Gladys Ruth (Woelk) Esau passed away on December 31, 2013, at Asbury Park in Newton, Ks. She was born February 19, 1931, in Goessel, Ks., to Henry and Anna Woelk.
Gladys attended Highland Grade School and graduated from Walton High School in 1949. She married Marvin Esau at the Walton Mennonite Church on November 6, 1949. She became a member of the Bethel College Mennonite Church where she taught in the nursery and the pre-school Sunday School Class for over thirty-nine years. She taught at the Newton Community Playschool for years, and served on the board. She worked for the Newton School District as a para-professional in the Early Childhood Special Education program for two years. She worked at the Farmers Grain Cooperative in Walton as a bookkeeper and then became the Vice-President of the Walton State Bank. She was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader. She served on the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony board for several years. She was an accomplished seamstress, and enjoyed many crafts. She fought a valiant battle with Parkinson’s Disease and was active in the Parkinson’s Support Group and in educating others about Parkinson’s. She started a Red Hat Society in Walton. Her greatest joy was her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attending as many of their activities as possible.
She is survived by her husband Marvin Esau of Walton, daughters Donna (Keith) Woolery of North Newton, Linda (David Miller) of Wichita, and son John (Shirley) Esau of Walton. Kansas, and daughter-in-law Becky Esau of Walton. She was preceded in death by her oldest son Dwaine in November. She is survived by sisters Ruby Baresch and Norma (David) Agatstein of New York City, brother-in-law Irvin Peters of Buhler, sister-in-law Marcie Woelk of Hutchinson and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Randy (Violet) Woelk of Wichita and Ron Woelk of Hutchinson and one sister, Irma Peters, of Buhler.
She has eight grandchildren: Jacki (Chris) Epp of Wichita, Jesse (Libby Quigg) Woolery of Denton, Tx., Danielle (Orlando) Woolery Scalia of Denton, Tx., Joshua Esau of Wichita, Brianna Esau of Newton, Adam Esau of Walton, Matthew (Jennifer) Esau of Emporia, and Andy Esau of Walton. She is also survived by eight great- grand-children: Tyler and Austin Epp of Wichita, Logan Esau of Peabody, Avery Gates of Newton, Kamryn and Seth Esau of Newton, Venezia Quigg-Woolery of Denton, Tx., and Isaac Esau of Emporia.
A memorial fund has been established for the Newton Community Playschool in care of Petersen’s Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be at the Bethel College Mennonite Church on January 4 at 10:00AM with burial at the Walton Cemetery following the funeral. Visitation will be at Petersen’s Funeral Home on Friday, January 3, from 5:00 to 9:00PM with the family present from 6:30 to 8:00PM.