The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Esther Evelyn Wacker


WAKEFIELD, Mich. - Lady Esther became Heaven's newest social director on Tuesday afternoon. We will miss her dearly and celebrate her indomitable spirit.

For 93 she added brightness and spark to any room she entered. She loved, nonjudgmentally, everyone she met, finding joy in each encounter. She was a presence, a force to be reckoned with and optimism's favored poster child. She lived each day with spirit, spunk and Sisu. We, who shared her enormous heart, were truly blessed.

Born in Saxon, Wis., on June 17, 1922, to Hilda (Kelto) and Nestor Niemi, she became a resident of Wakefield a short six months later. And began a love affair with her new hometown that lasted her lifetime. She was a tireless volunteer with the Chamber of Commerce, the Wakefield Historical Society and her church.

In her working life, Esther was a cosmetologist and part-time cosmetology instructor, owned a wig boutique, served as dining room hostess at Indianhead Mt. Lodge and Little Bohemia, clerked at J.C. Penney and was an actress for GMCF during CNA certification testing. She did these things to keep from having to move her family from Wakefield when the local economy backslid.

Esther was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Al Wacker on June 17, 2008; her siblings, Harold and Norm Niemi, and Pat Tibor; and all of her brothers- and sisters-in-law.

She is survived by her children, Linda Green, Alan and Jim (Jasmine) Wacker, and Carol (Dick) Matazel; her grandchildren, Thomas, Brian and Eric Wacker, Katelin Matazel, Michael (Cheyenne) Landrith and Anna Wacker; and beloved nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Esther's life will be held at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, with luncheon to follow.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner-manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at


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