treating us all like her own kids. I had the pleasure to see her amazing garden when I was older and had a child of my own. I have often thought of Esther through out these past years and have fond memories of my childhood summers at the pool. It is rare that you find someone who makes such a positive memorable impact on your life, Esther was that person. I am deeply sorry for your loss and blessed to have had Esther in my life.
Tara (Hermann) Powers
Tara Lynn Powers
Posted by Tina Nydam on July 6, 2020
Aunt Esther will be in my heart forever. She taught me everything I know about quilting and was a true inspiration. She was more than my Aunt...she was my friend. Rest well, Aunt Esther. I will see you again.
Posted by Denise Johnson on July 5, 2020
Heartfelt condolences go out to Esther's immediate family while she was a resident at LHV.
Recent stories

Miss Esther

Shared by Jackie Monckton on July 4, 2020
I was so sad to open the paper this morning and see the obituary for Miss Esther. I worked with Esther at Jamieson school. She was an incredible swim teacher and an incredible soul! She encouraged me to make my first quilt, with her helping me every step of the way. She showed me many family antique quilts and her own creations were beautiful. I also enjoyed questioning her on her knowledge of gardening as her yard was always gorgeous! I took my son several years to see the snow village that Jim put out every Christmas season. I also enjoyed running in to her at Kohl’s after her retirement. She was definitely an inspiration to me. Rest In Peace Miss Esther.


Aunt Esther

Shared by Karen Rice on July 2, 2020
So many fond memories with you and your boys. I am happy that your suffering is over. You  are with God and your family now. I will always remember you, love you.