Esther Sobak

Esther Fredricka Sobak, 100, of Fargo, passed away July 12, 2014, at Bethany Nursing Home in Fargo.

She was born Sept. 27, 1913, on the home farm near Garske to Anna and Nils Ness. Esther was the second child of nine. She received her elementary education in a country schoolhouse and graduated from Starkweather High School in 1931. She attended Mayville State College and received a one-year rural teaching certificate in 1932. She taught in rural Ramsey County schools for eight years. During that time she also attended Mayville State in the summers and received her standard certificate.

Esther was baptized and confirmed at Scandinavia Lutheran Church, rural Garske. She was married there to Phillip N. Sobak on June 16, 1941. They moved to a farm near Edmore and continued to farm in that area for the next 46 years. They belonged to Concordia Lutheran Church in Edmore and Esther was active in the women’s organization, both on the local and conference level.

Esther and Phil had two children, Phillip Roy “Corky” (1941) and Carroll Anne (1943). In 1956, Corky was killed in a hunting accident. After that time, Esther began teaching in Edmore and was a kindergarten teacher until her retirement in 1973. In the late 1950s, Esther and Phil opened their home and hearts to Ron Braaten who lived with the family during his teen years and until his graduation from college. In 1995, Esther left Edmore and lived with Carroll and her son-in-law Aanen Gjovik for the next 17 years. Her gracious manners, gentle heart and welcoming spirit made her many friends in the communities she lived and worked in.

Esther loved to read, play games, attend her grandchildren’s activities, fish and watch the Twins. It was her greatest joy to spend time with her family and friends including her beloved siblings, her cherished nieces and nephews, her treasured brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, and her many former students. She was known as “Grandma Esther” not only to the children of Carroll but also to the children of the extended family network she built.

Esther is survived by: her daughter, Carroll (Aanen) Gjovik; sister, Solveig Tvedten; grandchildren, Anne (Peter) Swant, Christine (Scott) Gorder, David (Stacy) Gjovik, Kari (Kevin) Kovar; great-grandchildren, Brandon (Lacy) Swant, Brittany Swant, Forrest Swant, Evelyn Gorder, Karter Kovar, Keldan Swant, Aanika Swant, Klaire Kovar, Phillip Gorder, Katie Kovar, Camden Christine Gjovik and Mason Gjovik; and great-great-grandchild, Alanah Barreras. Extended family includes the Ron (Carol) Braaten family and the Kay (Dar) Gorder family.

She was preceded in death by: her son Corky; her husband, Phillip; her parents, Nils and Anna; her siblings and their spouses, Norman and Sylvia, Arnold and Lee, Ralph and Ruth, Henry and Adeline, Oscar and Elaine, Roy and Ailene, Walter and Mavis, Kenneth Tvedten.

Funeral services will be: Thursday, July 17, at 11 a.m., at Concordia Lutheran Church in Edmore.

Visitation will be: Today, Wednesday, July 16, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Aaker Funeral Home in Lakota with a prayer service to follow at 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be designated to Concordia Lutheran Church, Edmore, Red Willow Bible Camp, Binford, or Oak Grove Lutheran School, Fargo.