Esther Porter of Perry


Esther Porter, 97, of Perry passed away Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, at the Rowley Masonic Community in Perry, Iowa.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Perry Bible Church in Perry. Visitation will be Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 10:30 a.m. until time of service at the church. Burial will be at the Mitchellville Cemetery in Mitchellville.

Memorials will be given to Perry Bible Church and may be left at the Carris Family Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent at

Esther Ursalina Porter was born Aug. 8, 1920, in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Walter Jackson and Nelle Sara (Hooven) Smith.

She attended school at Ferguson, Iowa, and Dunbar, Iowa, where she graduated in 1937.

Her parents were farmers and during the Great Depression years they always had food, clothing and a good warm house but no luxuries. She told her daughters that she did not know there was the Great Depression until family visited from the city.

Esther learned early in life to appreciate everything she had.

She attended American Institute of Business in Des Moines and during that time met her husband, Maurice. She loved to tell people that they met at Madam Lacuda’s Dance Studio!

She was united in marriage to Maurice Porter at her family home in Dunbar Feb. 8, 1942, and they farmed near Mitchellville, where Maurice had grown up.

They moved from Mitchellville to Perry in 1955, where they raised five daughters.

Esther had several secretarial jobs, but her favorite was with the Perry Chamber of Commerce. During those early busy years, she welcomed her mother-in-law into their home to live.

Esther and Maurice were members of the Perry Bible Church. She found time to teach Sunday School when her children were young and helped with church pre-school in later years.

Although busy with work and children, Esther hosted many family dinners on weekends. Her fried chicken, pot roasts, meatloaf and cinnamon rolls were enjoyed by many!

She did some sewing when the children were little, and canning, gardening and cross stitch were other things she enjoyed.

She loved her family first and foremost and had a kind and encouraging word for everyone. She enthusiastically helped with many new babies as they arrived into the family.

After moving into the Rowley Masonic Community, Esther enjoyed crossword puzzles, sending birthday cards to approximately 70 family members right up to her death, reading Christian fiction, reading her Bible and devotional book, writing in her journal, bingo days and musical entertainment.

She also liked going out for rides around town and noting the changing seasons and reliving memories along the way.

Whenever a young great-grandchild would visit her at the nursing home, it was really important to her to give them a little gift. She didn’t have much to share but if she had a flower she made at activity time, a pretty post card or a candy bar she won at bingo, she gave it away. And she always had a bag of peppermints.

She was known for her smile at the nursing home!

In death she rejoins her husband, Maurice; her parents, Walter and Nelle Smith; and brothers, Richard (Dick) Smith and Robert (Bob) Smith.

Left to cherish Esther’s memory are her five daughters, Linda Roy and her husband, Ron Roy, of Shawnee, Kan., Nancy Charter and her husband, Jim Charter, of Ankeny, Jane King and her husband, Eddie King, of Merriam, Kan., Judy Jordan of Iowa City and Sally Ahles and her husband, Roger Ahles, of Fort Worth, Texas; 14 grandchildren, Becky (Marty) Slater, Rob (Teresa) Roy, Erik (Amber) Charter, Casey (Ed) Staats, Mark (Katie) Charter, James (Kristin) King, Kate King, Eddie Elbert, Jason (Angie) Jordan, Josh (Anessa) Jordan, Joanna Jordan, Andrew (Kathleen) Ahles, Jonathan (Meredith) Ahles and Bethany Ahles; 33 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren; three sisters-in-law, Mary Thomas of Mitchellville, Muriel Faulkes of West Des Moines and Gladys Porter of Ankeny.

We want to thank Rowley Masonic Community. Esther said, “It has been a good home, with faithful and caring staff.”


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