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Esther (nee Walendowski) Kuhns – Heaven on Earth
Esther Kuhns of Ponte Vedra Beach FL, previously of Elm Grove WI, passed away on February 18, 2018. Married to Robert Kuhns, Esther and Bob met in heaven. While sitting on the same cloud, they talked endlessly to one another for eons. They have steadfastly maintained the story of their meeting through more than 71 years of marriage.
Shortly after Esther and Bob found each other on Earth in Milwaukee, WI, they married In St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and so began their heaven on Earth. Their children were born within the first 8 years of marriage, the start of a dynasty of five children: Kathy Cavers (Tim), Mark Kuhns (Marie), Robin Kuhns (Ken McArthur), Barbara Kuhns, Tom Kuhns (Donna), 8 grandchildren: Tricia McGowan (Kevin), Kelly Eisenburg (David), Todd Kuhns (Sarah), Joe Kuhns (Karissa), Lena Parsons (Jim Hrabak), Molly Parsons (Christoph Zurcher), Wil Kuhns (Wendy), Kim Kuhns and 16 great grandchildren with one on the way.
Esther was the woman behind the successful man, supporting Bob’s job transfers while keeping the home fires burning. She was a gracious hostess whether entertaining friends, Bob’s business associates or their large, extended family gatherings. Most holiday meals at their home had more than 25 guests for dinner. Together they enjoyed countless wonderful get-togethers with family and friends.
Enthusiastic travelers, Esther and Bob traveled extensively throughout the US, Latin America, Asia and Europe. Once her children were on their own, Esther’s travel included frequent visits to help with their moves, watch grandchildren while parents traveled, and to visit children or grandchildren living overseas or across the country.
While her children were in grade school, Esther was active as a Girl Scout leader, Boy Scout den mother and in the PTA. She was also an active volunteer with The League of Women Voters as well as her church. For many years she prepared tax returns for senior citizens. She excelled in home arts, introducing her family to exotic cuisines for which a “no thank you” helping was mandatory, and that later developed their palate and enthusiasm for trying new foods. She refinished furniture, painted and wall papered walls, sewed draperies, made many of her children's clothes, and passed on these skills to all her children. She was a loving and ideal mother, who along with her husband Bob, prepared her children well for their life’s responsibilities and adventures.
After their youngest child finished grade school, Esther took up photography and parlayed her skill into a job as a wedding photographer and later as a resident photographer for the Milwaukee Public Museum. As her middle daughter was walking up the aisle for her wedding, Esther was front and center taking the wedding photos. Tired of working most weekends, Esther studied for her realtor’s license and worked as a realtor in the mid-1980s until Esther and Bob moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 2004.
A gifted athlete, Esther took up tennis in the 1960s. An avid competitor and tennis enthusiast, she was a member of The Western Racquet Club in Elm Grove, WI and board member for the Wisconsin Tennis Association. In the 1980s Esther transitioned to golf and played at the Westmoor Country Club in Elm Grove, WI. In St. Augustine, Esther played at Marsh Creek Country Club and more recently with the Ladies League of St. Johns Golf Club. She played with her daughters in member guest events and was very proud when she hit a hole-in-one twice in the past few years. She continued playing golf until last April when her illness started affecting her golf swing.
Esther was born in Milwaukee WI, the daughter of Michael and Proxceda Walendowski, and was the last surviving child of her beloved parent’s ten children. She was preceded in death by her son Mark Kuhns. She was much loved by her family and friends who will miss her dearly, but none more than Robert Kuhns, the man she met in heaven those eons ago, and he awaits their reunion on that cloud in heaven.
Visitation with the Memorial Service will begin at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, February 24, 2018 in the Chapel of Quinn-Shalz Funeral Home in JAX Beach. Graveside services will be held at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For those interested in Esther’s exact age, her date of birth will be engraved in her headstone at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee, WI.
In lieu of flowers or donations, the family asks that you hug those nearest and dearest to you in her honor.