Cover photo for Esther R Gilchrist's Obituary
Esther R Gilchrist Profile Photo
1931 Esther 2019

Esther R Gilchrist

April 17, 1931 — December 4, 2019

Esther R. Gilchrist passed peacefully in her sleep December 4, 2019 at her home above Lake Cocolalla.  Very much a child of the Great Depression, Esther was born in 1931 in New Jersey. Her family lived in the Passaic County bedroom community of Pompton Lakes, where her mother and father worked as surveyors and her father also served borough engineer. A bright youngster, Esther graduated from Pompton Lakes High School in 1947 at the age of 16 and went on to study at Emerson College (now University) in Boston, where she met her first husband, Fred Alger. Esther and Fred had four children prior to their divorce in the early sixties prompting a move for Esther to Cincinnati, Ohio where she married Steve Gilchrist. Esther and Steve had one child and divorced in the mid-seventies.


Esther’s life journey took her from the family roots in New Jersey, to Ohio, to Sedona, Arizona and finally to Cocolalla, Idaho where she moved in with her sister Chris Story in “The Red Barn” that Chris had built perched above the lake. Esther loved reading books of all genres and was a creative writer. She loved the theater, music, art, gardening, cats, wildlife, the outdoors, and the natural world around us. While in Idaho, Esther became active in her adopted community becoming a Fire Commissioner on the Sagle Fire District Board and serving of the Board of Directors of the Sandpoint Senior Center. Esther’s proudest community achievement was being instrumental in organizing and launching the DayBreak Center which provides care for senior citizens with Alzheimer’s and respite for their family and loved ones.


Esther was proceeded in death by her infant son Matthew, sister Chris Story, brothers Newt Millen and David Millen, and both her former husbands. Esther is survived by son Mark (Toni) Alger, daughter Shawn (Mike) Keough, daughter Jan (Doug) Hill, and son Jesse Gilchrist, as well as two grandchildren, their spouses and two great grandchildren.


A Celebration of Life is being planned for next spring. The family respectfully suggests donations in Esther’s memory be sent to the Sandpoint Senior Center at 820 Main St., Sandpoint, Idaho 83864.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Esther R Gilchrist, please visit our flower store.


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