A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010 at 4 p.m. at the Bethel Baptist Church in Newell. Friends may greet the family prior to the service starting at 2 p.m. at the church. The Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Newell is in charge of the arrangements.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the West Center Street Baptist Church in Madison, S.D. A private family inurnment will be held at Graceland Cemetery in Madison. The Ellsworth Funeral Home in Madison is in charge of the arrangements.
Esther Backhaus was born on Aug. 22, 1930 in Madison, S.D. to Charley and Westie (Jung) Backhaus. She placed her faith in Jesus as a child and served him all her life. While growing up, Esther attended country school and high school in Madison, and furthered her education receiving her Teaching Certificate at Eastern State Normal in Madison, S.D.
On June 24, 1950, Esther was united in marriage to L.W. "Joe" Brandes at West Center St. Baptist Church in Madison, S.D. Together they were blessed with four children: Marci, Larry, Barb, and Kelly.
Together Joe and Esther were members of the Madison Chamber and Horseless Carriage Club. In 1968, Joe and Esther opened Direct Paints in Madison and operated it for 32 years. Joe passed away in October, 1988, but Esther continued running the business, retiring in 2000. Both Esther and Joe enjoyed antique cars and traveling with various clubs. In 2008, Esther moved to Newell. After having a stroke in May of 2009, Esther resided at the Newell Good Samaritan Center in Newell where she received loving care by all.
Esther taught in rural country schools for several years until she remained at home to raise her children. Esther was a youth advisor and a longtime Sunday school teacher. While living in Madison, she was a member of the West Center Street Baptist Church and currently belonged to the Bethel Baptist Church in Newell. Esther was an avid reader, loved the Bible, and truly believed in the power of prayer. She was easily endeared and made many friends with her kindness and sense of humor. Esther was especially appreciative of those who cared for her in her later years. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother and will be deeply missed by all.
Those left to cherish her memory include her children: Marci (Dana) Swanson of Forest City; Larry (Diane) Brandes of Green Bay, Wisc.; Barb Brandes of Newell; Kelly (Brenda) Brandes of Blaine, Minn.; her eight grandchildren: Angela, Hannah, and Eva Brandes; Matthew (Diane) Swanson; Mandy (Cory) Champney; Kyle, Logan and Haley Brandes; her two great grandchildren: Seth and Trevor Champney; her sisters, Verna Walker of Hot Springs, S.D. and Dolores Carr of Wellington, Kan.; her sisters-in-law, Katherine Backhaus of Madison, S.D. and Edna Backhaus of Bismark, N.D.; extended family and many friends.
Esther was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; her parents, Charley and Westie Backhaus; three brothers: Raymond, Ralph, and Earl; and two sisters, Mae Williams and Florence Backhaus.