May 23, 1932 - June 4, 2022
June 29, 2022
Esther Elizabeth Bennett, 90, a longtime former Sweet Home resident, died June 4, 2022, in Boise, Idaho.
She was born at home on May 23, 1932 to her American parents, John and Ruth Biery Bennett, near Rainier, Alberta, where they were homesteading.
She was welcomed by three older brothers, Paul, Jim, and Pete, who preceded her in death.
Her mother was unwell and died when Ms. Bennett was 4. Another child, Grace, was born to John and his second wife, Alice.
School did not come easily to Ms. Bennett; she credited prayer for getting her through Seattle Pacific College, where she graduated in 1955 with a degree in physical education.
She went on to earn a doctorate in Bible from Pensacola Bible Institute.
Ms. Bennett was a career teacher in Washington State, even as she filled her spare time with teaching Bible studies and hosting home groups.
Everything changed after age 40 when she felt called by God to depart on a 15-month trip around the world, which showed her the great need for encouragement to missionaries and Christian leaders in far-flung places. She taught two more years, then followed that call.
Well over 20 nations were included in annual trips; her last international ministry was in 2012.
Sharon Pryor joined her in 1979 as Ms. Bennett again flew around the world to teach, encourage, and give to missionaries as she was led.
For almost 10 years their base was Victoria, Canada, where they taught at an interdenominational Bible school and helped in local churches.
Many lifelong relationships began there.
In 1988, she and Ms. Pryor moved to Sweet Home. As the international travel continued, they helped to spearhead a shelter for homeless and abused women and children in Sweet Home, the Hope Center.
For four years they provided guidance to Crawfordsville Community Church.
At age 75, Ms. Bennett wearied of preaching every week. She and Ms. Pryor responded to an invitation to move to Boise, Idaho, where they would offer spiritual care in her niece's senior living facilities. Ms. Bennett taught Bible multiple times a week until her mid-80s.
Ms. Bennett is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Grace and Don Kartevold; many nieces and nephews and their extended families; and the family of God in many nations.
Her faith walk, her clear Bible teaching with her candid honesty about her failures, her book, and her fun-loving lifestyle left an imprint on countless lives around the globe.
Three memorial gatherings have been held thus far – one at the Vineyard Fellowship in Boise, a second in Victoria, B.C., and the third a family gathering near Davenport, Wash.
A possible gathering in the Sweet Home area is being considered. For more information, contact Sharon Pryor.
In her memory and to continue her legacy, memorials toward the ministry of Esther's good friends Lorrie and Yoka may made to MEANS (www.meansconnect.org), designated for Precious Jewels Ministry Uganda.